• Under The Bridge, Chelsea FC
  • Chelsea FC live venue

Project Team

Sound Technology Ltd, BSS Audio distributor in the UK/ROI, are pleased to announce that a new state-of-the-art Soundweb London signal transport has been installed at new Chelsea FC live venue, Under The Bridge.

When XL Video’s Ian Woodall and Matrix Nine’s Andrew Frengley jointly bid for the installation contract to convert the former Purple Nightclub at Chelsea’s famous Stamford Bridge stadium into the vibrant live music club, Under The Bridge, a BSS digital signal network was chosen to route the audio around the venue — including the highly-specified Green Room and dressing room areas.

Working alongside concept creator, Jim Cafarelli,Ian Woodall in particular drew on his vast BSS London programming skill — deployed during the fit-outs of high-end bars and nightclubs over several generations of the product — while Andrew Frengley, his former Green-I colleague also has wide experience of the platform working in the touring domain.

The overall impact on this 600-capacity faux industrial venue is breathtaking, with every metre of space adding a fresh dynamic to the overall interior.

But such is the multipurpose nature of this venue, the installer was aware that the music would need to function in background playback or ‘walk-in’ mode as well as when a band was in stage action. Via the BSS London BLU digital routing environment, the venue can switch from a conventional L/C/R stage line array preset to a ‘surround’ setting, enabling the 54 tiny micro cube speakers positioned discreetly around the club to ‘envelop’ the guests.

Ian Woodall has been able to use the proprietary HiQnet™ London Architect software and rich palette of logic objects to create his design environment.

To accomplish this, seven Soundweb London BLU-80s have been specified as the main hub, augmented by a pair of BLU-32 configurable I/O expanders, while artistes in each of the two fully-equipped amber and tan Green Rooms can use the BLU-10 wall remotes to change the signal source and volume levels. This home cinema type environment is dominated by a large LCD screen and a Kaleidovision media player, in which iconic images of vintage rock stars (curated by the photographer Jill Furmanovsky) have been digitised and animated.

Although the club operates entirely independently from Chelsea’s Football Club, not only at a management level, but also with its own isolated mains, the installers also wanted a simple recording operation and to be able to piggyback onto the stadium’s broadcast network, commandeering four broadcast fibre camera points. To achieve this, not only with video but also with audio, they have incorporated a full rack of 12 BSS MSR604 active splits.

Said Ian Woodall, “Given the complexity, versatility and priority protocols required it made perfect sense to place this venue within a Soundweb environment. Having watched the development of Soundweb over many years I am fully aware of the system’s capabilities.

”The technical team worked alongside Chris Gleeson, Group Facilities Manager at Chelsea Football Club, and the venue’s Creative Manager, Alan Tenenbaum, while events manager Joanne O’Reilly — working with bookers Full Circle Live — hopes to stage seven or eight events at the venue each month.

A visit to this stunning new venue is de rigueur as Jim Caffarelli — originator of the successful House of Blues concept (which provided the inspiration for Under The Bridge) — has created a real illusion of space. Highlights are the authentic simulation of the industrial theme, with ‘rusted’ steel girders and buttresses; a 6ft high waterfall at the entrance; a carefully-selected mix of some 150 signed rock photographs, which have been intelligently hung around the venue … and most striking of all, the giant mosaics in the toilets — with John Lennon depicted in the Gents and Annie Lennox in the Ladies.

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