About us
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OnStage is one of the most experienced mobile discothèques in the South of England today, having covered thousands of events such as Weddings, Corporate Functions, Balls, Product Promotions and Private Parties throughout the UK.

My name is Wayne and I'd like to share with you a brief history of OnStage, giving you an idea of where we came from, how we started, what we've done and where we are going.

My musical career started at the age of three, when my dad started to teach me to read music and play the trumpet. I would also listen to mum’s records, enjoying artists like Brenda Lee, The Beatles, Millie, Mario Lanza and, of course, Elvis. My mum being Russian, also had a great love of classical music which I also embraced. Just after my fourteenth birthday I joined the Margate Silver Band as a 3rd cornet player and worked my way up. For the next four years I played many types of music, from marches to swing and classical to pop, at all kinds of venues, including Wembley Arena.

At age eleven I started learning to play the guitar. After a short while three of my school friends and I formed a four piece. By the time I had entered college I was playing in various local bands in the Canterbury area and later supported the likes of Marc Bolan and the late John Martyn. I've since gone on to train in classical guitar. In short, I now have a vast knowledge and love of many genres of music from all eras.

My working life started as an electronic technician in the avionics industry. In my spare time, I used the electronic knowledge gained to design and build a complete disco console, including the mixer and light controller. The project cost me a couple of hundred quid, which was a lot of money back then. I decided to start DJ’ing to make a few bob, and since there was no one to learn from I did it the hard way, as usual. OnStage was born.

I eventually stopped playing in bands because I had too much disco work and I couldn't do both. In 1977, the Queen’s silver Jubilee year, I performed 37 gigs in one month! In the intervening 35 years, I have performed at more than 5,000 gigs, got married and had kids.

In 2010, my eldest son Sam, 15, became my permanent roadie and technician. He deals with setting up and running the lighting system. Like me, he plays the guitar and has a love of all types of music. My youngest, James, 10, has still got a few years to go before he can become fully involved, but he’s showing signs of a keen interest in modern dance music, and telling me how big and strong his muscles are.

When I first started this venture, I made a commitment to supply professional entertainment and give an excellent level of service to my clients. It’s a promise I made that I’ve never forgotten.

Not Just a DJ
Back in the 70's disco mixers and equipment to control lighting were almost non-existent, so I had to design and build my own. The lighting controllers I built were ten years ahead of anything else around, this was due to where I worked. In 1975 I was given an experimental Z80 microprocessor which I used in one design. In 1977, I bought 140ft of trussing and loads of old par cans, cannibalising  them to make a lighting rig with just over 400 luminaries. I had to control this lot with something, since I couldn't afford an Avolites or Celco desk, I designed and built my own 60 channel matrix control desk. Over the next seven years I put on some great light shows for many well-known bands.

In 1978 I went to work in London designing nightclubs. This took me to many parts of the world, where I even did guest spots in some well known clubs like Studio 54 in New York. Back then there were no moving lights like we have today so I set about designing and building some. To my knowledge, these were the first two- and three-axis moving light in the world, some eventually found their way into night clubs and pop TV programmes around the world.

Later in1978, while doing a job at the hotel Cala de Volpe in Sardinia, I noticed the walls in my bathroom were all mirrored, so there were lots of me everywhere, going off into the distance. I thought this would look really great if I could achieve the effect in lighting. ZAP! My Eureka moment; the infinity mirror was born. On my return I designed and built one which went into a fancy pub in London. Some Middle Eastern guy saw it and asked me to design and build a 5m x 5m infinity-mirrored dance floor for his club. I took up the challenge and made it with neon and Tivoli lighting inside each section and designed a semi computerised controller for it. It looked mind blowing (Saturday Night Fever eat your heart out).

In 1980 I went back to work with my dad in the photographic and film industry, over the next 30 years my discothèque has gone from strength to strength, achieving some firsts in the industry. Here are just a few:
  • 1974 Designed and prototyped an RGB laser projector. Not being able to afford a patent and develop it further, I shelved it. 25 years later I saw the very same design at the Photokina exhibition in Germany selling for £750,000
  • 1975 Designed and built the world’s first microprocessor lighting controller running 64 lighting channels
  • 1978 Designed and built the first two and three axis moving lights. Designed and built the first infinity mirrors
  • 1979 Bought the first dbx500 Sub Harmonic Synthesiser into the UK and incorporated it into my sound system for some really serious sub bass. I still use it today
  • 1986 Sold all floor mounted lights and mounted lighting on aluminium trussing spanning the staging area
  • 1987 Replaced old fashioned lights with spot and projected lighting, it looked amazing with a little smoke
  • 1990 Did my largest gig, 16,000 party revellers
  • 1992 Developed a computer database to keep track of my music library. Since this was mainly on CD compilations, knowing where the track was on one of over 3,000 CDs each with an average of 20 tracks was a bit of a struggle even for my brain
  • 1995 Started looking for a computer based play out system but without success, until in 2003 when we took out a license for OTS DJ and spent the next year digitising and cataloguing my CD collection
  • 2004 Went 99% digital, although on occasions I will take out vinyl and CDs