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Old Grey Whistle Test

Entec continues its support of music TV shows, providing the sound and lighting at Shepperton Studios for the BBC’s long-running live music showcase ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’, hosted by Annie Nightingale. In Entec’s first year with the show, the company works with Public Image Ltd, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Ramones, Japan, ZZ Top and Dire Straits.

July 4th

Iron Maiden record their Live!! +one EP at the Marquee Club. Released in Japan in the November, the EP’s four tracks are ‘Sanctuary’, ‘Phantom Of The Opera’, ‘Drifter’ and ‘Women In Uniform’. The ‘New Wave of British Heavy Metal’ or NWOBHM (a term coined the previous year by Sounds journalist Geoff Barton) is also represented at the club by fellow contemporary flagbearers Def Leppard, Samson, Girlschool and Witchfynde.

July 26th

The NJF/Marquee organisation stages the first major rock concert event at Milton Keynes Bowl with Rockatta De Bowl, headlined by The Police with support acts UB40, Squeeze, Sector 27 and Skafish. Mirroring the format for the Reading Festival, except for its single stage, Entec is the sound and lighting provider. The PA is Entec’s renowned JBL-loaded Martin Audio system with which The Police tour throughout the year.

August 22nd-24th

In its 20th year, Reading Rock is recognised as the go-to festival for aficionados of heavy rock. Whitesnake, Gillan, UFO, Iron Maiden, Magnum and Angelwitch are amongst the 1980 line-up.

Ozzy Osbourne’s new band Blizzard Of Ozz are also announced as special guests, however, despite extensive rehearsals at Shepperton Studios, just along from Entec’s HQ at that time, the band are not quite ready to go live. Instead, Reading is treated to a surprise appearance by Slade, whose career is immediately resurrected by a stunning performance.

The Reading 1980 souvenir programme includes photos of a young Nick Pendleton, Entec’s future chairman, who is involved in the family business from an early age.

Entec acquires SCOPE, the sound company owned by Miles Copeland III, the founder of I.R.S. Records and manager of his brother Stewart’s band, The Police.Marquee studios albums

The Marquee continues to move with the times with gigs by Adam & The Ants, Ultravox, Dire Straits, The Cure, Joy Division, The Fall, Pretenders, Simple Minds, U2, Thomas Dolby, Faith No More, Lloyd Cole, Squeeze, The The, Howard Jones, Duran Duran, Nine Below Zero, The Belle Stars and Thompson Twins.

Marquee Studios builds on its late ’70s successes with 1980 releases from Killing Joke (the band’s eponymous début album), Roger Chapman (Mail Order Magic) and Toyah (The Blue Meaning).


August 8th

Reverting to its originally intended title, Rock At The Bowl continues as an annual event and stars Thin Lizzy, Judie Tzuke, The Ian Hunter Band, Q-Tips (with Paul Young) and Trimmer & Jenkins.

August 30th

The Kinks return to the (21st) Reading Festival as headliners.

Touring clients in 1981 include the Climax Blues Band, Frankie Miller, Gillan, Camel, Smokie and Wishbone Ash.

The year sees a renaissance in the British prog scene at the Marquee with neo-progressive bands like Twelfth Night, Pallas, IQ and favourites Marillion becoming regulars.


March 7th

With Gary Bradshaw mixing at front of house, XTC embark on their English Settlement tour of Europe with sound and lights from Entec. When the tour reaches Paris on March 18th, frontman Andy Partridge suffers a mental breakdown on stage. The remaining dates are cancelled and the follow-up US leg is abandoned. Apart from performances in studio environments, XTC never tour again.

July 2nd-4th

Entec provides the sound for the main stage at Denmark’s legendary Roskilde Festival. The company works under the festival’s orange saddlespan stage (first used at Knebworth in 1976 by The Rolling Stones) with such acts as U2, Jackson Browne, Mike Oldfield and Osibisa.

