DHP Family is an award winning live music venue operator and concert promoter with a portfolio of eight venues across three cities in the UK. The latest addition is Borderline in Soho, an intimate basement live music venue tucked away on Orange Yard, less than 400yds from London’s Oxford Street.
DHP first took possession of Borderline in October 2016. From the outset it quickly became apparent that while the venue had an iconic reputation with artists and punters alike, it fell short on many counts for the standards DHP pride themselves on, particularly from an audio perspective.
Technical Manager at DHP Dave McVea explained, “The audio system was an eclectic mix of gear that had clearly been amassed over a period of time. While it did the job, there was no real design to the system. We’re proud that our venues have a reputation for excellent audio so clearly we needed to change that. We managed to acquire Borderline with a long lease so that meant it was viable for us to invest in a complete refurbishment of the venue."
SSE Installations has now worked on several projects for DHP including Rock City, Thekla, Oslo, Rescue Rooms and The Garage.
Borderline closed its doors on 23rd December after a busy run up to Christmas. A complete strip out commenced between Christmas and New Year, prior to building contractors moving in the first week of January. Dave McVea commented, “This wasn’t just an audio refit, we’ve moved the bar, increased the floor space and renovated the whole venue.”
SSE Sales Director Alex Penn first visited Borderline in late October 2016 and having seen the venue and the upgrade plans specified an L-Acoustics ARCS WIFO package. One L-Acoustics ARCS Focus and one ARCS wide per side have been flown from the ceiling while six SB18 sub woofers have been installed in recesseses under the stage apron. A single flown L-Acoustics 12XT provides centre fill and X8 cabinets have been installed in the lounge area as infill.
A Soundweb controller manages the EQ and level control for the system while a custom touch screen Graphical User Interface installed at Front of House enables venue staff to manage individual levels and signal sources throughout the venue.
At Front of House SSE has installed a Midas M32 digital mixing console, linked to a Midas DL32 providing 32 inputs and 16 outputs on stage. A monitor package of five L-Acoustics X12 wedge monitors and an additional X12 with an SB15M for drum fill was supplied as part of the system. The PA and monitor package is powered by just two L-Acoustics LA8 and two LA4X amplifiers installed off stage in a 19 inch rack with custom panel work.
Dave McVea is delighted with the new system, “Once again SSE Audio has installed a PA system for us which delivers hifi quality throughout the venue. DHP Family have very much gone down the L-Acoustics route across our venues, this is because not only does it deliver superb audio quality but it’s incredibly robust.”
“For example if you take Nottingham's Rock City. SSE installed an L-Acoustics dV-DOSC system there in 2009. We have the equipment serviced annually by SSE. Last time Adrian ‘Bonzo’ Knight and his team came down to Nottingham they stripped the entire system down. As part of that exercise they replaced a single HF unit in one dV-DOSC cabinet - not because it had blown but because they found it wasn’t quite performing correctly. That’s the first driver to be replaced there in nine years which is testimony to the durability of the equipment but also the initial system design and setup by SSE."
Borderline reopened on March 16th, with the refurbishment taking just twelve weeks. “SSE, along with all the contractors on site, pulled out all the stops to ensure this project was delivered on time,” commented Dave McVea. "We had issues with the ceiling not being able to take the loads from the designated flying points but everyone on site worked together to provide a solution. The service we have had from SSE, particularly from Paul Lambert who project managed the installation has been superb."
Dave McVea added "It’s great working with SSE Installations, as whether the project we’re working on is in the capital, or in our home town of Nottingham, we have support from a local branch. This aids us with support downstream, but also helps to keep the installation costs under control by using local labour, and SSE have regular transports between their HQ in Redditch and their London warehouse in Park Royal which they don’t charge for."
"Another challenge of Borderline was complying with the consultants specification for audio isolation. SSE supplied all the parts to isolate the installed system from the building structure helping us to comply with our license restrictions."
Over the years Borderline has played host to some of the biggest artists of the rock world including Rage Against the Machine, Blondie and Mick Jagger. With this latest refurbishment it is now well equipped to host many more acts in the years to come.
For further details contact SSE Installations: