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).

2 comments:

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.