HSL on tour with Olly Murs

Monday, 25 July 2011
HSL on tour with Olly MursThe chart topping singer/songwriter has evolved a live performance style of his own
UK Rental company HSL continued its working relationship with Production North, supplying the lighting design and equipment to the recent Olly Murs UK tour.

The chart topping singer/songwriter and runner up of X-Factor 2009 has evolved a live performance style of his own, cutting a new and fresh model from that of other successful reality TV contestants who follow up with solo careers. Show producer Beth Honan's stage set was designed with a ska/2 Tone flourish, and Murs' performance included some Madness inspired quirks and a generally up-beat, jaunty tone, backed by a nine- piece band including full brass section.

The lighting design was created by Phil Wiffin for HSL. Dave Lee operated and looked after everything on the road, working alongside tech Johnny Harper. HSL's project manager Mike Oates comments, "Once again Production North compiled a great team to produce a versatile, entertaining show with high production values. It was good to be working with production manager Sarah Hollis again, and exciting to be involved with a talented artist at the start of his career."

The lighting rig was designed to fit into a variety of venues - from arenas of up to 5000 capacity to theatre spaces for around 2000, including a run of sold out 'homecoming' shows at Essex Boy Murs' 'local', Southend Cliffs Pavilion.

Dave Lee and Phil Wiffin programmed the Hog 3 console during three days at Rhyl Pavilion, and had the show well in shape by the time they went into the first gig, collaborating closely with Honan in the process. Honan also commissioned all the show's video content which was produced by Tom Baristowe.

Dave Lee explains, "Beth had very clear ideas about things like colour and shape. She likes everything to look clean, symmetrical and ordered - very modern - and we never had more than two colours per look or song".

The lighting rig was hung on three straight trusses. On the rear chord of the back truss were 10 x 5m of Mainlight Industries Soft-LED low resolution LED drape (100 mm pitch), with a section of Pixled F-15, supplied by XL Video right in the centre. Video content ran simultaneously across both surfaces.

The back truss lighting fixtures were six Vari*Lite V*L3000 spots and 12 Robe Robin 600 LEDWashes. Three Robe ColorBeam 700E ATs were also used for strong back beam effects, along with the V*L s.

The mid truss featured nine Robe Robin LEDWash 600s used for general stage washing. Due to their light weight, only a span of 30cm truss was needed.

On the front truss were five Robe ColorWash 2500E ATs and five V*L 3000 Spots - used for front washes and key lighting.

The multi-level stage provided many opportunities to squeeze in some strategically positioned floor based fixtures, and there were four V*L3000 Spots and four Robe ColorBeam 700E ATs on the tiers, with a split-row of eight i-Pix BB4s along the upstage edge of the top level, rear-lighting the backing vocalists and brass section. Six i-Pix BB7s - three per side - washed the mid stage area and provided low level cross lighting on the musicians.

The 18 aforementioned ChromaPanels were also run into Lee's lighting console, and he had two RJ Cyrano 2.5K follow spots, also supplied by HSL, positioned at FOH.

The video ran from 2 x Mac Pro servers running Arkaos software, synched to the Fostex hard drives via a laptop, and controlled by MD Sean Barry, which ensured that visuals and music were harmonised.

(Jim Evans)


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