The Brudenell Social Club can legitimately claim cult status within the Leeds music scene, having hosted an eclectic mix of international acts including the Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand, Tom Jones and The Smiths in addition to a steady stream of local talent. It started life as a working mans’ club in 1913 and still holds those beginnings close to its heart – in addition to its two large concert rooms it also offers a lounge and games room and hosts local photography, film and origami groups on regular occasions. It now boasts two DiGiCo Quantum 225s as part of its audio arsenal.
With an endless procession of engineers passing through its doors each year, its faithful console of 10 years had seen its share of wear and tear and owner Nathan Clark knew it was time to secure a replacement. He turned to SSE Audio, whose Ryan Thomas takes up the story:
“The Brudenell Social club is a very busy venue. It’s located within the student area of Leeds and in 2019 it hosted two gigs a night for a significant portion of the year, so the gear gets worked very hard. SSE’s relationship started with them ten years ago when they purchased a console from us, and we later upgraded Venue 1 by installing an L-Acoustics PA system in there. Then, five or six years ago, the club built Venue 2 and we installed a d&b audiotechnik system for them.
“I took a DiGiCo Quantum 225 to the venue and they loved it! When we installed the consoles, we also ran a training session for the house engineers, done by our Live Sound Specialist James Baker who’s recently joined us after many years touring. The consoles were supplied in SSE-designed flight cases which include some design tweaks that originate from our own touring work – that highlights something that the client, Nathan, really appreciated, which is the value that SSE adds to projects like this; it’s not a sale transaction only, it’s the relationship side of it, too. Another example is that we’ll provide loan consoles while we do the annual services on the new ones.”
Thomas highlights that the Quantum 225 represents excellent value for money. “The house engineer had been holding out for (and roughly budgeting for) another console, but it wasn’t available when needed,” he says. “In the event, the club was able to buy two Quantum 225s, with all the racks and snakes, for not much more outlay than he was hoping to spend on the console he’d been thinking about.”
Each Quantum 225 was supplied with a DiGiCo MQ-Rack, giving 48 inputs and 24 outputs onstage, linked by a MADI digital snake. James Baker adds, “The DiGiCo 225 ticks all the boxes for the Brudenell – it’s brand new on the market, features DiGiCo’s latest Quantum Engine and even includes the onboard ‘Spice Rack’ effects processing. It can handle up to 72 channels and 36 Aux / Sub Group busses, so has ample channel count for their needs.”
“I purchased the consoles because that’s what the engineers asked for, so I’ve invested in something that’s universally accepted,” concludes Brundenell’s owner, Nathan Clark. “We have hundreds of engineers coming through here every year and they need to be comfortable with what we’ve got. The last console worked really well for us and lasted for ten years, but things have moved on and we need to change with the times. The Quantum 225 has certainly set us up for the future.”