Landmark album That’s The Spirit, becomes an intercontinental live victory thanks to “some of the best in the industry”. TPi’s editor Kelly Murray talks to the crew behind the curtain…
The city of Sheffield typically gives me three reasons to inappropriately high five certain strangers: whoever is within reaching distance when northern accent warrior Sean Bean brings epic death scenes to the silver screen; anyone able to quote the Monty Python genius of steel city gentleman Michael Palin; and Henderson’s Relish advocates for knowing the key to a decent vegan Bloody Mary (this one usually involves hand-slapping barmen when unable to lift my head).
In ‘our world’ however, Sheffield should also be noted for the likes of electro metal merchants, Bring Me The Horizon. The five piece has caught the attention of mosh pit forging gig goers across the globe so effortlessly that their reputation has ensured their touring production values have been ramped up, bringing a full throttle, gut churning technical feat to the forefront of their shows.
Whereas the band could once be found in the sweaty depths of the country’s stickiest venues (think sweat rain), they’ve progressed into one of the nation’s most reliably entertaining metalcore acts worthy of main stage festival glory. They’ve also seemingly established a touring vibe that has their crew and suppliers genuinely gushing about working with them. Not that any of that takes away from the blue-aired (probably unprintable) grit of their grassroots performances, mind.
Helping them achieve continued success from country to country over the last couple of years is their Tour and Production Manager, Rob Highcroft. As hard a grafter as one might imagine for a relatively young PM, Highcroft is the kind of no-nonsense business man that Yorkshire breeds in abundance. It’s just a mere observation that the majority don’t come from a DIY hardcore punk background and boast fast food logo knuckle tattoos…
CONSISTENT PRODUCTION SUPPORT
“I got into the touring business 14 years ago, when I was working with a friend’s band. I then started a small rehearsal studio in Leeds and the bands started trying to hire my van to get to their gigs! One thing led to another and I started touring full time until I opened my own splitter van hire company. I’ve been on the road ever since,” he said, as a Burger King crown helped to move his glasses back in their usual resting place.
His connections with up and coming bands led to a job with Raw Power Management, where he helped to package some of its roster’s touring essentials. “I was looking after a couple of their bands for pre-production and tour budgeting, including You Me At Six [whom he’s worked with since 2008] and Bullet For My Valentine,” he explained.
It was during this time that Highcroft further developed his own skills and became versed in managing a dual touring role, which he first did with You Me At Six: “They started doing production tours and as I learned more and more about how the technical side worked, seeing the ins and outs of a full touring production, I learned those managerial skills too. With that band, there was a point where I could take on both roles, which is what I now do for Bring Me The Horizon.”
The band have been a client since the summer of 2013 and by the following year it was clear that Highcroft needed to grab a bunk in their tour bus: “After the advancing stage it just made sense to see it all the way through, and give the band my full support.”
To ensure this can happen seamlessly, he credits his team for their consistent support: “You have to have a crew that you can trust 100%. I’ve got a great bunch of lads who keep this show going time after time; without them, there is no way I would be able to do both jobs. My Crew Chief, Oliver ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson [also FOH Engineer and Video Operator – yes, really!], is my right hand man and we work in unison to achieve the show the band want.”
The first few months of this touring cycle – which began with warm up shows in Liverpool and Oxford, stormed into Reading and Leeds festivals, then went to North America, Europe and the UK before finishing in Russia – had several challenges for the crew, the first being a lack of available pre-production time. Highcroft continued: “We took the same show from the US into Europe and when we hit the UK, the production stepped up for a few shows before moving to the B rig [no video screens or touring PA] for the club shows that were added at a later date. Going from the US to Europe required some swift freighting from EFM and then a re-build for the European and UK shows. We did 15 shows back-to-back going from the B to the A rig, and it definitely took its toll on the crew but I’m proud to say that they came into the larger shows without so much as a moment of hesitation.”
Stage Manager, Joshua Perrée, was brought onto the tour by Highcroft, having worked for him with You Me At Six and Bullet For My Valentine since 2013. On a typical day, Perrée is tasked with making sure the production trucks load into venues at 7.30am, arranges for the catering team to set up so that breakfast can be served on time, ensures the lighting crew is on site to mark the rigging and truss points, then oversees the hung video elements (on the back truss), the flown PA and the special effects requirements.
Said Perrée: “The staging elements have been different throughout the whole cycle but it’s been challenging for me in a good way. I coordinate the local crew and ensure that everyone on the touring crew has enough labour to get their gear flown. The show has to be ready for soundcheck every day and I do the same routine with our support bands, PVRIS and Neck Deep.
