South African stars choose Pearce for sound and lights

19th December 2007

The production team overseeing South African a capella ensemble Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s 35-date UK tour asked Pearce Hire to cover both lighting and sound. Pearce had worked with the band previously, but this was the first time Production Manager and FOH Sound Engineer Jon Picciano and Lighting Designer Tim Speechley had selected the company to supply an integrated production solution.

“Pearce Hire’s equipment has always been to a very high standard and they provide great service so, we invited them to quote for the combined light and sound package,” said Speechley.

Ladysmith has a special place in the affections of the international public, first reaching Western ears on Paul Simon’s Graceland LP in the mid 1980s before becoming part of the soundtrack to the freedom movement as their homeland emerged from apartheid. Having performed everywhere from Nobel Prize ceremonies to the Carnegie Hall, Ladysmith are accustomed to working to the highest production values.

“Our crew, Neil Carson, Richard Oxley and Jimmy Johnson are highly experienced and knew the majority of the venues on this tour,” said Pearce Hire’s managing director Shaun Pearce. “This gives us a strong advantage in the mid-sized touring market, in general. We also have the equipment to suit that level of venues.

“On the production side, it’s a lot easier to deal with just one company,” he continued. “We’ve been able to provide the same high quality for both the lighting and audio for Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A large part of the success of this tour is due to the quality of the staff we employ and we will only take on a project if we are certain we can secure the right personnel for its entire duration.”