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PRO SOUND AWARDS 2014: Kay, Proctor, Lucas and Grant (is not a prog supergroup)

Rather, they're our four Live Engineer of the Year finalists.

Two Adlib FOH engineers are among the live noise boys shortlisted in the Engineer of the Year category of the 2014 Pro Sound Awards.

One is “old-skool analogue” devotee Dave Kay, who is recognised for his work at FOH on Scottish alt-rockers Del Amitri’s 2014 UK tour. For the FOH set-up, he “decided to go retro and analogue with a Midas H3000 console, plus a big rack of outboards,” according to one nominator, “adopt[ing] an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ philosophy.” Kay was also on mixing duty the last time Del Amitri toured, in 2002.

Young Adlib FOH man Sam Proctor (pictured, fourth from left) is also in the running, with nominators drawing particular attention to his work on the Jack Whitehall Gets Around comedy arena tour in March. (For more on Proctor/Adlib on Gets Around, read the audio for comedy feature on page 48 of June 2014’s PSNEurope). Proctor has been FOH engineer at a number of Adlib’s other recent comedy tours, including Sarah Millican and Jimmy Carr, and worked on Mrs Brown’s Boys.

“His strive for perfection, attention to detail, ambition and knowledge is, for a young engineer, exemplary,” explained one nominator, “and to take one […] young, softly-spoken comedian [Whitehall] and enhance him vocally live, from the Glasgow Hydro through to the London O2 Arena, is no mean feat.”

“Jonny is one of the up-and-coming generation of audio engineers,” said an impressed peer when nominating Jonny Lucas, a former Guillemots FOH man who is now with Biffy Clyro. “He excelled at last year’s Reading and Leeds festivals, which were [Biffy Clyro’s] first foray into the A-list festival scene. He did an excellent job at making them sound very good in what we all know are challenging circumstances.”

And last but not least, we’ll leave you with a testimonial for Reay Grant (also described as an “absolute joy to work with” and “completely unflappable” by one eyewitness at Bestival’s Polka Tent), who is ascribed positively superhuman powers in one nomination: “[T]here’s never a sweeter sound than what has been made by the mighty Reay Grant. 30 years’ experience helps, but he’s like a musician with perfect pitch – he just always gets it right…

“[I]n a age when 15-minute festival changeovers are looked at impossible by so many youngbloods, I’ve seen this guy change a 17-piece band in 10 minutes with two feet of mud lapping at the stage door. There is really no better.”