“I’ve worked with most of the vendors in the past, which was a nice touch because it’s been such a long and busy tour. It’s also been good fun; putting this show on in 3,000-5,000 capacity venues and then bringing it into arena size venues like Alexandra Palace are the kind of things you have to expect on long tours like this, but it’s thankfully worked out smoothly.”
THE MULTI-TASKING MAN
The aforementioned Hutch is a man of many talents, and looking at his workstation, a man who knows how to work many black boxes in various sizes. An influential part of the technical team, he joined the camp by chance, after a one-off gig led to an unfaltering friendship. “I filled in on monitors for what was meant to be one gig in Sheffield, and I’ve been with them ever since – which is over two years now! They’re the kind of band people like to stay with,” he explained, post soundcheck in London.
The original idea when discussing video (more on this later!) was centred around projection. When those plans didn’t come into fruition, the team opted for hi res video, and Hutch’s inquisitive nature got the better of him. “I was quite intrigued by the idea of it to be honest, I just wanted to give it a go,” he smiled. “I was operating both FOH and video for their Reading and Leeds shows which was broadcast for BBC TV, so I felt the pressure a bit there!” Credit where credit is due, Highcroft and his team managed to fit the entire production onto both site’s main stages before headliners Metallica consequently tore it down…
For his audio mixing duties Hutch is using an Avid Profile console with two DVI / VGA displays (one for the desk, one for his video monitor). He is also utilising an Avid Stage 48 input rack on stage, connected via 4xBNC multicore APC UPS. Interestingly, he’s opted for Waves C4 plug-ins as a “gentle parametric”, instead of as a traditional multi-band compressor.
He describes the Profile as “a worldwide standard”, noting reliability and ease of use (he can get all of his channels on one layer for quick accessibility) as key features. On the style of mix he generates, he commented: “I need to make sure the fans are hearing what they’re expecting to hear, especially with the new album because it’s so melodic – they should get the full force of all the hooks in all the right places. It’s not meant to totally replicate the album sound though, because it doesn’t sound compressed. They’re a lot more dynamic live than you can capture on record.”
Will we need earplugs? “Both the band and their fans are very loud, no matter where we play, so there is a lot of screaming. But I try to stick to under 102dBA. That rarely happens though – their fans are so noisy!” he laughed.
The microphone package comprises a combination of Shure and Senhheiser models; the bass guitar uses an Avalon DI and a Shure SM57, guitars use Shure SM57’s, Sennhesier e904’s and MD421’s. For vocals, a Shure Axient wireless microphone is the tool of choice. Hutch furthered: “We have both Shure KSM9 and Beta 58A capsules. The preference depends on how Oli feels vocally in the specific venue.”
Hutch often works with the tour’s sound supplier SSE (control package) and Wigwam Acoustics, which has provided the PA. Pete Russell, Project Manager at SSE has been working with the crew for last three years. Hutch explained why: “SSE is my preferred company to use because they’re very good at tech support and they have very well-maintained equipment. They’ve also got some great people working for them, and it’s been brilliant having the PA with us for the larger shows.”
TEASING THAT TROUSER WOBBLE
Wigwam Acoustics System Tech, Jack Murphy, joined the tour for the five dates that required a PA system – a d&b audiotechnik J-Series. Speaking of the sound design at Alexandra Palace specifically, he stated: “I designed the sound system for the venue and made the necessary sub array calculations. I decided to place infill at the front of the stage and then have a mixed sub array of d&b J-SUBs and d&b J-INFRAs. The reason for that is because it’s such a sub-heavy show and we wanted to make sure that we got a real impact across the front for even coverage. And,” he laughed, “the INFRA is there for a bit of trouser wobble!” [Editor’s note: This also works spectacularly on shirt dresses].
“Alexandra Palace is a challenging venue to work in, so we’ve flown some delay speakers after the FOH position. The size of the venue isn’t out of the throw of the J- Series but the big arched drapes really help with the room acoustics and the delays complement that.”
The main PA system comprises (per side) 10 boxes of J8’s and four J12’s. Subwoofers are configured in a mixed sub array pattern of 16 J-SUBs and four J-INFRA. Infill consists of four Y10Ps, and outfill is three ground stacked V8’s per side. The delay hangs are five V8’s per side. The system is driven by d&b D80 amplifiers and controlled by R1 V2 software. All processing, time alignment and system EQ is done within the amplifiers via the R1.
