Bandit Lites continued to rock with Status Quo at the NEC in Birmingham for their live “SQ40” DVD shoot--recording footage for the upcoming DVD marking their fortieth anniversary tour.
Bandit supplied lighting designer Patrick Marks with Quo’s full touring rig for the one-off event, plus a large audience system comprising of seven trusses and over 300 additional lights. The event was project managed by Bandit’s Lester Cobrin who has looked after Quo’s live and touring lighting for the last decade.
Patrick Marks, along with audience lighting director/operator Tom Lesh and the Bandit crew, worked a 12-hour schedule from get in to doors opening, ensuring the stage and audience lighting were rigged and ready. They worked closely with DVD director Jim Parsons and DOP Jason Shepherd to ensure everyone had the lighting requirements they needed for the 20 HD camera show produced by Metropolis.
Marks’ design for the SQ40 tour – touring until the end of the summer - is a radical aesthetic departure from the last few years of Quo, gently nudging the band into the 21st century in terms of lighting.
The stage space is shaped with five over-stage, raked trussing ‘fingers’ running upstage-downstage. Marks wanted to use JTE PixelLines in a new, refreshing and completely original way and decided to group batches of battens together, effectively transforming them into a huge wash light source.
The five fingers are sub-hung from a box mother-grid. On the floor, there’s four 10ft upstage towers made from 12 inch truss, each containing 2 ACL bars and Pulsar ChromaParCan Par 36 LED truss toners. The same LED fixtures are used as truss illuminators on the fingers.
On each finger, attached to the underside of the truss is a block of 6 PixelLine 1044s - 30 in total in 5 blocks. Each finger truss also contains 5 Martin MAC 500s and two 2-lites. The mother-grid contains 6 strings of ACLs and 10 6-lamp bars plus 8 Source Fours for key lighting.
The front truss contains another 6 lamp bars, 5 Source Fours and 6 MAC 600 washes to wash the backline and set. There’s also a dozen DB4 Colorblocks under the drum riser to add a bit of eye-candy!
It’s a relatively expedient rig and every fixture has to work hard to earn its keep explains Marks, who operates the show using a trusty Avolites Diamond 3 console. He loves this for its instant access and improvisational capabilities, and Quo is a real ‘hands on’ show.
Using the Pixels and the moving lights give the stage a high-tech look and a completely different perspective from the classic Quo PAR can days, but the rig also maintains some very basic rock ‘n’ roll elements. It’s packed with numerous ‘large rock band’ moments, complete with piercing ACLs and billowing smoke.
Marks comments, “As always, Bandit and Lester have really looked after me and made a very ambitious project for the timescale run like clockwork”.
Tom Lesh operated the audience lighting using a WholeHog II console, and Bandit also supplied all necessary trussing, motors and rigging.
Bandit supplied a top crew to work with Marks, consisting of crew chief Mick Freer and technicians Ewan Cameron and Tom Crosbie. On Lesh’s audience crew were crew chief Roger Grybowicz, Steve ‘Stona’ Rusling, Dave Lee, Rob Starksfield and Martin Garnish.
Status Quo continues touring the SQ40 rig until the end of the summer. In the Autumn they will take a completely new show design on the road and tour it right up until Christmas.