July 16th-18th

The first WOMAD festival, co-founded by Peter Gabriel, is held at the Royal Bath & West Showground, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset, and is hailed as a huge artistic success, triggering a greater mainstream appreciation of world music. Gabriel, the Drummers of Burundi and Echo & The Bunnymen are amongst the acts. The NJF/Marquee team provides advice and help with the logistics of running the event.

Punchestown - Phil Lynott and Rory Gallagher

July 18th

At Punchestown Racecourse in Naas, Ireland, a festival organised to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Hot Press magazine sees Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott and Paul Brady guest with Rory Gallagher. Entec is the sound and lighting supplier, and U2, Simple Minds and De Danann are among the other acts on the bill.

August 27th-29th

The line-up at Reading Rock ’82  features Iron Maiden (with new frontman Bruce Dickinson), Michael Schenker Group, Wilko Johnson, Gary Moore, Blackfoot, Cheetah, Praying Mantis, Tygers Of Pan Tang, Budgie, Marillion and Twisted Sister.

October 2nd

Peter Gabriel and the company behind WOMAD face financial ruin from the high costs of July’s festival. Harold & Barbara Pendleton step in to help by agreeing to promote him and the remaining members of Genesis for a single show under the name Six Of The Best as their third event at Milton Keynes Bowl. On a very wet Saturday, the support acts are Entec regular John Martyn, The Blues Band and Talk Talk. The show rescues Gabriel’s company and makes it possible for further WOMAD events to take place.

Gillan Magic tour

[In 1990, Pendleton will be responsible for bringing the festival to Reading on the old Reading Rock site where it stays until 2006.]


Gillan’s Magic  tour is one of Entec’s on-the-road highlights of 1982.

November 5th

The Tube artist passes

The UK’s newly-launched fourth television station, Channel 4 transmits the first edition of ‘The Tube’ from Tyne Tees Television Studios in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, and Entec is hired to provide sound and lighting services. Broadcast live every Friday night and originally hosted by Jools Holland and Paula Yates, ‘The Tube’ becomes the definitive music show of the ’80s and is responsible for giving countless successful acts their British TV break, including Madonna and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

March 14th

Marillion release their first album Script For A Jester’s Tear, recorded at Marquee Studios. A video, ‘Recital Of The Script’ – with a live clip from the Marquee – ­follows the album. The venue will later appear on the sleeve of the band’s single ‘Incommunicado’, in its video and in the lyrics of the song.


The Marquee Club hosts two days of celebration for its 25th anniversary. Captured on a number of video releases, the most poignant appearances include Alexis Korner with an all-star band starring Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts. This is one of Korner’s final performances at the club where, in June 1962, he recorded his influential R&B From The Marquee album. Adding to the nostalgia, members of The Yardbirds reform for a special show, and Chris Barber, Dr John and Alvin Lee’s Ten Years After also take to the stage to perform.

Men at Work Hammersmith Odeon flyer

July 9th

Bolstered by their No.1 single ‘Down Under’ earlier in the year, Australian band Men At Work play the first of two sold-out nights at Hammersmith Odeon, part of a UK/Europe tour with production from Entec.

August 26th-28th

The 1983 Reading Festival ends a 13-year run on the site at Richfield Avenue. The event is also notable for last-ever festival performance by Thin Lizzy. The Stranglers and Marillion play memorable sets, as well as Black Sabbath who feature the infamous, monolithic Stonehenge set that allagedly inspires the movie ‘This Is Spinal Tap’.

October 30th

Marillion perform at the Marquee under the name Lufthansa Air Terminal. This is part of trend for well-known bands to use the venue for so-called ‘secret’ gigs under assumed names, designed to be recognised only by hardcore fans. In 1979, The Jam appeared as John’s Boys (a nod to their manager John Weller, Paul’s father). Other examples will include Iron Maiden (‘A Fun Night With The Entire Population Of Hackney’) and Del Amitri who, in 1985, will poke fun at the tradition by appearing with special guests ‘Bob Dylan & The Libyans’… who were, in fact, Del Amitri in costume.

