For a band named after Bastille Day (so named because lead vocalist Dan Smith’s birthday falls on the 14th of July), it seems somewhat appropriate that their Front of House engineer, Paul ‘Coop’ Cooper, has chosen to use a French loudspeaker brand for their Wild World tour. But his choice of L-Acoustics has nothing to do with a nod to any Gallic connection. It is simply because whenever he encounters L-Acoustics, he knows exactly what to expect and he knows it will be good.
The K1 and K2 system Coop is currently using is supplied by SSE Audio, who have been working with Bastille since 2013.
“As Coop is a local lad to SSE one of the guys that works in our fabrications department knew him from the club scene in Birmingham. They said he was working with a band that just might have something about them,” explains SSE’s Dan Bennett. “At SSE we have a policy of supporting emerging talent, so I got in touch with Coop to see how we could help and it all started from there.”
Bastille certainly do have something about them. They now have two number one albums under their belts and, on this latest tour, have sold out arenas around the UK and Northern Europe, including London's 20,000-seater The O2 Arena.
“They did the summer festival run, which went really well,” says Dan. “They loaded out of SSE for the Wild World tour in October and now they’re going back out for a short run in Europe and then on to the US.”
“My use of L-Acoustics stems from installs at venues and at festivals all over the world,” says Coop. “As soon as it was down to me to choose a system, I had no hesitation. My first production tour was completed on V-DOSC and dV-DOSC. The K1 system was a wonderful step forward and, with the addition of K2s, we have a fully scalable rig for any occasion.”
SSE has supplied L-Acoustics K1s for the main hangs, with K2 under hangs. Side hangs are again K1. K1-SB subs are flown behind the K1s, with KS28 subs positioned on floor, all powered by LAX12 amplifiers.
“We’re using this combination partly because it’s the newest L-Acoustics system, but also because the fidelity of the K2 is incredible and K1 has all the benefits that you need for doing arena-sized rooms,” says Dan. “I think it really suits Bastille’s music and Coop mixes very dynamically, so he’s using the whole PA to its full capacity.”
“With the aid of my systems tech, Pertu Korteniemi, and Soundvision software we can ensure everyone in the venue is getting the air moved correctly for the mix they should be hearing,” says Coop. “For the low end, we've been carrying KS28s and K1SB. There's also been some Kara and ARCs with us for the odd infill and side area.
“The brackets and mountings of the system means it's simple to have a group of K2 dealing with the down hangs at larger venues. Their blend with the K1 is just right, plus K2’s variable directivity gives us extra coverage capacity up to 110 degrees, which allows for wider horizontal coverage in the near field when flown under K1.
“SSE have been wonderful at providing the system for us, and adding extra bits such as delays for the much larger rooms - for example The O2 in London. Dan Bennett has been looking after us since day one.
“We're about to head out on our first production tour for the US since 2014. Solotech are providing our package, which currently consists of 24 K1, 32 K2, 12 KS28, 12 K1SB and all the extras. Paul Owen over there has been looking after us and we’re sure it will be just as successful as the European leg.”