The home of disco entertainment since 1971

ABOUT US

OnStage - A Brief History

Hi

 

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

My musical career started at the age of three, when my dad started teaching me to read music and play the trumpet and where I found a love of 30s and 40s swing. I would also listen to my mum’s records, enjoying artists like Brenda Lee, Millie, Mario Lanza and, of course, Elvis. My mum being Russian, also had a great love of classical music which I also embraced. I know he is German, but Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony is mind blowing, and my favourite classical piece.

 

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 and played songs in the school assembly twice a week.

I had also by now developed a keen interest in electronics and started to build guitar effects and amplifiers.

 

Just after my fourteenth birthday I joined the Margate Silver Band as a 3rd cornet player and worked my way up. For the next three years I played many types of music, from marches to swing and classical to pop, at all kinds of venues in both France and the UK, including Wembley Arena.

 

Shortly after I entered college I quit Margate Silver band because I was playing in various local pop/rock bands in the Canterbury area. In 1971 I started building my first disco unit as a challenge. I did a few discos for friends and family while still playing in bands and this is when OnStage was born. Our band cut a few records and later went on to support the likes of Marc Bolan and the late John Martyn in local gigs. Since then, I've gone on to train in classical and flamenco guitar. As time has gone on, I have amassed a vast knowledge of music and a love of most genres from all eras.

After college, my working life started as an electronic technician in the avionics industry. I used my spare time, and newly gained electronic knowledge to re-design and build a new disco unit, including the mixer and light controller. The project cost me a couple of hundred quid, which was a lot of money back then, so I decided to start DJ’ing to try and make some money back. Since there was no one to learn from I had to do it the hard way, as usual.

 

I eventually stopped playing in bands as I had too much disco work. In 1977, the Queen’s silver Jubilee year, I did 37 gigs in one month, two gigs on many days and one day I even did three.

Having done over 5,000 events since then, I also got married and had kids, as you do.

 

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, had still 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. We don't do budget shows and we don't do standard shows, we only do Premium shows. I wasn't going to cut corners to be cheap; Rolls Royce didn't, Bentley didn't nor did Cartier neither will we. Our clients deserve better now matter where in society they come from.

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 x 1kW 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. I figured a couple of hundred was preferable to £28,000.

 

Over the next seven years I put on some great light shows for many well-known bands: Asward, Simple Minds and Marillion and A Flock of Seagulls to name a few.

 

In 1978 I went to work for a London company, 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 them. 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.

Later in 1978 I was doing a job at the hotel Cala de Volpe in Sardinia. 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 modern infinity mirror was born.

 

On my return I designed and built a prototype using Tivoli lighting, this went into a fancy London pub. Some Middle Eastern guy saw it and asked me to design and build a 36sq.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).

Over the next 30 years my 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

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 Synthesiser for some mega serious sub bass

1980 Club I designed voted worlds best nightclub for technical innovation

1986 Started using lighting mounted on aluminium truss spanning the stage area

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

1992 Developed a database application to keep track of my business; bookings, contracts, assets, 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 play-out system

2019 Revamped entire system, added moving heads, 3 watt RGB lasers and NEXO and QSC sound systems

2020 Covid-19 Struck. All gigs cancelled. Can't wait to get going again

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We'll keep your party rockin'

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© 2021 OnStage Entertainments .

The home of disco entertainment since 1971

ABOUT US

OnStage - A Brief History

My musical career started at the age of three, when my dad started teaching me to read music and play the trumpet and where I found a love of 30s and 40s swing. I would also listen to my mum’s records, enjoying artists like Brenda Lee, Millie, Mario Lanza and, of course, Elvis. My mum being Russian, also had a great love of classical music which I also embraced. I know he is German, but Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony is mind blowing, and my favourite classical piece.

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 and played songs in the school assembly twice a week.

After college, my working life started as an electronic technician in the avionics industry. I used my spare time, and newly gained electronic knowledge to re-design and build a new disco unit, including the mixer and light controller. The project cost me a couple of hundred quid, which was a lot of money then, so I decided to started to DJ to try and make some money back. Since there was no one to teach me I had to do it the hard way.

Eventually, I stopped playing in bands as I had too many discos. In 1977, the Queen’s silver Jubilee year, I did 37 gigs in one month, two on many days and one day I even did three.

