Remember The Hoog!? - We designed, produced and owned this show for three years running here in Edinburgh. It was the largest public indoor Hogmanay party in Scotland with three stages, six bars and tons of entertainment and dancing all night .... Yay!
All work and no play etc etc..... so, those of us that still had some life and creativity left inside of us actually got together the other day to create a musical "album in a night" recording session at Whitespace's offices in town. Talent? For sure... the raw variety. Wanna hear the results? - Well you have to wait. Phil says, each time he does this, it takes him about a year in post production. Slightly different deadlines than our usual client requirements!
I know, I know, the years have treated me well!
It rained every day during the build at Buckingham Palace but it cleared up for the concert which was great news.
All I can say is that we had a first rate crew to make this happen, and, when you're at an internationally huge rock concert built on a central London roundabout going out to a live audience of millions, it certainly helps if a few people on site actually know what they're doing.
A lovely show! Looking forward to the Platinum Jubilee already.
Had to do this selfie - just coz I was standing.... well you can see where I am.
We had considered putting The Queen's National Beacon on the roof of the palace during early discussions - but it just wasn't going to cut it.
We left Madness to do the roof stuff - and everything regarding the National Beacon came back down to earth in the end. Good decision.
Here's how! - I never did get to find out why we did it. But it was cheap, quick and dirty!
What made me smile was that I was told I would never get permission for the stunt and I would also never be allowed to close off a main Edinburgh road during rush hour during Festival time.
My friends, I can do ANYTHING I want. Just so you know.
Field hospitals need proper on site training - Here we see familiarisation with equipment and procedures as directed by our medical doctors for the G20 (Obama's first ever presidential trip to the UK) in Excel in London.
Because we designed and built the whole hospital, we ensured that, as well as nurses and all normal medical support staff, our production staff and engineers underwent the same training.
Here's a sight I rarely see since I'm always a little busy elsewhere in the venue at times like this. Julian Clary made this particular year of Strictly very entertaining for all of us. The perfect "ying" to Craig Revel Horewood's "yang".
Yes, it's true that when I'm directing a big show, I have no time to check my mails and alter my FB status.... but I can sometimes take a good picture!
Here, with my old Canon G11, I managed to capture this great shot at the Albert Hall.
I feel that Christina owes me actually. During rehearsals, one of her special flightcases ripped my Versace jeans!
So, for Dancing on Ice, we had a great fleet of tour buses which never failed to get us where we needed to be around the country. 6 week tour, 45 shows, 13 arena venues - no time to mess around.
So when we go stuck in traffic, the whole show's cast bailed out the bus and went to the O2 in London by tube. How bohemian! How rock n' roll! - Okay, perhaps not, but the things that really WERE rock n'roll I can't tell you about!
Had some fun directing this royal remembrance concert.
I was responsible for the now famous and somewhat extended Ricky Gervais sequence that went on longer than he'd have liked. But it was either that or "dead air". So, with a quick conflab with the BBC, we decided to leave him out there.
Silly things happen on shows like this. As a highly respected event manager once said to me "These shows aren't about slick creativity and entertainment, because from the moment we are on air, it is purely about survival".
Every time I try to get a pic of me and a celeb it never really comes off. I think it's a bit like oil and water. Photographically speaking we just don't mix well! - no hair & makeup for me, or focus for that matter - plus celebrities never invite me to dinner or put my name on speed-dial either.
I did once earn the catchy nickname Spike "friend to the stars" Allibone when I went clubbing with Christopher Biggins, two East Enders Actors, and a retired porn star. So come on the glamour life!
Spike and Mark Sinton take the time to pose in front of Razorlight's drum kit. At least I think it was Razorlight
Not many people believe that there is any better 1st Assistant Director than Iain Patrick.
He's the only guy I've ever met that wears four radios - a total pro!
This was for the second Fashion Rocks gig we did in 2005. For some reason Anya had to come by road but I got to "chopper in" to Monaco because I was directing the show.
My real claim to fame however was to turn down an invitation to Bon Jovi's yacht party after the gig so that I could get a nice early night!
So that was quite rock n' roll - After this somewhat glam extravegance, I got home to find that Karine had booked me into a real flea pit of a B&B in Kings Cross for my next show. When I showed her a picture of the horrible room, she merely said in her lovely French way "Yes, you deserved it".
I challenge anyone to have a job with more variety than an event manager!
Here's our team of lovely ladies that looked after the 70 children from around the world that were hand picked to attend the Harry Potter book launch.
Not only did the kids need to attend a multitude of events around Edinburgh over the three days, they also needed to make the time in one day to read as much of the actual book as they could so that they could interview JK at the end of an action packed weekend.
We had fun staging a press conference with JK Rowling after we'd done the book launch. She had expressly asked for members of the press to be in attendance, but for them to be children only!
No one thought to take a picture of her actually in the nice red velvet chair we bought! - No matter. We got to keep it afterwards though. it's a "conversation piece" whenever people come round.
Oh how we laughed when this turned up on site without us being consulted beforehand! I think we must've had an over-eager entertainment agency or something...
Yes, this is a life size, fire breathing remote control robot horse! Very useful for a lot of the events we have managed over the years. This arrived for the Harry Potter Book Launch we did at Edinburgh Castle in 2005. Lovely big show, live on air to countries around the world, with celebrities, animals, children, explosives, government officials, Hollywood directors - all that...... and then this horse, which, showed up without a risk assessment.
We thought it might be worth a shot at first so our safety manager, Julian Bentley at MRL got it to breathe a few flames for a quick on-site viability test. "Put it back in it's stable please..... right now!"
Here you see Pete, Anya and myself finding a way to keep the sun out of our cocktail party lighting a few floors below.
The purpose of the event was, amongst other things, to promote the new building in Gresham Street in London on behalf of our client who built and owned the place.
I should say though, since the huge glass atrium was one of the main selling points of the office, blacking it out was a slightly odd thing to do
Let's be honest though.... lighting effects are far more important than just boring glass and sunlight!
Below are some more shots of the rig and the end result