New Bradford venue Nightrain chooses HK Audio sound systems


Driven by a vision to deliver a top class venue to cater for the loyal music fans of their home city, Bradford’s Chris Dove, Andy Kettle and Keith Tempest embarked on a mission to find suitable premises.

With support from Bradford Council’s City Centre Growth Scheme they took the bold move to take on the former Yates and Arena sports bar, which takes up most of the length of Queensgate but had stood empty for a number of years.

Six months of determined hard graft and substantial investment by the trio has turned the dream to reality, seeing the site transformed from its former sorry state in to a state-of-the-art 400 capacity music venue.

The resulting Nightrain, named after the Guns N’ Roses classic, plugs the gap between the smaller venues in the city and larger venues such as St George’s Hall.

It is also open throughout the day as a bar and games room, with a state-of-the-art juke box keeping the music rolling when there is no live music or DJ and with plans in place to become the go-to destination hosting after show parties for other gigs in the city.

Live music is the heart and soul of Nightrain, set to host a diverse selection of live acts every week-end and select weekdays. Bands appearing will range from local bands through to famous name touring artists, with acts already booked including The Quireboys, Oliver Dawson Saxon, Uli Jon Roth and Graham Bonnet’s Alcatrazz, plus the best in tribute bands from the UK and beyond including The Guns N Roses Experience and Hi-On Maiden.

Knowing they could rely on the experience of locally based sound and lighting specialists Mike Smith and Brian Glover of Sound Alliance, Mike and Brian were commissioned to design and install an in-house sound and lighting system capable of satisfying the most demanding acts.

Having themselves relied on a variety of solutions from German manufacturer HK Audio for many years, Mike and Brian arranged for all three Directors of Nightrain to accompany them to the demo theatre of JHS, HK Audio’s Leeds based UK Distributor to explore options.

The facility to directly compare various system configurations at JHS proved invaluable and ultimately sealed the deal, with a synchronised smile from all when, after fine tuning numerous possible permutations, they realised they’d arrived at their perfect combination of HK Audio enclosures.

This cemented the decision not to compromise and to allocate the lion’s share of budget to ensuring the sound system would do the venue proud.

Consequently the decision was reached to opt for a ground stacked active system flanking either side of the stage, using enclosures from HK Audio’s Linear series.

Each front of house stack comprises 2 x Linear L SUB 4000A subs augmented by an L SUB 1800A sub, with an L5 112 FA taking care of mid/high duties, using L5TU1 tilt units to angle the tops for optimum audience coverage.

Stage monitoring is handled by 4 x HK Audio Premium PR:O 12 XD & 2 x PR:O 15 XD active monitors.

A set of On-Stage DB500 Di boxes and various Kinsman cables complete the stage set-up, with the system fed and controlled by a digital console and stage boxes.

With Nightrain now fully up and running, all concerned are very happy with the sonic results.

‘Having extensive experience using virtually all options across the HK Audio range, we suggested the Linear 5 range as the ideal starting point’ commented Sound Alliance’s Brian Glover.

‘When the guys opted to go for three subs per side to deliver the desired feel on the bottom end there was a slight concern that a single top box per side may not quite keep up but having now used in situ, we’re happy the system more than delivers with headroom to spare’ added Mike Smith.

Nightrain’s Keith Tempest commented ‘The quality is exceptional. Wherever you are in the room, the clarity is there – crystal clear from front to back’.

Chris Dove and Andy Kettle added ‘you not only hear the music so clearly – you feel it!’ The decision to add two more L SUB 4000A subs than originally planned really makes the difference’.

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HK Audio is exclusively distributed in the UK & ROI by JHS