Leading UK rental company HSL continues its busy concert touring season supplying lighting and video projectors to the latest leg of the Brit Floyd UK tour - a brand new show celebrating the musical legacy of legendary progressive rock band, Pink Floyd - which plays London's O2 Arena this coming week.
Brit Floyd under the musical and creative direction of Damian Darlington is hailed as one of the most authentic Pink Floyd tribute bands. A spectacularly Floydesque style lightshow which is equally as original in its own right, has been co-designed by Dave Hill and Neil Trenell, with Trenell going out on the road operating.
The project is managed for Blackburn based HSL by Mike Oates who says, "Supplying a Pink Floyd show of any description is a lighting company's dream, considering they were such great technical innovators and responsible for evolving the whole concept of integrated visuals into a powerful, emotive, experience. In the process, they put the whole idea of touring and show 'production values' on the map".
He adds that the real challenge - as with any tribute show, but particularly this one - is to "Ensure it's every bit as enjoyable and good looking as the real thing would have been for the audience - but with a fraction of the kit that they would have used".
It is a task at which Hill and Trenell excelled on the tour
Taking it's visual inspiration from the Pink Floyd's landmark 1994 "Pulse" tour, the structural appearance of the stage is based around a 15 metre wide arch made from A-type trussing, with 2.5 metres of spreaders in the middle, and a projection screen upstage masked to fit the shape of the arch.
Also upstage (and fitted inside) of the arch is a 6 metre diameter circular truss with a stretched projection screen. Both the circle and the arch trussing provide the main lighting positions, together with a front truss, with the remainder of the fixtures deployed on the deck.
The key to the lighting design is optimizing the rig to create lots of depth and a sense of 'largeness', making it go a long way and still keeping plenty of surprises in store for each number and the end section, which builds to a crescendo with the classics "Bricks", "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell".
The lighting also has to compliment the stunning video projections onto both the circle and arch, which were custom created by Bryan Kolupski.
All the moving lights are Robe ROBINs.
Curving elegantly around the arch are 22 x Robe ROBIN 300 Beams - a fabulous fit with their small size and punchy output - plus 9 x 2-cell Moles and 5 Martin Professional Atomic strobes. The trussing is toned with 12 x i-Pix Satellite LED 'bricks'.
Around the perimeter of the circle are another 16 x Robe ROBIN 300 Beams, together with 8 x 2-cell Moles and 8 x Satellites, again to highlight the metalwork.
On the front truss are 4 Robe ROBIN 600 Spots and 5 x ROBIN 600 Washes to cover the stage, with 10 x ETC Source Four profiles for key lighting the band, which usually features a line up of 9 or 10 people. The 3 x Sanyo XF47 projectors (one for the circle and two for the arch) are also hung on the front truss.
The rest of the lights are on the floor - 8 x Robe ROBIN 600 Spots arcing around the upstage edge look great for aerial and gobo effects, in the process giving many higher powered fixtures a good run for their money! Ten Jarags are positioned in between the backline and used for a variety of effects throughout the set, and there are also 4 Atomic strobes and 22 short nosed PARS on the deck, including a run of PARs across the front of the stage.
Trenell runs the show from an MA Lighting grandMA2 full size console, which also fires 2 x Hippotizer media servers playing out all the video content to both screens, which is present through 85% of the performance.
While the overall concept for the design was to replicate the style and feel of the "Pulse" phenomenon, some new and contemporary Floydesque elements were introduced to both lighting and the video content.
Trenell loves the Robe ROBINs. HSL's hire stock has a large amount in all sizes across the range, and he was among the first LDs to spec them after HSL made their first purchase last year. Since then, he's used them on many of his design company, Fix8's major shows. "They are reliable, very bright and quick," he comments, adding that there are also a lot of nice features like the 2 gobo wheels (static and rotating) which are very useful for building a Floyd style show.
The Jarags are used for a selection of looks - from subtle, spangley chases to big blinding apocalyptic moments - and also to help close down the stage space when needed, making it into a small and intimate black box theatre environment, and a complete contrast to the arena style psychedelic rock oeuvre!
It's clear from seeing the show, that some serious creative enthusiasm went in to producing an innovative mix of classical Floyd visuality utilizing modern imagineering.
Trenell has worked with HSL on many occasions, and says, "HSL has been brilliant as always - their levels of service are first class, the kit is in perfect condition, the crew and staff are fabulous, friendly and very knowledgeable people …. and Mike is amazing. Everything happens like clockwork - nothing is ever too much trouble!"
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