Entec supports The Gig Company at Suggs’ fifth annual PCUK fund-raiser

Five years in, The Gig Company’s annual Evening With Suggs & Friends event for Pancreatic Cancer UK continues to successfully raise valuable funds and awareness with the support of Entec Sound & Light, whilst offering a unique, star-studded bill of entertainment.

At October’s event, which featured Jools Holland, Tony Christie, Ruby Turner, Andreya Triana, Margo Buchanan, Andy Caine, the host himself, Suggs, and his wife Bette Bright, the record-breaking £200,000 accumulated through a VIP auction, donations and ticket sales represented another victory for producers Jenny Johnson and Viva McPherson, the fearless duo who run The Gig Company.

“It felt perfect to return to Porchester Hall in Bayswater where it all started for us in 2013,” reported Jenny. “And having Entec behind us all the way once again meant that the quality of our evening was going to be absolutely first class.

“While Viva and I take the lead with all things production-related, experience has told us that we need somebody on hand when we have to start concentrating on the hosts. When we were at the Emirates Stadium, there was a large, supportive team in place but with this venue it’s more like a blank canvas.

“When I consulted Noreen [O’Riordan], she suggested we bring in Emma Jensen to help relieve us of the technical aspects of the production. Emma was also able to be at rehearsals, take note of the artists’ requests and cross over into stage management, and she was a great asset.”

Jenny continued: “We generally approach Noreen for advice on pretty much anything. She will always recommend a way forward or someone to fill a particular requirement. In fact, Entec is very much our backbone. Once you have that strong core, you have the confidence to make things happen.”

Entec’s sound department provided a d&b V-Series system comprising V10P V12 and V8 loudspeakers, with V-SUB, C7-SUB and B22 subwoofers, powered by D12 amplifiers. Bertie Hunter mixed at FOH on a Midas Pro2 desk while a Pro1 and a total of 14 d&b M2 and M4 floor wedges met all the requirements for Mark Johnston on monitors. Bertie and Mark were assisted on the job by Dam Leaver and Erwin Hamilton.

Meanwhile, reflecting some of the most popular items from the company’s warehouse, the comprehensive lighting package featured Clay Paky Alpha Spots and Sharpy Wash fixtures, Robe LED600s, Martin Stagebar2s, PixelPar 44s and the much in-demand Solaris Flare Q+ 36°, along with a host of ETC Source Fours, trussing and a star cloth. Senior lighting technician Lee Stennett stepped in as LD to run this side of the production from behind a grandMA2 light console.

“Entec are so calm about going in and getting everything done just right,” said Jenny. “The crew arrived looking sharp and very eager to do a fantastic job for us. Even when we had a power outage in the venue just before soundcheck, they handled the situation and quietly got it resolved. Total professionalism!”


Around half of the funds raised on the night came through an auction run by the charismatic Charles Hanson of BBC TV’s ‘Bargain Hunt’ fame. Items up for grabs included a holiday at Suggs’ villa in Puglia (sold twice for £21,000), a Gibson guitar signed by Eric Clapton, a Mark Knopfler-donated Fender Stratocaster, a Monaco Grand Prix race day experience on a luxury yacht and a superb package from TAP Management of a pair of tickets to a Lana Del Rey show in Barcelona with flights and hotel accommodation.

“The auction was a huge thrill and we were graced with a lot of big-hitters in the audience,” Jenny commented. “TAP Management also donated £5,000 in addition to their concert package, which was just incredible of them.”

Mirror ball act Valeriya Mursak, unique in her field, provided one of the highlights of the evening. “We scoured the universe for her,” said Jenny. “As well as the great music and the auction, we felt we needed something special. We already had the stunning Glitter Belles as hostesses who had a really fun presence, but its always difficult to get the audience seated in time for dinner and Valeriya offered the perfect solution.

“Her acrobatics captured everyone’s attention and the lighting that turned something brilliant into a spectacular performance. The whole room was transformed into an elegant and magical environment as Valeriya performed her extraordinary routine.”

In closing, Jenny added: “The room was full of generous, brilliant people who were so responsive to the energy of the evening. You could see that in the performers who had a wonderful exchange with the audience. The sheer amount of congratulatory emails we received afterwards was overwhelming.

“We love the freedom that Porchester Hall lends to productions such as this, so there is every chance we will return for our 2018 event. Watch this space!”



Photography: Suzan Moore & Mark Cunningham