Last night, I had the rather unfortunate task of playing a gig at possibly the lowest volume levels I have ever experienced in my 25-year career.
Picture the scene…..a large and very well-presented marquee in the grounds of Shenley Cricket Club in Herts…..almost two hundred guests in very good spirits…….fabulously helpful and friendly staff….a dream scenario for any DJ. Until they introduced me to their sound-limiting system……
Unlike other sound monitoring technology which simply cuts the power if you get too loud, this one had the ability to reduce the levels directly fed to my speakers, thus preventing any total silence moments and keeping it within the preset parameters. Therein lay the problem……it was set at 85dB and the microphone picking up the sound was no more than 8 feet from the speakers. Now, a standard electric lawnmower is louder than 85dB at 10 feet away, so you can kind of imagine just how quiet the music was playing. And to compound matters, as soon as the crowd made any noise at all, the music was cut even further, to almost silence!
I am definitely not an ego-driven performer, but this venue did me no favours for anyone who was perhaps looking for a DJ and didn’t realise the predicament I faced all night. Luckily, a large number of the guests were aware of the situation, and some even commended me on my persistence to the end of the function.
It makes me very angry that once again, fussy local authorities and petty kill-joy residents (the nearest being over 200 yards away) have completely ruined another nice venue. The staff of Shenley Cricket Club were amazing, the work that’s gone into creating a classy marquee is evident, yet in order to keep their licence they must totally kill any musical entertainment.
So, if you’re a DJ and you get asked…….DON’T PLAY AT SHENLEY CRICKET CLUB!! It will truly be a waste of your talents.