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Holding a mirror to the wall of sound

English rock/pop act The Hoosiers performed at the 'Ultimate Girls Night In' which took place recently at Leeds' impressive White Rose Centre, writes Paul Watson.

In that palace of glass and retail The White Rose Centre, Leeds (pictured), a shopping nirvana whose marbled floors wouldn’t shame Kublai Khan’s pleasure dome, the Hoosiers came to play. “The ‘Ultimate Girls Night In’ drew 2,700 to see them,” said producer Jonathan Bentham. “It was of course a promotional event, a co-operative effort by Radio Aire and the shopping complex; but in the end it was a gig like any other. Well maybe apart from the fact that no-one builds a gig venue with acoustics like these.”Bentham’s production company Indivisual Ltd is a conference specialist focused primarily on video elements, and although it has its own PA equipment, on this occasion it called in the services of Yorkshire Audio. “We often use them for this scale of event,” said Bentham. “People might not have heard of Yorkshire Audio but you don’t get artists of the calibre of Paul Carrick coming back to you year after year unless you’re doing everything right. That’s why they’re ideal for our productions.”The event took place on Wednesday 20 April, the shopping mall staying open till 11pm, offering special discounts at many stores, while the audience came from direct invitation. Proprietor of Yorkshire Audio, Bob Collinson, mixed the show himself using a Yamaha M7CL with a system of d&b audiotechnik C4, “six stacks a side, with two stacks of delay; we were projecting 160m down the mall’s main thoroughfare. When I first looked at the stage location I thought, ‘oh my word’, but overall it proved much better than I anticipated, thanks largely to the numbers who turned up. Technically the stage sound was a worry because of reflections; there was a glass lift shaft 15m in front of stage, but it was close enough that the slight delay fattened the stage sound rather than disrupted it. That said the lead vocalist could hear more PA than monitors (Martin LE1500) but overall he was very happy, although the backing vocals were a bit loud for him.”Bentham was also pleased: “Bob has nice gear, it suits a broad selection of event and locations; the PA is a brand acceptable to everyone, put d&b C4 on the rider and I doubt there’s a sound engineer in the country who wouldn’t accept it. The chief executive of the White Rose, Paul Smith, emailed me afterwards to say the evening was a resounding success.”