A Steve McQueen themed nightclub turned multifunctional venue in a fashionable part of London was looking for a sound system with audiophile quality. It chose Pioneer Pro Audio’s XY Series.
McQueen in Shoreditch has been a feature of London’s club landscape for ten years. It is named after the American actor Steve McQueen, who was called “The King of Cool”, and whose antihero persona made him a top box-office draw in the 1960s and 1970s, helping him become the highest-paid movie actor in 1974. The multiple award-winning venue has an overall capacity of 650, divided between two principal spaces and a 55-cover restaurant. Its reputation has been built on its ability to stage and attract high-profile events, feature top DJs and deliver excellent hospitality.
Shoreditch continues to grow as one of the capital’s leisure industry hubs and entrepreneur Dezzi McCausland, head of design and concepts at McQueen, is acutely aware of the need to take a progressive view in an evolving and highly competitive market. Recognising a trend towards increasingly multi-functional venues, McCausland used the occasion of the club’s 10th anniversary to re-launch McQueen – updated, upgraded and able to deliver a wider spectrum of entertainment. The core values of popular club nights and excellent hospitality would remain in place, supplemented by more live music, a modern American pool lounge and casino tables. Essential to the design was audio provision that could deliver all the power and quality required in a club setting, as well as possess the versatility to address the needs of the venue’s multi-functional spaces. McQueen chose Pioneer Pro Audio’s XY Series speakers.
McCausland knew what he wanted and wasn’t prepared to compromise. He was seeking audiophile quality throughout and having experimented with other brands, had yet to find what he was looking for. His team was aware of Pioneer Pro Audio and arranged to attend a demonstration. McCausland’s reaction left no room for doubt.
“We were blown away with the quality of the sound that the boxes produce. We want to set McQueen above the bar and maintain its position as the coolest boutique club in London and one of the ways of ensuring that is to embrace the very latest technologies and place them at the heart of our design. High-quality audio is fundamental to everything that goes on at the venue – DJs and performers of the calibre that we present expect nothing less and the same is true of our patrons, whether they are eating, playing pool or enjoying a full-on club night – it has to be the best.”
Cosmic Electronics, whose portfolio of completed installations includes high-profile nightclubs, was engaged to install the systems across the three spaces at McQueen. Under the supervision of technical director Mark Damon, the Cosmic team completed the install in three days.
In the downstairs club area, which hosts promotions such as Cafe Mambo Ibiza and sets by the likes of Melon Bomb, Artful Dodger and Idris Elba, the system comprises 8 x XY-101 10in full range speakers with 2 x XY-115S bass reflex subs, 2 x XY-215S quasi-bandpass subs and 2 x XY-2s. Upstairs in the bar area, where adaptability and versatility are key to the staging live bands and DJs, as well as a range of ambient background music, 8 x XY-81 8in full range speakers with 4 x XY-115S bass reflex subs make up the main system, with portable XPRS 10 full range active speakers deployed as stage monitors. To complete the picture, a further 3 x XY-81 speakers are installed in the restaurant space adjacent to the bar area. The systems are all powered by Powersoft M and K Series amplification.
Pioneer Pro Audio managing director Kei Aikawa said: “The trend towards venues using their spaces for the broadest possible range of events, is clearly on the up. It makes sound economic sense and is a direct response to greater customer demands for multifaceted experiences. Our XY- Series, as is perfectly illustrated at McQueen, is designed to be adapted without compromise to meet this wide variety of applications . Whether it’s a club night, a live band or even a spoken word presentation, the power and consistency of the XY combinations delivers every time. We’re very pleased that Dezzi and his team chose Pioneer Pro Audio for their beautifully designed, award-winning venue.”