Nexo Geo system supports Squeeze
12 December 2007
UK - 30 years after the debut album, eight years after the last tour, Squeeze have been playing their first live shows of this century in the UK. Supported by Nexo Geo tangent-array PA systems supplied by SSE Audio Group, the band has sold out mid-sized venues throughout the UK before stepping up to the 5,000-seat high-profile clubs for their final dates.
Squeeze was one of the biggest British bands of the late 70s/early 80s, showcasing the songwriting talents of Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook. Together again to promote a Greatest Hits album release, the duo are joined on stage by John Bentley, Simon Hansen and Stephen Large.
At front-of-house, engineer Tom Wiggans and system tech Chris Snow watch over a Nexo Geo Series inventory which has changed its components as the band has moved into the larger venues. In the early stages of the tour, when the shows were playing in civic halls and theatres, Wiggans was working with Nexo's newly-released Geo S12 Series, one of the first engineers to do so in a sizeable live concert application.
"SSE had already tried out the new S1230 cabinets as in-fill for larger Geo T rigs," explains Wiggans, "and, in this role, they are absolutely superb. For the first part of this tour, we found them invaluable because they fly really well, and are very quick to put up, but they are also very happy to be ground-stacked. In some of the smaller venues, where you can't fly anything too heavy, we were able to split the 12-box hangs and that worked incredibly well."
For the closing shows of the tour, in London, Manchester, Liverpool and Dublin, SSE has swapped the Geo S12s for Nexo's flagship Geo T cabinets, giving Tom Wiggans his first opportunity to mix the system loaded with the new NXStream management software.
"I liked Geo T before," says Wiggans, "I love it now, with NXStream. It's much easier to time align, and the new software has delivered a massive improvement in the low end, addressing what might be called a grey area between the CD18 subs and the Geo T modules.
"A characteristic of Nexo systems is that you can make a tiny adjustment and really hear what you've done, immediately, even in big boomy arenas. With Geo T, I can listen to my left and right buss through headphones, take them off and hear exactly the same thing from the arrays in front of me."
At front-of-house, Tom Wiggans was piloting a Venue system, incorporating the main D-Show work surface and Sidecar extender. He says that, having recently undertaken a small venue tour with Paul Heaton using an analogue board, he had immediately been attracted by the weight advantages of the digital system. "I have now realised how heavy outboard equipment is when you have to carry it out of the van every day, compared to loading a plug-in and carrying my iLok key.
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