August 20th 2022

Career advice and inspiration: Andy Dockerty, Managing Director of Adlib Audio Ltd

My role(s):

As MD of Adlib, I monitor elements of the business such as finances, commercial rental teams, installation and dry sales teams and the repairs and maintenance departments.

I am actively involved in the warehouse operations, design, health and safety, as well as development of the youngsters who wish to be touring technicians.

What do you love most about your job?

I absolutely love mixing ‘front of house’ sound for live bands. This is something I have done since I was 16, and have been lucky enough to travel the world numerous times working with some great artistes.

Today, the part of the job I love the most is passing on those experiences to help the new generation of engineers’ progress.

Tell us something about your role that many people wouldn’t know?

I still load the trucks… occasionally!

What was your first move into / experience of the music industry?

My first experience was working for my mate Roy Martin’s band from school, for a record label showcase in The Coconut Grove in West Derby (now a flat piece of land). This would have been about 1978 and I caught the industry bug that day.

Explain a defining moment/role in your career?

There are a few that stick out:

  • Setting up Adlib in 1984 when I was made redundant from my then day job as an electrician.
  • In 1993, getting the call to go and mix for a band called Texas who I then travelled around the world with.
  • In 2003 I secured the PA contract to supply all the audio for David Bowie’s Reality tour across Europe and the UK. The last tour he ever did.

What three pieces of advice you would give to your 16 year old self, aspiring to follow a similar career path (include relevant work experience, networking, professional qualifications etc)?

  1. Really want to do it and have the passion and the work ethic required to succeed. Be focussed about what you want to do and be. Communication skills are essential.
  2. Explore all the routes into the industry. Practical experience is essential; try to get work experience opportunities and don’t be pushed down educational routes that are irrelevant and not recognised by the industry.
  3. Take every practical opportunity to learn and ask questions. No question is stupid. Be humble and never assume anything…Always either know the right answer or ask the question. If you make a mistake admit it immediately, you will be thought of a lot more for that than being “found out” later… and we all make mistakes so do not fear them.