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Bose and MAMA begin a beautiful partnership with The Forum install (EXCLUSIVE)

We report on Bose’s play for the European live market with a major install at the Kentish Town venue

As it happens, Bose was invited back – after impressing all in attendance at The Fly Awards with its Simpson-designed prototype system. (See part one of this two-part feature for the genesis of The Forum’s Bose RoomMatch/PowerMatch system.) “I suppose, initially, we saw it as a little bit of a risk, because we weren’t sure whether it was something that was going to fit the artists involved,” commented Wilkins, “[but] we came in on the night and it just sounded fantastic. So when we then started having the conversation about looking at a much more permanent fixture, it was pretty much we’d tried and tested it at that point, so we didn’t really need much more convincing to actually get the [permanent] system in place.”

“The Bose system is great for some of the heritage artists,” he continued – The Boomtown Rats played The Forum recently, while Marillion and Erasure will appear on 11 and 14–15 December, respectively – “and because it’s nice and compact and very clean, but [we can also use it] for some of the other stuff we have in here – the cooler stuff promoted by people like Soundcrash, such as Submotion Orchestra tonight [14 November – pictured is Submotion Orchestra’s Simon Beddoe] and Gorgon City tomorrow, and some of the acts we’ve had like [jungle producer] Congo Natty recently – because it’s flexible and adaptable and doesn’t suffer in the bottom end.

“What we’ve suffered from in the past is not having the ability to be flexible to accommodate whatever bands are coming in. We used to find ourselves taking the old system out because people were saying: ‘Well, we don’t think the system you had is going to have the reach and it’s not going to get in the back of the room or it’s not got enough bottom end…’ But now we’re in a position where [the new system] complements all of it, which is great.”

The permanent Bose system made its debut on 12 September, with the last ever show by indie singer-songwriter Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. “We get very good projection out of it,” confirmed Simpson. “It has to cope with quite a range of musical material: you need good vocal projection and clarity for that kind of band [the ‘heritage’ acts], but then you need to handle the punch and the kick of the heavier bands. [The Forum] also does a lot of electronic dance music stuff, where if you really want to you can get down to 30Hz – occasionally dipping down to 25 – [so] you need a system that can do that.”

Bose describes the installation as the beginning of “a partnership between MAMA and Bose” – and Wilkins reveals that he’s already eyeing up other MAMA venues to receive the RoomMatch/PowerMatch treatment. “We’re probably going to be doing some work on The Garage [in Highbury] in the new year,” he said, “so it’s something that would definitely be interesting for us.”

Although that isn’t yet set in stone, the two companies will definitely be collaborating at next year’s The Great Escape. “Because there is a limited amount of clubs in Brighton, we’re looking at churches and open-air spaces,” Wilkins revealed, outlining his plans for the 2015 festival. “Because we need to be able to keep it evolving and growing.”


Flown six-module array (left/right)

(From top) one RoomMatch RM5505, one RoomMatch RM7005, one RoomMatch RM7010, one RoomMatch RM7010, one RoomMatch RM9010, one RoomMatch RM12020

Groundstack two-module array (left/right)

(From top) one RoomMatch RM9010, one RoomMatch RM12020

Front infill single module (left/right)

One RoomMatch RM7020

Groundstack bass array (left/right)

Eight RoomMatch RMS 215s, four RoomMatch RMS218s

Under-balcony fill

Six RoomMatch RMU208s


21 PowerMatch PM8500Ns, one PowerMatch PM4500N, two ControlSpace ESP-00 II DSPs