November 22nd

Howard Jones flyer

R.E.M. play the Marquee Club on their first European tour.

December 22nd

Filmed at High Wycombe Town Hall in Buckinghamshire, a Howard Jones concert featuring sound by Entec (liaising with RAK Mobile) is later issued on VHS and LaserDisc as ‘Like To Get To Know You Well’.

Metallica at the Marquee

March 27th

Metallica’s first-ever UK gig is at the Marquee.

The Reading Festival enters a ‘dark phase’ lasting two years. The NJF/Marquee organisation launches a failed attempt at finding a new home for the festival in Lilford. Reading’s Conservative-run local council intends to reclaim the festival site to build more homes, however, Labour wins back its council seat with a manifesto that includes bringing back the events.

Entec’s clients this year include Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, OMD, Big Country, Budgie and The Stranglers.


March 9th

Marquee Studios enjoys another No.1 single with ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’ by Dead Or Alive.

April 12th

Channel 4 turns to Entec for production support when it introduces ‘E.C.T.’ (Extra Celestial Transmission) – a weekly show dedicated to heavy metal. Typical of its usual content, the first episode featured Motörhead, Lords Of The New Church, Magnum and Madam X.

June 18th

Entec supplies the concert lighting for the Mike Mansfield-directed ‘Wake’, his film of a show by The Sisters Of Mercy at London’s Royal Albert Hall. The film is released later in the year on VHS.

June 21st

The company is present at the Royal Albert Hall to service its first Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament at the venue.

Wham at the Marquee

September 14th

Wham’s No.1 single ‘I’m Your Man’ is released and promoted by a black and white live performance-style video directed by the prolific Andy Morahan, and filmed before an invited audience at the Marquee Club.

October 23rd

Entec is pleased to work with the BBC on its TV series ‘Rockschool’. With tips from some of the world’s greatest musicians, such as John Entwistle, Tony Banks and Bill Bruford, the series explored the history of rock music and gave instruction in popular performance techniques.

Touring clients in 1985 include Rory Gallagher, The Cramps, Bobby Womack, The Damned, Bauhaus, The Sisters Of Mercy, Jesus & Mary Chain, Alison Moyet and Dead Or Alive.


The mid-to-late 1980s sees Entec provide equipment and crew for a number of television commercials for clients including the Central Electricity Generating Board, whose live music-themed ‘Energy For Life’ ad in 1986 features a cameo appearance from Entec’s very own Adam Stevenson. “That’s me climbing up the ladder with cables over my shoulder,” he says. “The actor was too scared to do it!”

April 11th

Presented by Chris Forbes and Juliet Roberts, Channel 4 launches ‘Solid Soul’, a soul/dance music series with Entec supplying sound and lighting.

May 3rd

Tyne Tees hires Entec’s services for ‘Get Fresh’, a Saturday morning children’s TV show for the ITV network that runs for five series.

August 22nd– 24th

The Reading Festival returns after a two-year hiatus. The next couple of years will see an effort to restore a more eclectic mix of music with indie, soft rock and other genres alongside hard rock.

New York jazz orchestra


The National Youth Jazz Orchestra celebrates its 21st anniversary at the Marquee, where it began life in 1965.

A snapshot of Entec’s touring clients this year: Sade, Jimmy Cliff, Joe Cocker, Ramones, Rory Gallagher, Jesus & Mary Chain, Hawkwind, It Bites, Katrina & The Waves, OMD, Pat Boone, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Shakin’ Stevens, The Stranglers, Van Morrison and The Mission, with whom Entec enjoys a working relationship that will span more than 30 years.


June 9th

Following the demise of ‘The Tube’, Tyne Tees Television introduces a new weekly music show, ‘The Roxy’, which is focused on the mainstream singles chart and benefits from Entec’s experience and live production skills.

June 19th

Guns N’Roses famously play the first of three shows at the Marquee Club – their first-ever shows in Europe.

