LD Bryan Leitch utilised 16 i-Pix BB7 LED wash lights and 20 BB4s in an elegant lighting design for the 2008 BBC Electric Proms, a co-production between the BBC and Metropolis Music, featuring some of the hottest contemporary musical talent on the planet, staged at The Roundhouse in Camden, north London.
Leitch came up with an original design concept that was developed by himself and Nick Whitehouse who produced all the technical drawings and programmed the show together with Leitch.
The design was shaped to fit the natural architecture of the building, accentuating the curves and spheres of the quirky Victorian former train-turning shed. The creative goal was to provide a dynamic multi-layered visual backdrop for the myriad of artists appearing over 5 all-action days of performance, including headline slots by Oasis, Burt Bacharach and The Streets.
All lighting for the Electric Proms event was supplied by High Wycombe-based Siyan for the third consecutive year. The BB7s were primarily placed around the top tier of lighting behind the orchestra and choir, facing forwards and used for highly visible rear effects lighting. “Their distinctive shape and incredible brightness made them ideal for this application,” enthuses Leitch.
They took the opportunity of getting additional variety from the BB7s by changing their position on the rig. For Robin Gibb's lively Saturday Night Fever show featuring all the glitz and glamour of the Disco era, they scattered them all over the stage floor, where they “looked really cool” comments Leitch. For Glaswegian band Glasvegas, who opened for Oasis, the BB7s were rigged on stands placed in a straight line directly upstage of the band which looked “Amazing!”
Eighteen of the BB4s were rigged vertically to the 6 steel house pillars running parallel around the stage area, pulling the superstructure into the overall design and highlighting their form. The BB4s were used both as effects fixtures and also for crowd blinders.
Leitch reckons the BB4 has a big future because of its close resemblance to a standard 4-way linear blinder due to its smoothness and uniform output, rather than a pixelated LED lightsource, plus bringing all the advantages of LED technology like low power consumption. “It's a very good general purpose light and exceptionally versatile” he continues, adding that the vertical or horizontal rigging options are also a bonus.
Siyan purchased their first BB7s in the summer for the Killers tour (LD Steven Douglas), and since then these have also been out on many other shows. They have just bought their first BB4s which will be helping to illuminate the winter season ice rink at Somerset House in central London.