Thursday, April 12, 2007

City Hall Facilities...

I came across this technical spec for the City Hall and another tenuous glimpse at the coving where the roadie put his foot through. I have a few photos but I can't lay my hands on them at the moment.

There are 2,135 seats plus the choir stalls behind, if usable.

I notice it says power- 3 phase 200A, 3 phase 100A, 3 phase 30A, all onstage. In my time, we had a 30Amp supply onstage for the PA, the normal 100A lighting supply located towards the understage crossover passage and if needed, a 200A supply in the Managers office understage. (There was a 4" circular lined hole from stage level to pass the cables down). The supply was rather heath-robinson, a very large circuit breaker about 2' x 1' hung onto a door with large power cables looped over to the electrics and bolted directly onto the main intake busbars. (Shrouded, fortunately!)

There was only a 3 phase 300A supply for the entire building, including the swimming baths next door, so when Genesis came and wanted a 3 phase 500A supply, they had to arrange for a generator.

I never got to see Genesis, the first few months I didn't get to work every show as I obviously had to go to school during the week and not every band wanted follow-spot operators. From memory, I did work Wings, Supertramp, Darts, Status Quo, Eric Clapton, Barclay James Harvest, 10CC, Queen, Showaddywaddy, Gary Glitter, Blue Oyster Cult, Osibisa, Steve Harley, Brian Ferry, Rick Wakeman, Strawbs, Chi-Lites, Elton John, David Essex, Richie Blackmore's rainbow, Lindisfarne, Morecambe & Wise, Billy Connolly, Frankie Vaughan, Richard Stilgoe, Peter Frampton, Jasper Carrott, Hawkwind, Last Exit (pre-Police), Leo Sayer, Chuck Berry, Blue Jays (post-Moody Blues), Kraftwerk, Steeleye Span, James Last, Stylistics, Barry White, Mud, Dr. Hook and... the Bay City Rollers. I also worked numerous smaller shows like the Wrestling and various charitable events.

Alas- The Who & Led Zeppelin went to the Odeon, it had 2,500 seats (& a "proper" stage, if rather shallow). Pink Floyd didn't come to small chicken-shit venues those days either.

I don't recall ABBA coming to Newcastle, nor David Bowie, nor Rod Stewart. Nor a zillion others.

One day I'll take a trip to the Newcastle reference library and look at the microfilmed Evening Chronicles to see what I have forgotten.

One other improvement I noticed on the facilities list- a shower in the main dressing room.

UPDATED: I also recall Hot Chocolate, Manfred Mann, George Melly and lots of orchestral concerts by the Northern Sinfonia. (Hat tip GayMal for telling me Blue Oyster Cult was in twice).


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Delicolor, I can't find where to put comments on the previous post so am writing it here, if somewhat inappropriately: I agree that when you have had some involvement, however tenuously, with the protagonists in a tragedy, you feel closer to it - and even luckier to be alive.

Delicolor said...

Odd that comments were off for that post- I've never consciously altered the settings for any post.