Lighting Designer Andy Moore used 70 Chroma-Q™ Color Blocks in his design for the final Jamie Cullum UK tour dates at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
After touring almost non-stop to promote second album Twentysomething, Cullum has become the biggest selling UK jazz artist ever. The latest 2005/2006 European tour, to support the singer’s third album Catching Tales, kicked off with more than a dozen dates in the UK and Ireland before moving to Europe.
The tour’s production lighting is provided by master contractor Kevin Ludlam of Zig Zag Lighting (London), in collaboration with Neil Hunt of Zig Zag Lighting Ltd in Leeds. The tour was rigged by Hadyn Thomas (Up There Rigging).
When Moore was looking to create some general stage wash lighting in a variety of colors using audience blinders fitted with color changers, Hunt and Ludlam suggested he could achieve a better, richer range of colours with added flexibility and reliability from one of the latest color-mixing LED fixtures.
After considering various products, the lighting team chose the Chroma-Q™ Color Block DB4 on account of its high brightness, modularity, and compact design. “We considered other LED products for this tour, but they just didn’t offer the same flexibility as the Color Block in terms of our requirements," Ludlam says. "As well as using it at various angles to provide the main stage colouring, we’ve been able to use it for discreet lighting inside the piano and across the front of the stage as footlights.”
Having gotten to grips with the Color Block’s capabilities on the rest of the UK dates, Moore decided to add a further 30 units to the tour rig for the final two dates at the Royal Albert Hall to really complement the aesthetics of the prestigious venue. “Originally the idea was to just use Color Blocks for wash lighting the stage, but once I started playing with them I realized I could achieve much more visual impact by dotting them around the stage and using them to create some interesting colored strobes and chases, all from the impressive built in effects engine,” Moore says.
The full lighting rig for the Royal Albert Hall dates consisted of three overhead trusses containing 50 Color Blocks, eight Tour Spots, 48 Pars, and six ETC Source Four profiles. Additionally, a video screen truss contains five Color Blocks, three Color Blocks are inside the piano, and 12 Color Blocks, four Tourspots and four Tourwashes are around the sides and front of the stage. Control was provided by an Avolites Pearl desk. Hunt was also impressed by the Color Block from a rentals viewpoint, seeing it as the ideal fit with LED pixel mapping software as units could be easily configured in various shapes and pixels assigned to each block’s four RGB LED cells. This led him to invest in the 40 units used on the tour as permanent rental stock, sourcing the units from the Northern sales office of exclusive distributor, A.C. Lighting.