Bandit Lites is supplying lighting production for the first solo UK tour of British heartthrob Brian McFadden, a former Westlife member.

The tour promotes McFadden’s Irish Son album, and as his musical direction has changed since his exit from Westlife, so too has the direction of his concert design. Lighting designer Arturo Ollandini was asked to make the lighting rocky and raw to suit McFadden’s gritty new style and his dynamics as a solo performer. "There’s plenty of creative scope", says Ollandini, who had free range with the design. "The set really rocks out one minute, gets bluesy and ballady the next, and also gets stripped back at times to just [McFadden] and his acoustic guitar."

Ollandini needed to design a rig that was easy to install, be small enough to fit in half a truck, and be adaptable for a variety of venues–from 1,100 to 4,000 person capacity–all on a limited budget.

Ollandini wanted a clean-styled rig with definite lines. "I wanted to avoid any clichés," he emphasizes. Bandit Lites supplied a two-truss rig. The front truss features Martin MAC 2000 Performance fixtures used to light and project gobos onto a grey, crushed velvet back drape located upstage and MAC 500 Profile fixtures used for the key lighting of McFadden and the five musicians in his band.

The 40’ rear truss has four legs of mini-beam hung vertically downwards, which provides the look of a contemporary metalwork matrix. Attached to each leg are Pulsar ChromaBank LED strips, MAC 500 and MAC600 moving lights, and at the top of each leg are ChromaQ ColorBlocks used as truss toners. In the gap between each of the four vertical legs, hanging off the back truss, are more MAC 500s and MAC 600s.

The fixture count is completed with additional MAC 500s on the floor. Bandit is also supplying two Lycian 1200w HMI followspots. Ollandini runs the show using a WholeHog® II console–his desk of choice–and works alongside lighting technician Martin Garnish.

The crushed velvet drape gives the stage a textured and dimensional aspect and effectively enlarges the stage space. Along with the gobo work from the MAC 2000 Performances, the drape is color washed with the back-truss Mac 600s.

Ollandini chose bold, simple color combinations. The first song is lit entirely in white with lots of strobe effects. This gets the set off to the edgy start required. For the country music-style "Up and Down," Ollandini maximizes the Chroma Banks.

For the production, Bandit’s Lester Cobrin is working with Production North. Bandit has also supplied all of Westlife’s tours to date.

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