The hung drapes made a difference to Murphy’s ideal sound. “The drapes dampen the reverberant field as it’s such a big room,” he continued. “I was glad to see them in place for our show as they make a big difference – I’d always recommend having them in Alexandra Palace. The acoustics is also why we chose to use delays – to keep the system angled downwards instead of entertaining that reverberant field. This is in the interest of keeping the best sonic quality throughout the show for the audience.”
So, the next time you’re being flung around a circle pit in a fancy buliding on top of a hill, remember to look up!
A SHURE THING
Australia-based Monitor Engineer Jared Daly, joined the band’s core crew in 2014 – again by chance upon filling in at the monitor position. Daly inherited the use of the band’s own monitor system (bought in 2012) – an Allen & Heath iLive digital mixing system, which comprises an iDR-64 MixRack and iLive-R72 control surface. The iLive IDR is Dante-enabled for both live show recording and virtual soundcheck. Daly is also utilising an iLive Monitor Control app via Apple iPad.
He introduced the band to a new way of thinking when it comes to their personal monitoring systems. Shure’s PSM1000 IEMs, AXT600 spectrum manager and the AXT200 wireless vocal mic are now key features to their on-stage comfort. With input from each of the band Daly has upgraded their in-ear monitoring and helped to incorporate the use Shure wireless technology more extensively.
He said: “The band have always used in-ears; they all have very specific mix requirements, including click tracks and cues. The band and crew have been using Shure PSM900 units for a few years on stage; they owned those when I joined. Oli [Sykes, singer] always used wedges for monitoring on-stage, right through their 2014 dates, but as that tour was finishing, they were thinking of upgrading, because they were getting a few dropouts at gigs where the RF spectrum was really busy – like at festivals. So at Wembley in December 2014, they tried out a rack of Shure PSM1000’s, and Oli changed over to in-ear monitors. The guys all liked the 1000’s, and we started using them in 2015. They’re much more stable in a festival environment; the two antennas on the beltpacks make all the difference.”
In August, when the band played the 2015 Reading and Leeds festivals, the Axient AXT600 spectrum manager was added, and Oli began trialling an AXT200 handheld wireless microphone with a Beta 58 head, which was subsequently adopted on the US tour. “The AXT600 has made my life so much easier,” explained Daly. “It’s a big step up from what the UHF-R system offered, and being able to sync it with Wireless Workbench is a game-changer. Now we have the Axient mic as well, I can check audio levels throughout the show and back off the vocal gain on the fly remotely via the software if it’s too high. Oli constantly switches between singing and screaming, so finding a gain setting that works for both is a priority, and the ability to change it during the show is excellent!”
Given the crowded state of RF spectrums today, Daly has found the spectrum manager useful on the current tour. “At some of these gigs, I’m scanning for sources of interference throughout the show. When we arrived at one festival in the States, I couldn’t find a workable set of frequencies for us to use before our changeover time at all. But when we set up and were line checking, the frequency manager automatically found a clear set of frequencies, including multiple redundant back-up frequencies, and assigned our gear to them.”
Daly has future plans to switch more of the band’s live rig over to a wireless operation and control it via Shure Wireless Workbench. “We’re putting wireless routers into the back of the guitar racks now, so that we can control and deploy frequencies over the network, including the UR4Ds. Basically, we’re linking everything and because it’s all Shure and it’s compatible with the spectrum manager, it all works.”
The band all use JH Audio molds: singer Oli and guitarist Lee Malia use JH11’s while keyboardist Jordan Fish, bassist Matt ‘Vegan’ Kean and drummer Matt Nicholls opt for JH16’s. Daly gave an insight into what he is mixing for the band. “Oli has the closest thing to a CD mix, with very prominent vocals. The main goal with his mix is for his vocal to sit just above the mix at all times, whether he is screaming, singing or whispering, it always needs to be the focus.
“Jordan has quite an electronic-based mix but also is very particular with the sound of Matt’s snare drum. Jordan has recently started hearing a lot more guitars and has a talk-back microphone that is sent directly to his backline tech Jamie McKivitt and myself throughout the duration of the show. This way he can let us know of any problems he might be experiencing such as sensitivity levels. Most of the time he communicates signals to Jamie, but it’s also a very important part of the set up for me because he like to express what he needs directly.
“Nicholls likes a big reverb sound that is very compressed, and he’s also a fan of light gates so that he can play his toms at any velocity and knows not to worry about gates opening and closing. Vegan likes to keep it simple: kick, snare, hats, click track, minimal electronics and a full – slightly compressed – bass mix. He prefers to hear nearly 100% mic over DI so that he knows exactly what his bass cab is outputting.
