As well as our involvement with Red Square, we also provide sound services and support for critical concert work in the Nelson Arts Festival. In recent years this has included the Montreal Guitar Trio, Hollie Smith, Antal Szalai and his Hungarian Gypsy Orchestra, Baker Suite, Don McGlashan with The Bellbirds, Micheline van Hautem, Jonathan Besser to name but a few. Whilst the emphasis is always on producing professional sound, the nature of performing arts is such that amusing incidents are not uncommon!
I recall Antal Szalai arriving with his band for sound check at Woollaston Estates, taking one look at the room, declaring that he’d only need one mic, checking it was working and then declaring an end to the sound check. It was all over in two minutes! The band then made straight for the green room to try out some of the local product! It was, of course, a great night of wild gypsy music.
I very much enjoyed Belgian chanteuse Micheline van Hautem’s concert at Woollaston Estates where she was accompanied by the fantastic guitarist Erwin van Ligten, who ended up playing my 30 year old Maton guitar the whole evening. I hadn’t done sound for my own guitar before and was somewhat surprised that it was the best sounding guitar I’d ever heard! Something to do with the Fishman Rare-Earth Blend pickup combined with the LR Baggs ParaDI as well as the brilliant guitar playing. Erwin offered to buy it on the spot – not for sale sorry!