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Yan Stile Signs For Solotech

Yan Stile

Industry stalwart Yan Stile has renewed his contract with Solotech as a Live Production Consultant for the company.

The word legend can be overused, but Yan Stile is exactly that. Anyone whose anecdotes include leaving Madison Square Gardens in a limo with the Grateful Dead has clearly played a key part in the world of live productions.

Yan’s career in music started as a guitarist with the pop band Kenny who achieved chart success in the mid 70s. In 1983 he set up the audio rental company Canegreen with fellow band member Chris Redburn and Pete Edmonds. Chris went on to set up trucking company Redburn Transfer leaving Yan and Pete to build Canegreen.


Kenny artwork from back in the day

From premises in Tottenham, Canegreen grew into one of the leading UK rental houses. One warehouse grew to four as the company built up an enviable client list of artists from the UK and abroad, including acts as diverse as The Grateful Dead, Richard Clayderman and Paul Weller. Yan first met Paul Weller in 1976 and has supported the artist’s solo career throughout, a relationship through that Solotech continues to this day.

Yan Stile

Paul Weller with Yan Stile

Canegreen were instrumental in many developments in live audio. They were an early adopter of Meyer Sound loudspeakers; they developed the first wireless In Ear Monitoring system, resulting in many stars including Rod Stewart, Jeff Beck and Debbie Harry all visiting the Tottenham warehouse.

Aside from technical innovation, Yan Stile has also been key in starting the careers of many leading players within the Live Production industry. He first met Solotech’s UK Director of Global Touring and Special Projects Ian ‘Woody’ Woodall when he was 20, forming Green I, an installation arm of Canegreen. Solotech’s Senior Video Project Manager Paul McCauley started at Canegreen when he was just 16, as did Paul ‘PK’ Knight who is now Warehouse Manager at Solotech’s UK HQ. Dan Seal,now Senior Business Development Manager at Solotech started out at Canegreen and spent many years touring for them, while as the son of Pete Edmonds, Senior Account Manager Luther Edmonds literally grew up in the world of rock and roll – again he started out at the bottom at Canegreen before forging his own career in the industry.

Net Aid 1986 Crew Back row Graham Devonish, Rich Martin, Snake Newton, Paul PK Knight, Damo Dyer, Max Bisgrove  Seamus Fenton, Pete Hughes, unknown, Paul ‘Macca’ McCauley,
Front Row Andrew Frengley, Stuart McKillop, Brandon Rees, Paul Myers

“I was always keen to give opportunities to people starting out in our industry,” commented Yan Stile. “The fact that so many of them have risen to the top of their profession, some with Solotech, some elsewhere, gives me an immense feeling of pride.”

L-R Ian ‘Woody’ Woodall, Yan Stile, Matt Bate, Richard Martin, Andrew Frengley, Pete Edmonds

In the mid noughties, Yan and Pete Edmonds recognised that a merger was the logical route to take Canegreen to the next level. Looking at the options, Yan realised that SSE Audio would be the best alignment with how he wanted the business to develop. The deal was struck and in 2008 Canegreen became part of SSE Audio Group with Yan taking on the role of Hire Director.


Becoming part of SSE Audio Group L-R Yan Stile, Spencer Beard, Heather Penn, John Penn, Pete Edmonds

It was a partnership that opened up new opportunities for the group, including the acquisition of Wigwam, Capital Sound and latterly BCS Audio. As part of the strategy to sell SSE Audio, Yan stepped down as a Director in 2017, moving into the Consultancy role that has just recently been renewed.

Dan Bennett, Head of Audio Sales at Solotech is delighted that Yan has opted to renew his contract: “Yan is one of the most respected, likeable and experienced characters in our industry. He has an address book a mile long and is pivotal in securing so many of the projects that we get to supply. He’s a great ambassador for Solotech and a superb mentor for those just starting out in this industry.”

Yan Stile reflected on his decision, “I’ve no desire to retire, it’s not for me. The industry still excites me just as much as it did 40 years ago. I’m delighted to continue with Solotech and look forward to working with clients old and new for many years to come.”

Now if only we can get him to tell us what happened in that limo all those years ago…

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