“Lee’s mix is very guitar orientated – every note is like a rock mix, with plenty of overheads. This is the closest to a wedge mix that we do, with lots of drums and vocals. Lee prefers to only listen to the SM57 on his in-ears as it replicates the closest tone coming from the cab.”
Daly’s monitoring duties are completed by John Jones (JJ), the band’s session guitarist. He added: “JJ has a general band mix, with some selective panning to help him identify his playing from Lee’s. JJ prefers to have himself slightly panned to his left ear, this is because he likes to have Lee’s guitar quite loud so that he can essentially play off Lee during the show rather than just concentrate on the click.”
On stage, touring monitors from SSE comprise two d&b audiotechnik B2’s, two d&b Q-Subs and two d&b Q1’s. Concluded Daly: “It’s been such a busy tour but the crew are really smooth at line checks by this point, they’ve come right down to one or two songs, and everyone is happy with what they’re hearing out there.”
Delivering the emphasis on their electronics skills, Bring Me The Horizon have recently purchased two JoeCo BlackBox Players for use as a ‘failover system’. Electronics Tech McKivitt specified the systems. He said: “I found out about the BlackBox Player by googling different redundant playback solutions for the stage. I discussed it with a few people who had seen them being used and the failover feature is one of the main reasons we chose to use JoeCo, as our show is becoming more dependant on solid playback in the way that it triggers our video and lighting cues in sync. The JoeCo failover systems ensure these will keep going in the event of unit or drive failure, whereas there was no plan B before.
The BlackBoxes are placed at stage right, racked with the band’s samplers and interfaces with Jordan Fish’s electronics world. He continued: “I operate the players with a footswitch to begin the set each night, just before the band go on.
“We are using the units for click tracks, player cues, basic backing track reinforcement and also to send timecode to the lighting and video consoles so that every aspect of the show is in sync. For future tours we’re looking at using the device to send sine waves to open gates at FOH, as well as for further cues, such as special effects. We had the option to use 16 channels at most before but with JoeCo we now have the option for 24. We’re trying to get as creative as possible!” The backline crew is completed by Joey Black, Jon Dunford and Andy Clements.
Lighting Designer Ben Inskip has worked with the band for the past five years. He’s since become something of a permanent fixture as production demands have increased. “They were always a popular band with their diehard fans, but as they’ve begun to appeal to more and more people, their shows have obviously gotten bigger and I’ve been required to support them on tour a lot more. It’s been great for me because I love touring with them!” he said. “These are some of the biggest shows they’ve ever done, production-wise, and it’s made me up my game for sure.”
Inskip planned for this tour with scalability in mind, allowing for each venue to benefit from the finished look. To pull this off, a pre-rigged truss and a well thought out design was needed. His enthusiasm is clear: “I’ve been playing with their ideas and it’s developed into something more substantial now. It used to be a very strobe-heavy show that highlighted them going mental on stage, but now I’m helping to steer their ideas and adapt them into different designs. There’s no real theme as such but visually it’s definitely a show that’s grown into something quite special.”
He explained that the band isn’t overly hands-on in terms of show design because they’re so trusting of the crew, but did note that: “They’re getting more curious the video side of the show and Oli creates a lot of the visual content himself, but the development of this tour has been a learning curve together.”
The video and the lighting cues run off the same timecode, and Inskip spends a lot of time programming with Hutch. “He and I will try different things out, experiment with colours, bring different lights in or fade lights out until we’re happy with the final look.”
The is to deliver a big impact from the lighting rig, making sure it stood its ground when the video screen ran at its brightest. “Lighting worked hand in hand with the video content to immerse the audience,” he added.
When not touring, Inskip is an Account Handler at Siyan, the tour’s lighting vendor. He continued: “I use Siyan because the kit and the people are fantastic. They have supported my entire career. Being part of that family environment and having that amount of support on the road is second to none. Siyan’s Jez Johnstone project managed this job and, as always, went above and beyond to make it all happen.”
From the Siyan warehouse, the LD specified 36 Robe Robin Pointes, 24 Robe Robin LEDWash 600’s, eight GLP X4 Bar 20’s, 30 Philips Showline Nitro 510’s, seven James Thomas Engineering 4-lite PAR 36’s and 22 James Thomas Engineering 2-lite PAR 36’s.
