LD Craig Allnutt is using an Avolites Diamond 4 console on the current Bloc Party UK and European tour, the band’s first full production tour. “I particularly like the way the desk is set up and the fact that you can patch anything to anywhere,” he says.
Bloc Party has built up a loyal fanbase in the UK alt-rock scene and have worked extensively in Europe and the US throughout the year, leading up to the current autumn tour. Allnutt joined the Bloc Party team in February 2005. He’d been working with Keane and was recommended for the gig by their tour manager.
When using the Diamond 4 for the tour, Allnutt appreciates the multiple timings–that can be applied to any fixture attributes–and the “highlight” function, which allows one fixture’s attributes to be “held” on while any of the others are changed and recorded.
The rig on Bloc Party is slightly asymmetric, which matches the band’s uneven onstage setup. The rig includes two 40’ trusses¬–front and rear–the upstage of which has four truss drop-beams off the bottom rail. There are five truss towers onstage all at different heights, to break up the overall appearance of the space.
The moving lights consist of 11 SGM Giotto 400 Washes and 13 CMY Spots, which are divided between the trusses, towers, and drop beams. Sixteen Atomic strobes are used at full power throughout the set.
Three risers made from frosted Perspex populate the stage. They are internally lit with four Atomics and seven SGM PALCO floods, to color change and strobe the entire riser, transforming them into giant light boxes. Six MR16 light battens are attached to the drop-trusses and five Lowell Omni Photofloods on top of each of the towers.
The front truss features five ETC Source Fours®, four bars of four PARs, and four 4-lite blinders.
Since Allnutt wanted a low-resolution screen at the back, a 34’x16’ Main Light Soft-LED™ makes up the backdrop (supplied by XL Video). Content for eight songs was commissioned and produced by Luc Schurgers, who directed Bloc Party’s “Pioneers” promo video. The Soft-LED sources are stored on and run through a RADlite digital media server triggered by the desk. Allnutt also uses one RADlite onboard tunnel effect in the show.
Allnut also likes the ability to control both lighting and video from one surface with the D4.
Lighting contractors for the tour are Siyan, who supplied the console. The lighting crew are Siyan regulars Andy Melleney and Rob Garner. Tour sound is being supplied by Capital (FOH mixed by Pete Bartlett and monitors by Ryan McLean).