Entec at the Cutting Edge with Scissor Sisters
Tuesday, 16 March 2004
UK - Lighting designer Dave Ross recently asked west London-based Entec Lighting to supply him with a small, high-impact lighting rig, for a UK gig by hot New York band, Scissor Sisters. The show, at London's Scala, launched the band's first album and followed up their disco reworking of Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb.

Scissor Sisters are tipped for greatness in 2004, and Ross caught their eye with his work for Royksopp and by his impressive dance music CV. Wanting to capitalize on Scissor Sisters' onstage energy, and having to contend with limited stage room, no additional crew and a difficult get-in, he chose 10 James Thomas Pixelline fixtures and a PixelDrive PC-based control system as the core of the rig.

Entec supplied this, plus six Martin MAC 250s, a Wholehog II lighting console and two mirror balls - the latter specified by the band. The system - apart from the mirror balls - was completely floor-based - for both practicality and effect. The Pixellines were squeezed in between gaps in the backline, mounted on Entec's specially-devised low profile floor brackets, some as singles and some doubled up. This was also an ideal physical set up for the band who like being right in amongst the lights.

Ross first used Pixellines last year for Royksopp, and found them an ideal tool for creating colourful, pulsating, patterns. However, the Scala was the first chance he'd had to use PixelDrive, which proved invaluable for creating a series of complex pattern chases and effects and getting them programmed into the desk in time for the show. This is achieved by applying graphics patterns that are pixel-mapped in the computer to the fixtures.

Ross was very impressed with the system and found it easy to work. He'd visited Entec the week before for a set-up and run-through session, but on the day, still had to deal with the realities of only a couple of hours programming time - having never seen the band live before! He also created his own bespoke graphics in Illustrator that were imported to PixelDrive.

The success of the Scala show was the precursor for a small UK and European club tour. This will be followed up by a larger Scissor Sisters tour in April - with a greater Pixel factor - according to Ross.

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