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Bringing the Sound of Bob Marley to London’s West End

Sound designer Tony Gayle tackled audio for the West End's new Bob Marley musical, the appropriately named 'Get Up Stand Up.'

The West End’s new musical, ‘Get Up Stand Up.’

London, UK (February 28, 2022)—More than 40 years after his passing, Bob Marley’s musical message of peace and spirituality lives on, inspiring new generations with classics like “Exodus,” “No Woman No Cry,” “Three Little Birds,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Could You Be Loved” and others. With that in mind, London’s West End has a new musical theater production that tells his story, the appropriately named Get Up Stand Up! Ensuring audiences at the Lyric Theatre hear every note, sound designer Tony Gayle requested that the show’s producers hire theater audio providers Stage Sound Services to deploy a complete JBL Professional theater audio solution consisting of JBL VTX Series line array loudspeakers and Crown I-Tech HD Series amplifiers.

“I made Bob Marley the focus of my design, because it’s the music that creates the emotions,” said Gayle. “The main reason I wanted to use the VTX A8 was I knew that whatever source went in, it would leave sounding the same; it’s a very transparent box. The show gets very big and loud, but we wanted the sound to be nice and smooth [and] it’s a natural-sounding speaker. The sound played a big role in telling the story—you can see the audience when the first kick drum hits; they feel it in their chest. As soon as they hear a song they love, people stand up ready to clap and sing along. The show isn’t trying to be polished like a studio album; it feels like a live gig. We achieved that by using the right sound system.”

The Journey of Jagged Little Pill

Stage Sound Services recently acquired the JBL VTX A8 line array speakers and B18 subwoofers used in the production. Get Up Stand Up! marks the first time a JBL VTX system has been used in a West End theater production. The team also deployed Crown I-Tech 4×3500 HD amplifiers to power the JBL speakers and subwoofers.