Lighting industry personality, maverick, and party-person Steve Warren--also sales director of Avolites Ltd.--made a rare live appearance as RADlite digital Media Server operator for the recent Hadley vs. Cox gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London. He was hired by LD Dave Gibbon.
Warren is more usually seen at trade shows and on sales missions around the world, flying the flag for the Avolites sales team. He comments, “It’s great to get hands-on with actual show operation. I have to admit I was nervous before the show, as this is the first time I have been hired professionally as a RADlite operator, but once it got going, I got into my stride”.
Hadley vs Cox was devised by 1980’s superstars Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet and Pete Cox of Go West, featuring all the hits and more from that New Romantic and Electronic eras of pop music. The two artists have worked together on many occasions recently, including last year’s Here and Now tour and the Re-Born in the USA tour. Hadley has also just finished a four-month UK theatre tour, for which Gibbon was the LD.
Warren used an Avolites Azure to operate the RADlite system. Gibbon originally decided on the RADlite (and projector) to run the show’s specially devised 90-second video opening sequence. This emulated the start of the cult TV series The Persuaders, but in a Hadley & Cox context.
Gibbon then thought that, as he had the hardware and the RADlite there, he would take full advantage, and use it for the rest of the show. He approached Steve Warren in his Luminosity Sales capacity to supply the RADlite system, and then asked Warren if he would be up for operating for the evening? Warren was characteristically enthusiastic.
The opening sequence material included still photos and press cuttings from the childhoods and early careers of the two stars. These were gathered from personal, management and public archives and sent to Emma Long at IRAD, RADlite’s developers, who scanned them and sent a CD to Warren and Gibbon. From there, they compiled the sequence the night before at Avolites.
On the gig day, time was incredibly tight, as the two-part show started at 7.30, and it was the first time Hadley and Cox had ever performed this specific show live. Gibbon also asked Andy Emerson to join the FOH team, to programme and look after the house moving lights, which he did using the in-house Avo Pearl console. With Gibbon operating the rest of the house lighting rig with an Avo Sapphire--it was a hat-trick of Avolites consoles.
Gibbon and Warren used extensive images and patterns from the onboard RADlite digital effects library for the rest of the show, ranging from triply psychedelic numbers to blocks of saturated colours to graphic animations and more literal video sequences involving manipulated newspaper headlines.
Using the RADlite certainly transformed what would have been an average flat looking in-house lighting show into something dynamic and different, says Gibbon, who adds, “It took the show into another dimension."
Warren proclaims, “As a sales person, it’s a valuable experiences to use your products hands on – just like your customers! The show was brilliant to work on with Dave and Andy, and also giving me great insight into both products – the RADlIte and the Azure – that will be invaluable for their ongoing development”.