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.”