For control, Inskip uses a Jands Vista S1 control surface, connected to a PC laptop running Jands Vista v2 control software. This set up enables him to access the full functionality in an S1 that can usually be found in Jands’ full size flagship console, the L5 – the desk he chose to use for the band’s mammoth Reading and Leeds festival shows. For ease of touring the S1 provides a powerful console in a small package – a main pulling point when you’re effectively doing a mixture of club and arena-size shows that require a seamless transition. Inskip furthered: “I love that my laptop is so portable. It’s my flying system that I can take anywhere without any notice. I’ve really enjoyed having such a small set up and I’ve used it on a lot of different types of shows with the band. My two laptops and S1 Wings [duplicate Vista control and backup systems] really holds its own.”
At Alexandra Palace, the lighting crew was completed by Matt Morris, Dan Everitt, Jo Zilm and Jim Potter.
Video Illusions were brought in to provide the full spectrum of video across the tour’s largest two shows in Cardiff and London. The company had previously worked with the camp for a DVD shoot at Wembley Arena in 2014. “We know the crew and were so excited to work with them again,” stated Video Illusions Director, Nick Whiteoak. “We love Bring Me The Horizon’s music so being able to provide video for their biggest shows on this tour after their success at Wembley was a very exciting prospect for us. We really like the way the band work and we’re big fans of the new album too. Even as they toured America, we had constant communication about bringing the video aspect into the show.”
The company was given the brief to implement a 56ft by 20ft LED screen – flown upstage – with two 56ft wide LED steps downstage. In addition, two IMAG screens, HD projectors, full HD PPU racks and camera operators were provided. The engineering racks comprised a Panasonic AVS – HS410 vision mixer, a Marshall 19-inch multiview monitor, Blackmagic Hyper Deck Pro 2 HD recorders, two Barco Image PRO 2 scalers and LED processors, four HXC 100 CCUs, a six-way RTS Comms System, a Kramer HD/SDI matrix and a Kramer DVI DA.
To control the video, Hutch is using a Mac Pro 15-inch Retina with Resolume Arena 5.01 software (and a MacBook for backup). He utilises a Novation Launchcontrol XL MIDI controller in order to control various elements of Arena such as the Master Intensity, Timecode Offset, RGB Levels and Strobe Opacity and Strobe Speed.
Both Mac machines run on a simultaneous timecode feed into a HDMI switch. The MacBook native HDMI outputs to a second DVI monitor which is then attached to his Avid Profile audio desk and he sends two lines of 25FPS LTC timecode from the stage into a Radial SW8 Auto switching DI. “They switch automatically so if one dies, the feed via a single output goes to my Blackmagic Ultrastudio 4K interface,” Hutch explained.
Video Illusions also supplied two AV Stumpfl 16ft by 9ft rear projection screens and two HD projectors. Two DVI fibre lines went to the projectors from the PPU rack. Whiteoak continued: “Our racks were linked into Hutch’s Resolume media server so that he could use our mix, and we then overlaid graphics on the side screens. Overlaying the content as well as the live footage really added depth to the visuals of their show. It had a very cool impact.”
Video Illusions’ own VIL10mm 5,500 nitts IP65 LED panels made up the screen, and, according to Whiteoak, “really pack a punch,” due to their brightness. The product is also quick to assemble. “Considering we had to rig 270 panels and ground stack two large sections of LED across the entire stage, we knew we needed a product that could hold itself up quickly during the set build. A few days before the first gig, we were notified that we could only fly the top five rows of screen and would need to ground stack three rows, and drop the top section in due to weight restrictions. The rigging was challenging but it worked out really well,” he added.
The graphics are timecoded, with the band’s playback system and enable a full impact to hit the audience. “At times there’s lots of full-frame graphics and lyrics on screen which work on time for the crowd to sing along to, and at other points, deliver more subtle colour graphics. The whole show design is nothing short of amazing, from pryo to lasers and the bold lighting effects, it was their most accomplished production to date.”
The video crew was completed by Camera Director, Dave Irving, camera operators Ross Jordan, Rupert ‘Pesh’ Dean, Jack Lilley, Sam Wynne and Ross Gerry. Concluded Whiteoak: “This was a great show to be a part of. The band have got a great team around them and we were honoured to be a part of it.”
Charlie Longcroft oversaw the show’s house rigging duties at Alexandra Palace, and explained why the change to the original video design had to happen: “We were given the rigging plot by Live Nation and then translated it into the roof. The upstage video wall was too heavy for the allowable winter snow loadings, and to verify the actual loads, we used a Kinesys Load Cell System at each motor point.
