End of The Road(House)
Jay Beard
Head of Live Sound
Last Update: 19.06.15
On Tour With Elbow: Another Sunrise With My Sad Captains
SSR Manchester - Jay Beard, Head of Live Sound

POSTED ON – 25.03.15

End of The Road(House)

I was saddened to hear this week that Manchester venue The Roadhouse will be closing its doors for the last time this summer. This venue as you may well have read elsewhere was the proving ground for many people (including some SSR students) and I’m happy to be one of the number who, having started in the Roadhouse, have gone on to develop an exciting career.

My first memory of the place was when I was working for Steve Lloyd’s PA company Noise Box (now being run by SSR alumni James Clamp) and as Steve was a co-owner of the club we would sometimes pop in for a late night pint once we’d finished our gigs. It was on those nights that I first got to know Katie (Steve’s business partner) and when I first met the Elbow boys who were usually sweeping up before finishing their shift for the night.

From then on I became a regular for a good few years, and would sometimes be a customer and occasionally be the in-house sound engineer. I remember being short of work for a few months one year and I asked Katie if she had any bar work. She didn’t at the time but she did offer me a way to earn some cash. Not all of you will know but there is a kitchen in the Roadhouse but it rarely gets used. On those nights that a touring act would play the Roadhouse, Katie would give the band and crew £5.00 ‘buy out’ money so they could get some food. She offered me that £5 per head and I instead bought ingredients and cooked for the touring parties, making a little profit in the deal.

I saw Blink 182, Muse, Gay Dad, Dust Junkies, and of course Elbow perform there, but my fondest memories are of the legendary Roadhouse Staff Christmas Parties, to which all staff members past and present were always invited and most often attended.

For me it will be the end of an era and I’m sure the Manchester music scene will be worse off without it. For music lovers, bands artists and sound engineers, The Roadhouse was more than a venue, it was an institution.

I’m not sure when the photo below was taken but I would guess late 90s or early 00s. It shows Tom Piper (Elbow’s Tour Manager) Rose Durban (Elbow’s FoH at the time) Steve Lloyd (Roadhouse part owner) and me in an “early Roadhouse décor” surrounding. You can clearly see everyone is having a good time but can you tell which one is me, and can you spot a young Guy Garvey in the background?

Jay Beard

POSTED ON – 19.06.15

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End of The Road(House)

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Jay is SSR’s Head of Live Sound and joined the school after 10 years on the road as a touring live sound engineer. He has travelled the world many times over, working for top bands such as Doves, Elbow and Snow Patrol, gaining a vast experience of live sound engineering, event production and touring.

Using his well-established connections and contacts within the industry, Jay is able to stay abreast of the technical advancements taking place in the industry and set up numerous guest lectures and site visits to major venues and festivals for our students. Previous production tours and sound check experiences have included Elbow, Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Kate Nash, Westlife and Girls Aloud at a variety of venues including the MEN Arena, Manchester Central and Manchester Academy.

Jay was one of the first people in the world to become an Avid Certified Venue Operator and Instructor, enabling him to deliver official Avid training on the D-Show live mixing console housed at SSR.

Jay brings his vast experience of live sound to SSR students, giving them a real world insight into the workings of this fast changing industry. He has brought some great guest lecturers into SSR and has helped many of our students get their first jobs in the industry.

Jay is still active within the live events industry, enjoying helping up-and-coming bands with their stage productions and helping local music festivals and community enterprises get off the ground.

If you require any advice on live sound or music for an event, feel free to get in touch!