Pro-Light-News Touring & Rigging

'Lighthouse looks' for Super Furry Animals' stage

HSL supplied lighting production and crew to LD Liz Berry for the Super Furry Animals UK tour 2007. Berry was head-hunted by the band earlier in the year and started working with them during the summer, leading up to the release of their eighth album, “Hey Venus”. Changing graphic designers for the first time in 10 years for the album artwork, they tracked down cult Japanese artist Keiichi Tanaami, also known as one of the first people to experiment with LSD in Japan, and asked him to design their record cover. This album cover became Berry’s starting point for the light show aesthetics. Colourful and quirky, the base layer of artwork featured a lighthouse complete with 5 shafts of light beaming out brightly and positively from it.
Berry had a set of scenic cloth ‘rays’ made up by Back2Front which they carried for the festivals. This concept was then developed for the tour, when Prompt Corner added light-proof backing material to the back of the rays and mounted them on a white backcloth.
HSL were invited to tender for the tour which they won. “They are a fabulous company, really hard working and a pleasure to be on the road with” says Berry. The project was managed for HSL by Mike Oates, who adds, “Liz is one of the most imaginative and creative LDs out there, and it’s great to be involved with SFA this time around”.
The rig was based on a back truss with two side towers. Six Robe ColorSpot 575E ATs were positioned along the back, joined by 4 Robe ColorSpot 575E ATs, one each per side on the front towers, and two on the floor. It was a small lighting rig which Berry used thoughtfully and judiciously, maximising all instruments.
Generic lighting included four 4-lite blinders for FOH audience illumination. Five 5 Source Four PARs were rigged onto a piece of vertical trussing at the back of a large lighthouse ‘flat’ in the centre of the backdrop, tightly focussed to light the rays. On top of this same piece of trussing was one of two original TCPLB1 ‘Pan Can’ moving mirrors, attached to a PAR 64 lamp.
The front towers also featured 2 bars of 6 PARs – one per side, for some cross-stage washing, complete with four 2-lites per side for audience blinding. Twelve i-Pix Satellite LED ‘bricks’ were dotted all along the back truss and down the side towers.
Part of Berry’s brief from the band was that the lighting should mimic the carnivalesque, fun, funky feel of the music and party vibes, being a bit ravey and a bit rock following the flow of the set each night. The set was split into halves. During the second, Berry also wanted to create a complete atmosphere change, involving the audience more. She decided on the slightly unconventional option of a FOH tower of lights – mimicking the lighthouse idea – and based on a 3 metre section of Lite Beam truss fitted onto a specially made floor mounting base fabricated by HSL.
This was loaded up with another 12 i-Pix Satellite fixtures, together with the other Pan Can, which whizzed the beam of the PAR light around the room yielding some authentically ‘lighthouse’ looks and effects. HSL commissioned specialist engineering company A R Parkes to complete the modifications needed to make these DMX compatible.
Berry limited herself to the spare 16 Amps of power coming down the multicore to power her FOH tower, so the Satellites were a particularly good choice – low power, light weight, high brightness and great impact. She operated the show using an Avolites Pearl Expert.
HSL’s crew were Pete Barber and Niall Hannell, and Berry concludes, “HSL have been great! They really looked after me, the gear is in excellent condition and the crew are fabulous – what more can I ask for!”
compact and light weight lighting design with great impact
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