The Specials – arguably one of the most influential UK bands of the last 35 years – have been touring with an L-Acoustics K1-based configuration supplied by ADLIB’s audio division.
Since reuniting in 2009 – albeit without co-founder, keyboardist and key songwriter Jerry Dammers – The Specials have undertaken a series of acclaimed tours in the UK, Europe and the US.
Their latest tour represented ADLIB’s second trek live trek with the group. A maximum of 13 musicians on-stage at any one time meant plenty of challenges for monitor systems engineer Marc Peers and Specials monitor engineer Pete Abbott, with a wedge-oriented on-stage set-up including 16 d&b M2s, powered by D12 amplifiers and provided by ADLIB. Lynval Golding, Neville Staple and the flute player employed IEMs, together with the string section, hence the utilisation of a mix of Sennheiser G3 supplied by ADLIB and G2 owned by the band. Monitor world was commanded from a Soundcraft Vi6.
At FOH, ADLIB’s James Neale and band engineer Marcos Ferrari presided over an L-Acoustics-oriented system including eight K1s per side for the main hangs, augmented with three Kara downfills per side in theatres, and 10/3 for Brixton Academy and various arenas. At the Ricoh Arena in Coventry and Alexandra Palace in London, the team added 6 x V-DOSC delays per side two-thirds of the way down the hall, just behind the FOH position. The subs were four SB28s per side on the floor, with selection of ARCs and dV-DOSC cabinets used for frontfill. Sidefill was provided by two flown ARCS boxes per side, complemented by two SB28 subs per side.
All the L-Acoustics elements were driven by LA8 amplifiers, apart from the subs, which were powered by Lab.gruppen PLM 10000s. FOH console was a Midas Heritage H3000, while a generous selection of vintage outboard include dbx 160sl compressor/limiters, Summit DCL compressors, and Drawmer DS201 and 501 gates. Effects included a Yamaha SPX 990, a TC D2 delay, and Lexicon PCM 70s, 81s and 91s.
Reflecting on another successful outing for The Specials, ADLIB account handler Phil Kielty commented: “It’s great to see The Specials going stronger than ever and getting such a great reception wherever they go, bringing their magic and musical heritage now to a new generation. I was brought up on The Jam, The Specials, etc, and everyone here at ADLIB is thrilled to work with them again, and of course it’s always a pleasure to be part of [tour manager] Mike Darling’s team.”