Later in 1978 I was doing a job at the hotel Cala de Volpe in Sardinia. 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 modern infinity mirror was born.

On my return I designed and built a prototype using Tivoli lighting, this went into a fancy London pub. Some Middle Eastern guy saw it and asked me to design and build a 36sq.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).

Over the next 30 years my 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

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 - mega serious sub bass

1980 Club I designed voted worlds best nightclub for technical innovation

1986 Started using lighting mounted on aluminium truss spanning the stage area

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

1991 Developed a database app to keep track of my music library

1992 Developed a database app to keep track of my business; bookings & accounts

1997 Started using theatrical pyrotechnics in the show

2003 Went 99% digital using OTS DJ

2007 Bought Denon MIDI/Audio interface to control digital play-out system

2019 Upgrade show - add moving heads, 3 watt RGB lasers & NEXO & QSC sound systems

2020 Covid-19 Struck. All gigs cancelled. Can't wait to get going again

We'll keep your party rockin'
The home of disco entertainment since 1971

ABOUT US

OnStage - A Brief History

Hi

 

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

My musical career started at the age of three, when my dad started teaching me to read music and play the trumpet and where I found a love of 30s and 40s swing.

I would also listen to my mum’s records, enjoying artists like Brenda Lee, Millie, Mario Lanza and, of course, Elvis. My mum being Russian, also had a great love of classical music which I also embraced. I know he is German, but Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony is mind blowing, and my favourite classical piece.

 

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 and played songs in the school assembly twice a week.

I had also by now developed a keen interest in electronics and started to build guitar effects and amplifiers.

 

Just after my fourteenth birthday I joined the Margate Silver Band as a 3rd cornet player and worked my way up. For the next three years I played many types of music, from marches to swing and classical to pop, at all kinds of venues in both France and the UK, including Wembley Arena.

 

Shortly after I entered college I quit Margate Silver band because I was playing in various local pop/rock bands in the Canterbury area. In 1971 I started building my first disco unit as a challenge. I did a few discos for friends and family while still playing in bands and this is when OnStage was born. Our band cut a few records and later went on to support the likes of Marc Bolan and the late John Martyn in local gigs. Since then, I've gone on to train in classical and flamenco guitar. As time has gone on, I have amassed a vast knowledge of music and a love of most genres from all eras.

After college, my working life started as an electronic technician in the avionics industry. I used my spare time, and newly gained electronic knowledge to re-design and build a new disco unit, including the mixer and light controller

The project cost me a couple of hundred quid, which was a lot of money then, so I decided to started to DJ to try and make some money back. Since there was no one to teach me I had to do it the hard way.

Eventually, I stopped playing in bands as I had too many discos. In 1977, the Queen’s silver Jubilee year, I did 37 gigs in one month, two on many days and one day I even did three.

Having done over 5,000 events since then, I also got married and had kids, as you do.

 

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, had still 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.

We don't do budget shows and we don't do standard shows, we only do Premium shows. I wasn't going to cut corners to be cheap; Rolls Royce didn't, Bentley didn't nor did Cartier neither will we. Our clients deserve better now matter where in society they come from.

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 x 1kW 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. I figured a couple of hundred was preferable to £28,000.

 

Over the next seven years I put on some great light shows for many well-known bands: Asward, Simple Minds and Marillion and A Flock of Seagulls to name a few.

 

In 1978 I went to work for a London company, 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 them. 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.

Later in 1978 I was doing a job at the hotel Cala de Volpe in Sardinia. 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 modern infinity mirror was born.

On my return I designed and built a prototype using Tivoli lighting, this went into a fancy London pub. Some Middle Eastern guy saw it and asked me to design and build a 36sq.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).

Over the next 30 years my disco has gone from strength to strength, achieving some firsts in the industry. Here are just a few:

Over the next 30 years my 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

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 Synthesiser for some mega serious sub bass

1980 Club I designed voted worlds best nightclub for technical innovation

1986 Started using lighting mounted on aluminium truss spanning the stage area

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

1992 Developed a database application to keep track of my business; bookings, contracts, assets, 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 play-out system

2019 Revamped entire system, added moving heads, 3 watt RGB lasers and NEXO and QSC sound systems

2020 Covid-19 Struck. All gigs cancelled. Can't wait to get going again

We'll keep your party rockin'
The home of disco entertainment since 1971
We'll keep your party rockin'