Will o the wisp


Lighter than air, Lily Allen somehow seems to float above her songs; her girlish voice a tantalising wisp on the airwaves. That lightness and charm belies her work as wordsmith, hers is a young innocent voice that imparts knowing lyrics in sometimes coarse street-slang, songs about all the issues a woman in 21st century Britain confronts. It's captivating stuff, but in the live context has to be treated with due care.

For her short tour of the UK before Christmas, her regular sound engineer Shan Hira was obliged, through prior commitments, to hand the reins to his colleague Sam Parker (he has since passed the gig to Parker permanently). That didn't mean a change of PA; Skan PA Hire Ltd provided a J-Series loudspeaker system, with elements from the Q-Series for front fills. "I have always wanted to tour this system," said Parker. "I toured the Q-Series many times but this is my first experience touring with J. I have used it before but only at festivals and one offs. I really like the smoothness of the sound." Parker has Scott Essen, Skan's system tech to thank for a well set up PA. "We walk the room together in the afternoon; Scott has got to know what I'm listening for and using the R1 Remote control software tidies up if needed when the audience are in and we get started."

The show is very much focussed on Allen's delightful vocals, Parker taking care to never loose touch with that distinct Allen quality. Compared to many artists, Allen's vocal performance makes for a refreshing change of listening experience; Parker is certainly enjoying the whole experience. "This was my first time working with Skan and the J-Series and I'm very happy, I think they're first class."

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