LD Steve Sommerville has been using an Avolites Sapphire 2000 console for the latest tour by British indie rock band Gomez. The group's In Our Gun tour has just finished its UK leg. This is the first time Sommerville has toured with an Avo desk, although he's used Pearls on numerous other occasions. The Sapphire proved a success. For a start, he found it quick and easy to learn, specially after using the Pearl--the Sapphire features the same logical and intuitive operating system and programming structure.

Sommerville chose a Sapphire over a Pearl for this tour because of its additional power and capacity. "Everything you need is right at hand on the Sapphire," he says. "The page selection is great, and there's plenty of faders so you don't have to change pages to select individual lamps--it's all at your fingertips. It's also a great desk for improvisational moments."

Sommerville has worked for Gomez ever since the band was supporting Embrace, which he also designs for. This time he went for a different look, concentrating on a more purist lighting aesthetic without video. The rig, supplied by Vari-Lite Europe, consisted of a box truss flown lower at the upstage end. Instruments included a mix of 30 Vari*Lite® VL5s™ and VL6s™, plus assorted PARs and ETC Source Fours, all divided between truss and floor and controlled from the Sapphire.

A gauze hung off the back truss revealed a UV backdrop at strategic points in the show. For extra visual interest, six vertically rotating half mirror balls plus some blinders were mounted on tank traps. The dynamic lighting picture was completed with a scattering of strobes.