Black Grape reunion - Old Granada Studios

NPA were invited to provide audio production for the recent re-union show for iconic Manchester band Black Grape, consisting of members of the Happy Mondays including Shaun Ryder. The show was a charity event organised by ‘We Are The Reality Party’ – the new political party headed by local icon and Happy Mondays member Bez. The band had not performed together under the Black Grape banner for more than 20 years so it was a great honour for us to be brought in as the sole audio provider for this special one off show which took place at the similarly iconic old Granada Studios building, just a few feet away from the Coronation Street set. Void Acoustics supplied NPA with their brand new ‘Arc Array’ line array system for the 800 capacity show. This full-range, high output system was unveiled for the first time in November 2014 at the Red Bull Culture Clash at Earls Court in London with astonishing results, providing ample coverage for 20,000 people with just nine elements flown per side.

A total of six elements deployed as three per side were chosen for this show, paired with NPA’s stock of Stasys X Air sub cabinets; all powered and controlled by a combination of the brand new Powersoft X series and our longstanding touring favourite K series DSP amplifier platforms. The Arc Array's smaller brother, Arcline 6, provided front fill and a raft of Stasys 4, Stasys 2 and Stasys Phil on Powersoft M series DSP amps supplied monitoring for the band on stage.

From my point of view, the gig couldn’t have gone much better. The band and the management were both extremely pleased with the sound, which was a relief, as it was my first outing with the band, as well as my first encounter with their management. Part of this success must be attributed to you chaps at Neuron. The service you provided was exemplary. You were attentive, patient and understanding, as well as knowledgeable. I often find that many PA companies seem to adopt an attitude of “that will do”, and so it was refreshing, not to mention a relief that the attitude at Neuron seems to be “is there anything else I can do for you...(insert annoying request)... no problem.

As a whole the system performed brilliantly. I was very happy to be left with such a vast amount of headroom, especially as this allowed me to focus on creating the sound that I was after, a task which your system lent itself to perfectly. After a bit of jiggery pokery with the system settings and if I recall correctly, removal of some EQ from the high mid crossover band, I found that the system was able to deliver great clarity at high SPL’s. Everything seemed to hold it’s frequency response very nicely in that if I turned up L+R, then it simply got louder, without needing to start re-thinking EQ’s etc, which I find can be an issue with some other systems.
— Benny Reibel, FOH for Black Grape and Happy Mondays

If you missed the show, you can catch Black Grape on a world tour later this year, showcasing both new and old material!