Maintaining solid relationships is key to the success and longevity of any production rental business. For west London-based supplier Entec Sound & Light, its alliance with influential Gothic rock band The Mission has remained strong since the birth of the outfit, just over 30 years ago.
Back in 1986, the working bond between the two parties was aided in no small way by the presence of Adam Stevenson, Entec’s Assistant Head of Lighting, who was then a newcomer to the world of live production, as The Mission’s founding front man and principal songwriter Wayne Hussey recalls: “Adam had joined Entec straight from school a year before we formed the band. His first tour was also our first. It consisted of three dates, one of which got cancelled due to litigation.
“He was about 17 or 18 and he arrived wearing a clean white shirt, which looked so out of place, but at the same time he was a breath of fresh air. We were all quite seasoned and a bit cynical, and there was young, innocent Adam coming along to make us smile.
“Adam had quite a high-pitched voice back in those days, resulting in the band and crew nicknaming him ’Squeak’! I don’t call him that anymore, of course, even though a lot of the guys still do. He stayed with us for a quite a few years on all our tours and festivals, travelling around the world and sharing our experiences, and there have been occasions over the last 10 years when he has operated the lighting for certain shows. I consider him to be a very good friend, first and foremost.”
In common with most start-up bands, The Mission’s live presentation was minimal on their initial tours, due to lack of finance. That changed as soon as their label, Phonogram (now part of Universal), allocated a workable budget with which to finance their World Crusade tour of 1987-88.
From the start, however, Hussey had both an eye for production and an appreciation of those who made a valuable contribution. “With anybody that I’ve worked with either in the recording studio or on tour, I like people to be able to express themselves in whichever capacity they’re in,” he explains.