Entec supplies PJ Harvey
Monday, 26 July 2004
Entec supplies PJ Harvey
UK - Entec Lighting has supplied LD Tony Austin with production for PJ Harvey, who rounded off her recent festival tour with her own show at London's Brixton Academy. It was Austin's first tour with PJ Harvey, the latest in a string of top notch artists on his CV, and he came highly recommended by one of the musicians playing on her album.

Austin's relationship with Entec as an equipment supplier goes back several years: "I really like the independence and great atmosphere at Entec. Your project gets the best service and attention at all times, you can speak directly to the people who are handling the account and nothing's too much trouble," he says, adding that Entec also offers good value. His lighting brief for PJ was challenging - almost the antithesis of what you'd expect from a rock 'n' roll artist - no flashing lights, no smoke, no visible moving lights, no follow spots and no gobo projections!

However, with a few performances under his belt, he soon understood where she was coming from in terms of getting people to concentrate fully on her music rather than any potential production distractions. "It was a case of having to create the right drama within the parameters, and once you get started, it's amazing how many options appear," he said.

Going for a more theatrical look also proved a life-saver for the festivals, where they often only had 30 minutes of changeover time for programming. The style of the lighting meant Austin had no sweeping moves and gobo focuses to contend with. For the Brixton show, Entec supplied three trusses with seven Vari*Lite 3000s and 60 Par 64s, plus eight 2ks, four flown and four on the floor. The floor also featured four V*L2000 Washes, six Pars with colour changers behind the backline and ground-rows for illuminating the black Bolton backdrop - he likes to use floor lighting to enhance dynamics and moodiness. Fourteen Source Four profiles were used for key lighting. All this was controlled with an Avolites Diamond 3 - his desk of choice.

Much of the show was improvised - with a pool of over 40 songs to choose from and a set list decided about 10 minutes before show time, it was impossible to predict what might appear where. However, Austin likes working this way, with the additional elements of excitement and live-ness to the lighting. Austin worked alongside Entec crew members Andy Mountain, Steve Major and Leo Tierney.

(Lee Baldock)

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