Bandit Lites UK is supplying full lighting production and crew to the current Travis tour, promoting their latest album, The Boy with No Name.
This is their first tour in three years. Bandit chief executive, Lester Cobrin has previously worked with Travis and comments, “Travis is a band of outstanding talent and I am truly looking forward to working with them again here at Bandit.”
Long-time Travis lighting designer Matt Jensen created a crisp, clean style for this show—essentially a theatrical vehicle with some contemporary twists—including lots of soft washes and iris focuses.
Lead singer Fran Healy took a relatively active role in the initial lighting brief, and then left Jensen to develop the show from there.
The lighting features a slightly retro PAR can feel—a soft edged, tungsteny affair—and staying true to the design theme, Jensen did not incorporate any gobos.
He began the design process during three gigs earlier this year that “tested the water.” From that, the raw, stripped-back and minimalist stage look evolved as a creative concept, leaving plenty of scope for the band to appropriate the environment with their new songs and overall performance.
With extremely limited programming time—just one overnight session at Grimsby Auditorium the day before the first show of the tour—Jensen had his work cut out to get everything recorded into his WholeHog II console. With the great assortment of venues this tour, flexibility was also a key component in the rig design. The floor-based elements, for example, were designed to be taken on the band’s festival dates this summer.
Bandit is supplying three trusses: front, mid, and back, populated with 36 Martin Professional MAC 2K Washes and Profiles, which Jensen comments, “are great workhorse units.”
There are also seven 4-lite Moles and 3 Dinos on floor stands (6 x 4 way pods of 240V CP61 PARs) complete with scrollers, which are easily one of the brightest lightsources of their type available. These are used to provide big, bold blocks of light upstage of the band, creating dramatic silhouette effects. They are also extremely versatile as effects lights, and can be used for 4-lite looks and in combination with all sorts of interesting chase patterns. Also on the floor are 4 vertical sections of A-type truss with MAC 2K washes on top.
Four bars of 6 PARs all feature Wybron scrollers, two located on the rear truss and two on the floor, and there are 5 Source Fours on the front truss for key lighting. Six Martin Atomic Strobes complete the lighting equipment list.
Jensen made the conscious decision not to use follow spots, stating, “[Travis] is not a follow spot sort of show. It’s much harsher than that”.
The dimmers are all Avolites, the Dinos having their own dedicated 72 way rack.
Jensen is happy to be working with Lester again and cannot praise Bandit enough, "They have looked after me really well," he states. "Paying great attention to detail and ensuring everything is done just right. All of the gear has worked well so there's actually been minimal contact with the office – which is the way it should be!"
Bandit’s Travis crew are Dom Martin and Craig MacDonald.