“The intended flown design had to be recalculated due to the winter loading restrictions, which reduce the allowable loads in order to accommodate the possibility of heavy snowfall accumulating on the roof.”
To quite literally add a little bit of sparkle to the show, BPM was asked by Perrée to supply varying special effects. They included 14 CO2 jets placed up and downstage – which created a 3D effect, four X-Treme shots with 20-metre streamers and four confetti blowers. A focal point for the special effects department was a 30-second silver twinkling waterfall, created by Ultratec. It fell between band members on both sections of the stage during a guitar solo.
Matthew Heap, Head SFX Technician from BPM stated: “We find Ultratec is the best product to use for the kind of effect they wanted; its not smoky and is very vibrant. It really created the desired look for that point in the show.”
The special effects are operated by a wireless Galaxis Firing System, allowing cues to be driven from anywhere in the venue. The band has used special effects throughout the tour, mainly on a dry hire basis, until the added wow factor was needed for the larger UK shows. For this, Heap and Laser Operator Nick Lloyd were on hand. Heap continued: “We came in to enhance the package they already had, and this includes the laser design. We’ve got 12 4W Starbeams and two 18W OPSL lasers which create a really powerful effect. Theoretically, we’re putting diffraction lasers into the crowd; we’re taking the raw beam – which is projected into the back of the venue – and placing a diffraction in front of it. This then brakes down the layers into their primary colours at a lower power, making it safe for the human eye.” Lasers are operated by Pangolin software. Concluded Heap: “It’s been an interesting job, and when you see the finished production on this gig, it’s all very worthwhile. It’s been a highlight of the year for us.”
HOME COMFORTS, BRAND EXPOSURE AND LONG-LASTING RELATIONSHIPS
Tour busses come from MM Band Services and production logistics via Highcroft’s long-term association with Transam. But we’re not finished quite yet… Having spent time on the band’s hugely successful world tour in 2011, rock ‘n’ roll catering titan Eat to the Beat was “thrilled” to be asked back for the latest part of this road journey. According to ETTB’s Global Operations Director, Mary Shelley-Smith, there’s a key skill that ETTB are renowned for: “Being able to accommodate everyone’s dietary needs while on tour is never a problem for our team. Paddy Quilligan, Chloe Whitehead and Genti Hoxha are travelling with the tour party and every day they create a mixture of tasty vegan meals and treats for the band and crew.
“Our team also look after the band’s dressing room catering needs as well as any additional requirements they may request in order to feel fuelled enough to put on an outstanding performance each night. We’d like to say a huge thank you to the band for having us back – they’re a pleasure to work with.”
That sentiment is echoed by Merch Manager, Tom Begley – long-time friend of the band and now TM for one of Highcroft’s earliest clients, You Me At Six. “This tour was especially interesting for me as I’d worked with and become friends with almost all of this crew already because many of them have worked with Rob and I on You Me At Six tours in the past. I’ve worked for Bring Me The Horizon for the last seven years and it’s amazing how they’ve grown. It’s been great to be a part of their biggest headline tour to date.”
Travelling with the band throughout the UK and Europe, Begley points out that Bring Me The Horizon are pack leaders when it comes to offering their fans somewhat of a more personal touch. “The band has reinvented its merchandise set-up in the last year and have more creative control than most of the bands I’ve worked with. This results in much more stylish end products which has helped to establish a brand rather than some throwaway designs knocked up the week before a tour. It’s only a matter of time before more bands copy their set-up. They’re ahead of the game on this thanks to Oli’s experience with his clothing company, Drop Dead, which he established over 10 years ago. There’s no one better suited to understand the importance of branding when it comes to touring bands.”
As a show-stopping night closes in London – 10,000 fans can’t be wrong – and a Drop Dead afterparty ensues (fret not, inappropriate high fives did not occur), the last word goes to Highcroft. There’s a clear sense of achievement as this tour nears its end, due in part his choice of coworkers: “I always try to use the same people and the same companies. It’s a mixture of them really wanting to work with my clients, and me developing long-lasting relationships. In this case, it’s great to know that as a team we were able to produce the live shows that the band wanted. All the hard work pays off when that happens. Right now, the touring crew around Bring Me The Horizon are some of the best in the industry. I can’t ask for any more than that, can I?”
Photos: Ashley Osborn
See the full Issue, on pages 26 to 39 in our January 2016 issue, available here: http://issuu.com/mondiale/docs/tpijan16_digitallr/1?e=7529423/32068429