Undertaking their traditional pre-Christmas tour of the UK, folk/rock artists The Pogues had a present of their own as monitor engineer Dave Guerin took along the latest DiGiCo D5 console.
The UK's longest established sound and lighting company, Entec Sound and Light, supplied the console along with a monitor system of Shure PSM600 in-ears, APW wedges and d&b C7 sidefills. "Dave wanted the D5 and also insisted it was upgraded to the latest V4 software, because there are a lot of enhancements for monitors in the version," says Entec sound manager Dick Hayes. "So we took the opportunity to upgrade all our DiGiCo consoles at the same time."
Working with the band since the beginning of 2007, Guerin has been using DiGiCo consoles for the past four years. And with the latest revision bringing many improvements to the monitor side, he is pleased with the way that the company has responded. "I talked to DiGiCo's software guys, who does the software at DiGiCo, about two years ago and explained how monitors are very different to front of house," says Guerin. "Monitor engineers have some very precise requirements and a lot of those ideas are in the latest revision, which is great.
"Most console manufacturers don't listen and, as a result, most desks are front of house desks. In contrast, the D5 has all these extra bits now for monitors, so it makes it a lot easier."
Although more sets were provided, only accordion player James Fearnley used in-ears on the tour, the rest of the band preferring the more 'traditional' approach of the wedges and sidefills.
With an eight-piece band, plus brass section, Guerin had a number of mixes to keep under control, all of which, of course, had to satisfy the different requirements of the musicians. "Nobody really hears everybody else," he smiles. "Those on one side of the stage don't really hear anybody from the other side and vice versa. For example, Jem Finer's wedge mix just comprises his banjo and vocal, which is what he wants. He hears the rest of the stage from the ambient sound, the bass, whistle and drums tend to cut through naturally, but he doesn't really hear anybody else individually.