Vancouver foursome tour Europe with newly purchased S21 consoles

Acclaimed Canadian pop/rock quartet Marianas Trench kicked off their début European tour at the end of September with production support from Entec Sound & Light.

Fronted by lead vocalist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Josh Ramsay, the Vancouver band are performing at clubs and theatres including Manchester’s Sound Control, the O2 Academy in both Birmingham and Islington, before heading over to European venues such as Amsterdam’s Paradiso and Les Etoiles in Paris.

Entec’s role on the tour came via an interesting route. The company was recommended by Phil McDonnell, the founder of Horizon Entertainment Cargo and co-founder of the new bus firm CSUK, which provided one of its impressive vehicles for the tour. “Through a contact in America, I was asked to assemble the production for the band’s European tour and I didn’t hesitate to put Entec’s name forward,” said McDonnell.

“I was a production manager for many years before I started Horizon and started using Entec in 1975 for acts like Van Morrison and Rory Gallagher. Very rarely have I gone anywhere else because in all that time, they’ve never let me down and they’ve always been fantastic people to deal with.”

In preparation for their European Vacation tour, Marianas Trench’s tour manager/FOH engineer Melvin Godfrey and monitor engineer Mike Rowland liaised with Entec’s head of sound, Jonny Clark, about the most practical console package for the trip. This resulted in Entec’s purchase of a pair of DiGiCo S21 desks, as Clark explained: “They’ve come over from doing arenas and wanted to maintain their standard of consoles for these smaller dates. DiGiCo is a brand they recognise and their choice of S21s has been with a view to building towards the larger format digital models in the future.”

DiGiCo’s S21 has all the benefits of the brand’s Stealth Digital Processing technology within a smaller surface that offers 24 mic/line inputs, 40 flex channels (equivalent to 80 DSP channels), 46 busses, 10 control groups, eight effects engines and 16 assignable 32-band graphic EQs amongst a raft of features.

Each of the consoles have been supplied to Marianas Trench with a DiGiCo D2 stage rack and Waves endorsee Melvin Godfrey is using a Waves SoundGrid Extreme DSP server in tandem with his S21. Entec’s audio package also includes Shure PSM1000 in-ear systems and a Sennheiser 3732 receiver/5200 transmitter with an e935 capsule.

“The S21 is a solid, practical choice for the band at the right price point,” continued Clark. “Being very compact and lightweight, it’s easy to travel with the S21 by air because it’s under the 32kg luggage limit, and that was really the whole point of the exercise.”

Touring Europe without a regular LD, Marianas Trench have taken a left field approach to their lighting by deploying a laptop-driven Enttec DMXIS device which is triggered by the band’s universal time code to automate a light show using a small LED fixture package from Entec – eight Martin Stagebar 2s and eight Thomas PixelPar 44s – to augment in-house systems.

Entec has a long history of cultivating long and successful relationships with artists from an early stage, with Blur being a classic example. Said Jonny Clark: “Marianas Trench have a fantastic track record in North America – their first record came out exactly 10 years ago. Now that they are focused on increasing their presence within Europe, where they already have a hardcore fan base, we are very happy to be a part of their touring plans and look forward to providing a solid foundation of support.”

Photography by Adam Stevenson & Shelby Miller