July 4th

At Pinewood Studios, Entec services Island Records’ 25th Anniversary party. Broadcast under the title ‘Alright Now’, the event features live performances from Eric Clapton, Sly & Robbie, Robert Palmer, Joe Cocker, John Martyn, Paul Rodgers, Julian Cope and Aswad.

World student games

July 8th-19th

Entec provides extensive services at the World Student Games (Univerzijada ’87) in Zagreb, capital of the former Yugoslavia. It involves participants from 111 countries. Entec’s equipment includes the world’s largest Genie lighting system. Crew photo (L-R): Jim Hubbard, Derek Watson, Dave Smith, Adam Stevenson, Miec Heggart, Mike Townsend, Nige Holbrough and Paul Weber.

August 28th-30th

The Reading Festival  celebrates its 25th anniversary. Sharing the bill with Status Quo, The Mission, Alice Cooper and The Stranglers are comedians Ade Edmondson, Nigel Planer, Peter Richardson and Rik Mayall, a.k.a. spoof heavy metal band Bad News.

Work on TV commercials continues with the Renault 5 Baccara premium hatchback campaign… and Magners cider.

As the Marquee Club’s Wardour Street lease approaches its end, the Pendletons sell the venue to Gaff Management, headed by Rod Stewart’s former manager Billy Gaff.


NatWest’s ‘Pinball Wizard’ commercial stars British soap actor Jesse Birdsall and is another TV ad project to benefit from Entec’s involvement.

The Second Summit Conference of Major Cities of the WorldMay 25th-30th

Entec submits a design for The Second Summit Conference of Major Cities of the World, held at the Hilton in Istanbul.

July 18th

Joe Satriani plays the last gig at the Marquee’s classic Wardour Street venue.

August 16th

The Marquee Club reopens at 105-107 Charing Cross Road with American hard rock icons Kiss. Entec continues to supply sound and lighting to the club.

August 26th-28th

Inventory advert

At Reading, the diversity of musical styles causes some friction, most notably when Meat Loaf walks off the stage after being hit on the nose by a plastic bottle from an unappreciative audience. Bonnie Tyler shows him (and Deacon Blue and Hothouse Flowers) how to weather the storm by standing her ground and changing the crowd’s attitude.

Entec’s inventory in 1988 includes the latest sound products from Martin Audio, Meyer Sound, JBL, Soundcraft, Midas, Rauch, BGW, Yamaha, DDA and Sennheiser. Lighting stock features leading-edge kit from Thomas, Altman, Berkley, Pani, Avolites, Celco, Genie, Verlinde and Xenon.

Channel 4 music show ‘Wired’ launches for a short run with technical support from Entec.


1989 Marquee album

January 27th

The Marquee – 30 Legendary Years, a double compilation album, is released by Polydor.

June 16th-18th

Over an extraordinarily hot weekend, Entec supplies sound, lighting and crew to the Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage, where Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, The Pixies, Suzanne Vega, Fairground Attraction, All About Eve, Hothouse Flowers and The Wonderstuff are amongst the performers.

August 25th-27th

New Order, The Pogues and The Mission headline Reading as Vince Power’s Mean Fiddler Group is invited to handle artist bookings and co-promote with NJF/Marquee, with the aim of pushing the festival towards a more ‘indie’ direction.

Neil Diamond’s The Best Years Of Our Lives tour arrives in Europe and takes on a state-of-the-art JBL sound rig from Entec.

Other new clients in 1989 include Jesus Jones, The Waterboys, Roachford, Wolfsbane, Julia Fordham, Godfathers and The Beautiful South.


Entec ends the year on home territory at Shepperton Studios where the first series of a new television game show, ‘The Crystal Maze’, is being filmed using the company’s equipment. Produced by Chatsworth Television for Channel 4 and presented by Richard O’Brien of The Rocky Horror Show fame, the show runs for six series, revolutionising the game show format.

MENU: Early Days | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s