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About Us

Hi

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.

Wedding Reception

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.

Disco Party

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 years, I have performed at more than 5,000 gigs, got married and had kids.

In 2010, my eldest son Sam, then 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, then 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.

Disco Party

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 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 Parcans. 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: Asward, Simple Minds and Marillion to name a few.

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 my own. To my knowledge, these were some of 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.

Disco Party

Later in 1978 I was doing a job in Sardinia at the hotel Cala de Volpe. My bathroom walls were all mirrored, I saw myself everywhere, going off into the distance. I thought this would look really great if I could achieve the effect with lights. ZAP! My Eureka moment; the infinity mirror was born. On my return I designed and built one using Tivoli lighting, this went into a fancy pub in Kensington, London. Some Middle Eastern guy saw it and asked me to design and build a 5sq.m. infinity-mirrored dance floor for his club. I took up the challenge and created one using neon and Tivoli lighting inside each 1m. section and designed a semi computerised controller for it. It looked mind blowing (Saturday Night Fever eat your heart out).

In the early 80s, I went back to work with my dad in the photographic and film industry, over the next 30 years my mobile disco has gone from strength to strength, achieving some firsts in the industry. Here are just a few:

  • 1974 Designed and built a prototype RGB laser projector. Probably the worlds first one

  • 1975 Designed and built probably the worlds first microprocessor 64ch lighting controller

  • 1978 Designed and built some of worlds the first two and three axis moving lights

  • 1978 Designed and built the worlds first commercially available disco infinity mirrors

  • 1979 First disco in the UK to use a dbx500 Sub Harmonic Synth for some serious sub bass

  • 1980 Club I designed voted worlds best nightclub for technical innovation

  • 1986 Started using lighting mounted on aluminium truss spanning the staging area

  • 1990 Did my largest mobile gig, 16,000 party revellers

  • 1992 Developed a database app to keep track of my business; bookings, contracts, accounts, music library

  • 1997 Started using theatrical pyrotechnics in the show

  • 2003 Went 99% digital using OTS DJ

  • 2007 Bought Denon MIDI/Audio interface to control digital playout system

  • 2019 Revamped entire system, added moving heads, 3watt RGB lasers and a NEXO sound system