Craig & Marcus Duffy review a year on the road with The Good, The Bad & The Queen, as well as their enduring relationship with artists, management and production supplier Entec.

Founded in 2006, The Good, The Bad & The Queen – musician and songwriter Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz); former Clash bassist Paul Simonon; guitarist Simon Tong (The Verve) and Tony Allen (described by Brian Eno as “perhaps the greatest drummer who ever lived”) – have spent most of 2019 on the road in the UK and Europe with the assistance of the band’s long-time technical partner, west London-based Entec Sound & Light.

Following an 11-year hiatus since their eponymous debut, 2018 saw The Good, The Bad & The Queen (GBQ) returned with their critically-acclaimed second studio album Merrie Land, produced by Tony Visconti and heralded by the Sunday Times as “a masterpiece… the album of the year.”

For GBQ, the year began in March with rehearsals at Music Bank where the band was augmented by keyboard player Mike Smith, percussionist Karl Vanden Bossche and The Demon Strings before the latest GBQ tour got underway at the UEA in Norwich on April 12th.

Tour manager Craig Duffy, who has worked with Damon Alban for 22 years, said: “When we flew back from Mexico in October after the final Gorillaz tour date, we literally drove straight from the airport to the studio to prepare for a GBQ appearance on ‘Later… With Jools Holland’, and then went off to play a few low-key shows in coastal towns like Cullercoats to coincide with the album launch.”

Dates followed in Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool, culminating in a magical one-nighter at the iconic London Palladium. Craig said “It was a lovely show that was made even more wonderful by a collaboration with the Côr y Penrhyn Welsh male voice choir, who blew everyone away. When they started singing, it gave me goose bumps.”

“The choir impressed so many people at the Palladium that they were invited to rejoin us for selected shows when the band returned for 21 festival appearances around Europe this summer, providing some amazing moments at gigs like Glastonbury and Somerset House.”


All the way through to the final date at the Lowlands festival in Holland on August 16th, Entec was in position to fulfil all of the band’s sound and lighting requirements. Sound engineers Matt Butcher (FOH) and Dave Guerin (monitors) toured using house PA systems, while Entec provided a small but versatile package that included a pair of DiGiCo SD12 consoles with an SD-Rack and Waves SoundGrid bundle, 16 d&b M4 stage wedges and a d&b C7-SUB for drums, powered by D80 amplifiers, and Shure IEM systems.

Microphones and accessories from Sennheiser, Shure, DPA, AKG and Schertler ranges were also part of the package, and former Entec staff member-turned-freelancer James ‘Kedge’ Kerridge supplemented the personnel as audio technician.

For this tour, the band opted for a more theatrical experience over a straight rock’n’roll show and the process began with Andrew Keightley installed as lighting designer. He and Craig Duffy first met in the ’80s when the LD was part of Iron Maiden’s crew, and they went on to work together with numerous acts including PJ Harvey. When GBQ first played live, it was Andrew who took the lighting reins before other projects took him away.

Said Craig: “I have Adam Stevenson [Entec’s assistant head of lighting] to thank for suggesting Andy as our LD, and the great thing was that Andy and Paul Simonon really clicked about music, visuals and simplicity. Paul was keen to get him back for this year’s shows, however, owing to commitments such as the Cambridge Folk Festival, he was always only able to do the spring tour.

That said, he set up everything in such a way that it would be quite simple for someone to cover him. Andy’s tech was Simon ‘Boff’ Howarth, another trusted Entec stalwart, who is always someone we’ve loved having around, and it was great when he was able to step forward and take over. Entec then arranged for Will Mashiter to come in as lighting tech.”

Entec’s lighting spec was deliberately modest, centred around an Avolites console running 10 ETC Source 4 profiles, four White Light 2kW Tubular Ripple effects units, 10 2kW fresnels and a Cirro Mk3 hazer, with 10ft sections of Total Solutions’ LAD truss forming four towers on the festival dates.

According to Mojo magazine, Simonon, whose own painting of Blackpool Pier formed the stage backdrop, had allegedly told Andrew that he wanted the lighting to “terrify people”. “The show certainly had a dark, film noir flavour to it with a lot of silhouette work,” described Craig. “It was a bigger show and it carried certain expectations.”


Since October 1990, when Entec provided lighting at Brighton’s Zap Club for an up-and-coming band called Blur, the company has maintained its relationship with Craig throughout many years of Damon Albarn’s touring career. Craig admits, however, that things may have turned out differently.

