High Wycombe, UK based lighting rental specialist Siyan supplied equipment and crew to Lighting Designer Vince Foster for UK rockers’ Alt-J’s recent nationwide tour.
The band are rapidly commanding respect and building a massive fan base with their original sounds, and are hotly-tipped for great things since their ‘An Awesome Wave’ debut album won the 2012 Mercury Music Prize.
Siyan was asked on board by production Manager Mark Ward from Proper Productions, with whom they have enjoyed a long and successful working relationship.
Siyan also has a great reputation for working with young and emerging bands right at the cutting edge of British music, often adding fresh ideas and energy to the production equation.
With Vince Foster bringing his creative vision and vast experience of working with some of the highest profile and successful acts of the last decade to the mix – all the ingredients were in place for a spectacular looking show.
Foster started working with Alt-J in January, and this was the band’s first full production tour.
Siyan’s Director Nick Valdez commented, “It’s been hugely exciting for us! The band is critically acclaimed, and it’s great to be working with someone of Vince’s calibre and see him develop a really stylish show”.
Foster’s starting point for developing the look and feel of the stage was trying to keep to a monochrome theme, introducing different colour temperatures to provide subtle colouring – a bit of chromatic trickery!
Over the course of the tour certain saturated colours came into play, but white lighting still provided the show’s aesthetic foundations, so when the colours do appear, they have a startling impact!
The rig supplied by Siyan was entirely floor based - and as per Foster’s design, completely asymmetrical – forming the core of the Alt-J show. At each venue – many of which were Academies - they hooked into the house’s main lighting rig.
Vince has really enjoyed this experience as it’s given him the chance to work with a wide variety of other fixtures, and it’s generally been good, as well as making him think on his feet each day, adding an extra little element of spontaneity!
Of the floor package, twelve GLP Impression LED Washes at random heights were positioned behind the band and the backline, together with twenty five 2-lites, also on different height poles.
Four Robe MMX Spots were used for strong back-lighting, beam effects and aerials and five i-Pix BB7s were dotted around for washing the general stage area, working together with five Clay Paky Alpha Wash 700s – all together, quite a heterogeneity of fixtures!
Vince programmed and operated the show on a Roadhog Full Boar console, which is his desk of choice.
He has worked on events and shows before with Siyan, but this was the first time he had worked with Nick Valdez, for whom he has “Huge respect” he comments.
“Siyan’s crews are absolutely exceptional,” says Foster, “They are well known for getting young and very dedicated technicians and designers on-board, and the company is always a joy to work with. Apart from that, it’s great to see a company proactively encouraging a next generation of lighting professionals”.
Phil Shaw was Siyan’s tech on Alt-J, the pair of them forming a tight and efficient team for the UK leg.
The band now go to Australia and back to the US where they are already stepping up to playing around 4000 capacity venues!