‘Yes is a band with a long history stretching back to the early 1970s and the classic projected ‘light shows’ of the time’ (photo: John Scott)

UK - The final show on the UK-EU leg of the Classic Tales of Yes tour at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on 20 May featured an intricately textured Martin Dudley/Chris Davey light show that included 12 Chauvet Professional Rogue R2X Wash units from Martin’s Lights Ltd.

Early on in the 24-city tour, which began in April at Lisbon’s historic Sagres Campo Pequero concert hall, the design moved into a new more intense realm.

“At the start of the project, we were told that it would be a ‘no haze’ tour,” said Dudley. “Therefore, we knew that the lighting had to be about colour, pattern and texture, rather than beams of light and movement in the air. Many of our lighting designs are quite understated, and after the first couple of shows, the feedback from the band was that they wanted “more” of everything, so we went for it.”

The vision powering their flowing design continued to evolve throughout the tour. This resulted in one of Dudley’s favourite looks, which added an edgier element to South Side Of The Sky.  After the initial programming was done, lighting director Chris Davey added a multi-coloured gobo to the cloth backdrop for this song.

“It looked like the Northern Lights we’d recently experienced in the UK,” said Dudley. “Chris and I did a day’s programming in a WYSIWYG suite and another day at production rehearsals, but Chris overhauled much of the programming once the tour actually got under way, removing things that didn’t work and adding more great looks, no mean feat whilst dealing with different in-house lighting rigs every day. I’m grateful too to lighting technician Simone Bigum, who got the rig up and running every day, and tour manager Dick Meredith, a contact from the very earliest days of Martin’s Lights, who brought us on board.”

Another element was added to the show for almost all of its UK dates, including the Glasgow appearance, when Coloursound Experiment supplied a “house lighting” system that consisted of two flown trusses of Chauvet Rogue R2 washes and moving spots. (In-house lighting fixtures at different venues were used for follow spots and front light.)

Throughout the tour, the Rogue R2X Washes in the floor package remained the workhorse of the rig. Dudley positioned eight of the washes upstage on the floor, using them to put colour onto the white back cloth and occasionally to backlight the band. The other four wash units were hung on four 2.5m tall truss towers and used to light the band from the sides.

“The washes did a lot of the heavy lifting in the show, putting rich, saturated colours onto the cloth for almost every song,” said Dudley. “Colour and gobo patterns were key to the looks we created. Yes is a band with a long history stretching back to the early 1970s and the classic projected ‘light shows’ of the time.”

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