In the wake of their recent chart-topping single ‘January’, Pilot embark on their 23-date Second Flight tour with crew and equipment from Entec that includes an aircraft-shaped truss fabricated by Mike Hounslow.
One of the decade’s more memorable festivals, Reading ’75 features weekend headliners Yes, Hawkwind and Wishbone Ash, as well as Supertramp, Judas Priest, UFO, Thin Lizzy and Richard & Linda Thompson. With an edgier scene just around the corner, as represented by Dr. Feelgood and the Heavy Metal Kids, the event is effectively the calm before the punk storm.
Entec’s involvement with Black Sabbath’s Sabotage tour spans the end of 1975 and early ’76.
On February 12th, a band called the Sex Pistols play their first public London show when they open for Eddie & The Hot Rods at the Marquee Club. The Pistols are banned from the venue after just one gig.
On the back of their fourth album, Timeless Flight, Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Jim Cregan, George Ford, Duncan Mackay and brothers Stuart & Lindsay Elliott – spend six weeks touring the UK and Europe, with back-up guitarist Jo Partridge and lighting supplied by Entec.
The company provides a standard rig for the period that majors in Altman PAR 64s and Strand PATT 750 beam lights, while Entec’s lighting department manager Mike Hounslow assumes the role of ‘lighting engineer’ throughout the run. Dave Jacobson and Jack Ingram mix the front of house and monitor sound respectively, and Kelsey Acoustics supplies a Kelsey-Morris PA system.
With a crew led by tour manager Richard Ames, the presentation of the shows is designed by Catherine Andrews, whose theatrical choice of backdrop style is enhanced by a set of films co-directed by Richard Monkhouse. Other notable personnel include production assistant Dave Wernham, equipment manager Mick Collins and security manager Toni Gibbings, while Edwin Shirley handled trucking.
The itinerary comes to a close with a final date on home ground at Wembley Empire Pool on April 12th.
Entec Sound & Light moves into new premises at Shepperton Film Studios where its on-site neighbours include The Who and the production crew and sets for an unheralded movie entitled ‘Star Wars’. The George Lucas creation is shot during the period in which Entec works on tours for the Bay City Rollers and Carpenters.
The 16th National Jazz, Blues & Rock Festival is referred to as Reading Rock ’76 in official advertising.
When the Sex Pistols are goaded into uttering profanities live on air by Bill Grundy, host of Thames TV’s tea-time show ‘Today’, the punk rock phenomenon hits the front pages of every British newspaper.
Entec works with many of the most influential names from the punk era, including The Clash, Ramones, Boomtown Rats, The Stranglers, Chelsea, The Damned and Eddie & The Hot Rods.
Entec also finds favour with the blossoming reggae movement. The Exodus tour by Bob Marley & The Wailers is one of the highlights of 1977. The tour, which benefits from the experience of both of Entec’s departments, is one of year’s biggest box office successes. Beginning in Paris on May 10th and rolling through Europe until early June, it climaxes with four sold-out shows at London’s Rainbow Theatre, the last of which is preserved for the Keith ‘Keef’ MacMillan-directed Live! At The Rainbow concert film.
Managed by Entec director Simon White, Marquee Studios opens a new remix suite fitted with an MCI 542 36/22 console and MCI tape machine. It is now one of the most prolific studios in the UK, recording artists including Elton John, Gerry Rafferty, Mud, Ralph McTell, Art Garfunkel, Monty Python, Vangelis, Rory Gallagher, Joan Armatrading, Kiki Dee, Van Der Graaf Generator and the Walker Brothers.
Entec’s sound department rapidly gains respect as a Martin Audio systems rental house in the mid-to-late ‘70s. Happy customers in ’78 include the Sweet during their post-glam revival and the Patti Smith Group who tour in support of their hit single ‘Because The Night’.
Reading ’78 witnesses the infamous skinhead stage invasion during Sham 69’s set, as captured in the ‘Kids Are United’ short film.
More work with BBC TV comes with ‘Rock Goes To College’. With sound and lighting from Entec, this new BBC2 live music series showcases a wide variety of contemporary bands and artists at Student Union venues around the UK. A number of the acts go on to become Entec clients.
The year’s Mod renaissance is evident at the Marquee Club where Entec gives a professional edge to several of the up and coming Modernists, like The Chords. Entec is also proud to support The Police throughout 1979 and beyond. Their set at Reading ’79 helps to seal their premiership status.
For Entec, the decade ends with a profound change. In March 1979, Pat Chapman leaves the Entec ‘hot seat’ and goes on to set up the highly successful Curry Club. To date, he has published over 30 cookery books, selling well over a million copies worldwide.
Under a new company name, Marquee Entec Limited, Entec Sound & Light will expand and prosper as the new decade comes into view.