It seems the only
thing missing from Ceephax Acid Crew’s gigantic usherette’s tray is a freezer
compartment. What a joy it was to discover these photos lurking on the
interwebz: a perfect illustration of Andy Jenkinson’s dedication to playfulness
and originality in his hardware live sets.
It’s undoubtedly an ambitious undertaking to do away with a stand of any
kind. Apart from everything else, how heavy has that 3-tiered Roland cake got
to be? In the interests of nobody but me,
I contacted him to find out:
LY: Hi Andy, what
date do these photos date from? What prompted the decision to go ‘neck’ – lack
of table space? What made you leave the neck rig concept behind?
AJ: The first photo
is from 2006, I think, and the second from 2007. I just thought it would be a
fun thing to try really, a (semi) mobile hardware rig, and as far as I know
no-one else had ever done it. It was pretty
heavy and the trailing wires were a problem with actually moving around. I’ve
been wanting to bring it back for years with some kind of wireless technology
but alas finances
and time have prevented me. There is also the problem of mains cables, as most
of the equipment won’t run off
of batteries. I have a
smaller version of the above rig right here so maybe your interest will inspire
me to get it going again!
LY: It would be wicked if there’s to be a new mini version. Is it
composed of the tiny Korg monotrons & volcas? They both take batteries. Boss
DR110 drum machines takes batteries too.
AJ: I need to find
out what is battery powered and good, thanks for the suggestions. There was
also an earlier edition which was 2-tier and made from thick wood, it was
absolutely heavy! I can’t currently find any pics of it, I know I have some on
an old hard drive somewhere though, and it’s in the Sidney’s Sizzler video
at one point.
LY: I am now going to try and calculate the
weight of that set-up …
AJ: Hmmm let me
see, I think it had two TB-303s with four C-batteries inside, a TR-707, a TR-909,
two power supplies, a kettle lead, a 4-way plug adaptor, a plasma ball, the
gooseneck mic holder, a Shure SM-58, the tray itself (which was made of pretty thin
ply so it didn’t weigh too much) and the combined weight of the leads on the
tray and hanging off from it. There’s also a kind of back belt that helps hold
it upright which you can’t see in the photos. Otherwise the whole thing would
just tip over, hehe. Oh and a LOT of tape :) Unfortunately I don’t know what any of
those things weigh! I wanted to incorporate a drinks holder too, but that
didn’t happen (yet)…
Dear Readers, I’ve
worked out that that lot is just shy of 14kg, without including the 4-way and
the signal leads because the plasma ball I found on Amazon for comparison
seemed to weigh in a bit heavy. I used the weight of a sheet of 3mm ply as the
‘thin ply’ equivalent. That’s like doing a live set with a decent-sized toddler
hanging from your neck. Although I’d wager a little more straightforward than
doing a live set with a toddler hanging from your neck, what with all the
crying and the needing to be changed just as you’d got going.
LY: Well, I think it’s pretty darned amazing. And I don’t know if anyone
else has done it either. If I ever find one on my travels round the internet,
I’ll let you know!
AJ: Thanks. I hope
no-one else has done it as it’s a nice little trademark thing (which I’ve
LY: Loving the Knights of Camelot video and of
course, as ever, massive respect for all your services to the cause of contemporary
So, there we have
it: Ceephax Acid Crew, a definitive proponent of proper, straight up Hardware
in the Wild.