He recalled: “At the time I joined the team, I was considering a change of supplier, based only on what I’d personally been accustomed to. Thankfully, I didn’t go through with it because I’ve had nothing but great experiences with Entec. They are fantastic people who always go beyond the call of duty and are part of our family – a family that had already existed for up to eight years before I arrived and there are still some on the team who’ve been there longer than I have.”

This close-knit family affiliation continues today with Marcus Duffy, Craig’s 24 year old son, who stepped into the role of GBQ’s production manager in April.

Marcus’ keen interest in the business and particularly live production, was formalised when he enrolled at the Fulham campus of BIMM [British & Irish Modern Music Institute] and earned a BA (Hons) Music Business degree.

Marcus said: “It’s a good way forward if someone doesn’t have any pre-existing links to the industry. The best thing about it for me was that I lived in London and could therefore work on more gigs and make new connections.

Just as my studies ended in 2017, Dad was looking for an additional tour assistant on Gorillaz. I was aware that if I didn’t work hard I wouldn’t last long.”

On the Humanz tour, Marcus – whose older brother Matthew also entered the industry and currently works for Live Nation – specialised in booking cars and organising visas, increasing his responsibilities along the way and effectively laying a foundation for his rise to production management when GBQ made their welcome return. Craig explained: “We knew we’d need a general band assistant which Marcus fulfilled really well. I had covered the PM role myself when we did the warm-up dates last autumn, but I had far too much to do later on.”

“One night during the spring rehearsals at Music Bank, I was chatting with the crew and Dave Guerin suggested asking Marcus to manage production. All of the crew were very happy with this idea, it met with management approval and he took to it like a duck to water. It just worked. Everyone, from the crew to our suppliers, accepted him as new to the job and gave him plenty of support – Noreen [O’Riordan, Entec MD], Adam and Jonny [Clark, head of sound] have been particularly great with him – but they were also impressed by how quickly he made the job his own.”

For Marcus, his début as a PM exposed him to working directly with leading suppliers, including Global Motion, Fly By Nite, Jumbocruiser and, of course, Entec. “Everything had already been advanced by the time I started, which left me to send Entec the confirmed tour dates, and then liaise accordingly.”

This year has also seen Marcus work as tour manager for Luna Bay and singer-songwriter Declan J. Donovan, as well as helping to set up August’s successful Victorious festival in Portsmouth. Reviewing the events of GBQ’s summer, Marcus added: “Glastonbury was exceptional on a personal note because it was my first time there as a PM and everything ran perfectly. The Bol festival in Moscow came a week later and while I was expecting a logistical challenge there wasn’t a single problem, mostly because the crew were great but also because I pushed myself a little more and it paid off.”

“I was a bit nervous back in the spring about meeting certain standards, so it was great to receive some very encouraging comments from the crew. It all added to the sense that I was doing my job correctly and reliably. This meant that I was able to approach the summer run feeling a lot better about myself.”


Craig Duffy reserved much praise for GBQ’s backline trio, namely guitar tech Alan ‘Buddy’ Goulding, keyboard tech Sam Egglenton and drum tech Jos Grain. “Everyone eventually finds their own way through the ranks,” he commented. “For example, Sam was a young kid who came out of Damon’s studio to join us on tour. I originally brought Buddy in to do some driving on Blur before he started handling guitars and also work as our stage manager.

“Jos Grain and I have known each other since the early ’80s when he was on the crew of some of the punk bands I went to see, like Siouxsie & The Banshees and Tenpole Tudor. He’s rarely available because he is often on call with Iggy Pop.”

From the early ’90s, the drum technician role with Blur and other Albarn projects had been occupied by Stuart Lowbridge. More recently, however, he became the artist’s musical co-ordinator, offering feedback on songs and filtering information as well as being the official “eyes and ears” out front. He works closely at FOH with Matt Butcher, taking notes and sharing his thoughts after each show.

“It’s quite normal for Damon to request a long soundcheck every day,” explained Craig. “Sometimes we’ll soundcheck at seven in the morning because he likes to try new things and sometimes approach a song from a different angle.”


Marcus Duffy ended the tour having gained a solid impression of Entec as a production partner. He commented: “When I came onboard, I could see that Entec was a fantastic business with a super-helpful, friendly group of individuals.

“They were accommodating in every way, and not only with the supply of high quality kit or attending to requests for extras. We could leave our cars on site while we were away and when we needed to bring a truck in over a weekend, they made sure we could access the warehouse. They even stored a support act’s organ and then delivered it to a holding area for us, at no extra charge.

“I always felt they had our back and went way beyond what is normally expected of a production supplier, so I’ll have no hesitation in using their services into the future.”

Live photography © Stars Redmond

Additional photography © M&C Duffy; Andrew Keightley