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In 1997, Keane (Tom Chaplin, vocals; Tim Rice-Oxley, keyboards/bass; and Richard Hughes, drums) began writing and recording original music. After several

Tom Chaplin, vocals

In 1997, Keane (Tom Chaplin, vocals; Tim Rice-Oxley, keyboards/bass; and Richard Hughes, drums) began writing and recording original music. After several years of gigging around North London, there came one fateful day when Fierce Panda’s Simon Williams took notice of them at a club date and offered to issue their first single on the spot. The rest is history. Shortly thereafter, their debut album, Hopes and Fears, started to take shape, and in true indie fashion, Keane immediately began playing through the UK again. Mix caught up with the three-piece on their current U.S. small-theater tour at Berkeley, Calif.’s Community Theatre in early May.

For this leg of the tour, the band is relying on gear supplied by Eighth Day Sound (Highland Heights, Ohio, using SKAN in the UK), including a dV-DOSC flown array (though it is sometimes stacked) with d&b frontfills. According to front-of-house engineer Iain Slater, the amount of boxes and configuration depends on the capacity and shape of the room in which the band plays. “It’s very flexible and the boxes are small, which is nice,” Slater says. “We are using Avalon VT737s on the vocals, Summit DCL 200s on the piano channels, the usual suspects on the drums, gate wise, with [dbx] 1066s chained. We use a Distressor on the bass channel, which gives a particularly smooth bass sound that is hard to describe but is very nice!

Front-of-house engineer
Iain Slater at the Midas XL4

“There is a certain amount of programming live,” he continues. “Tim [Chaplin, who also plays piano on tour and played bass on the record] has it running in Logic on the Mac. We have a lovely touring party, especially Ant Carr — the best FOH system tech of all time!”

This tour is monitor engineer Alastair Artingstall’s first time out with a Yamaha PM5D console, citing the board’s well-laid-out control surface and not having to use external preamps as plusses; he used a DM2000 on the last two tours. “I am definitely a convert to the digital revolution, especially in festival situations,” Artingstall says. “Not having to set up a batch of in-ear mixes blind in the half-hour changeover before a festival show has removed a good deal of stress.

Monitor engineer
Alastair Artingstall

“I tend toward the less-is-more school of thought when it comes to gear,” he continues, “though I have just used the internal gates on the PM5D to hold the rack and floor tom ring back a little, but only because I could rather than because I needed to.”

Both Tom Chaplin and Rice-Oxley sing through Sennheiser-supplied 935s. “We tried out some before last year’s UK production tour, and Iain and I became instant converts.” Drummer Richard Hughes’ set is miked mostly with Sennheiser models — 604 and 602 — with a Shure 57 on snare top, Beta 57 on snare bottom, and a 91 and 421 on kick.

Tim Rice-Oxley, keyboards/bass

According to Artingstall, the band and crew are on Sennheiser G2 in-ear monitors. “The band really likes the packs and they’re small enough to be nonintrusive. I like them for the easy scanning feature and reliability.

“I want to thank Eighth Day Sound for supplying the U.S. production equipment and the wonderful Ant Carr and Maria Sevilla [monitor system tech, Eighth Day Sound] for getting the system up and running every day — and for still smiling by the end of the night.”

Richard Hughes, drums


Scott Johnson, drum tech/stage manager

Geoff Kakoschke, keyboard/computer tech

Dermot Lynch, production manager

Colin Davies, tour manager