After his number one UK album, Wanted on Voyage, featuring tracks such as Budapest and Cassy O’, George Ezra is back with his second studio album, Staying at Tamara’s. The heavily anticipated second album, unsurprisingly, reached number one in the UK charts and top 10 in eight other countries.
Staying at Tamara’s includes the well-known tracks, Paradise and Shotgun. With its huge success, Ezra is taking the album on the road, touring the UK and Europe.
Ezra’s backline tech, Remy Mallet, approached VDC to provide some new cabling needed for the tour. Mallet is in charge of Playback and MIDI at the shows, as well as looking after the keyboard rig. He spoke to VDC about his involvement in the tour, and how VDC came on board.
VDC: Can you tell me a bit about the gear provided by VDC?
Mallet: I wanted a system that would be quick for festivals but serious enough for the arena tours. I designed a few custom panels, fully loaded for both the keyboard and playback racks. These included everything from PowerCon True 1 to VDMs to EtherCon. I also ordered lots of Van Damme cabling that I loomed, to interface the two racks together, as well as multi-pins and tails. I chose Neutrik for all connections as they are solid and can stand the rigours of touring arenas; I chose Van Damme as it’s superior to other cable.
VDC: What was the process of designing the system?
Mallet: I designed and chose what I wanted, through experience and trial and error on previous builds. I worked with Ollie Weeks (Stylus Productions), our Monitor Engineer, when it came to audio lines. We decided to have all audio lines that are stage right (vocal, ambient and tech microphones) to go through my rig, that way we just need to run two multicore cables and a power line. Very quick to setup and less clutter on stage.
VDC: Have you worked with VDC before?
Mallet: Yes, as soon as I found out about Van Damme, I have only been using their cable and sourcing it from VDC. I have reels of different cables and make up leads as and when. The quality of the cable is great. You can hear the difference. Switch out old cables and patch leads for Van Damme and everything sounds as good as it can. The VDC Multi-pin VDM’s are also great. Very solid and rugged.
VDC: We’re there any major technical challenges on the tour?
Mallet: It’s a great tour to be involved in, nothing too challenging at all. After the initial design and the build of the rig, it has been smooth sailing and the gigs have been perfect. I think the hard work was in the design. Spending longer coming up with a tight solution really paid off in the build and using VDC just meant that I could rely on it all working as soon as I fired it up for the first time.
Remy Mallet’s next project is working as guitar and general backline technician with Michael Kiwanuka. Meanwhile, after proving a hit with audiences, Ezra’s European tour continues into 2019.