Soft Cell wave goodbye with Colour Sound
Wednesday, 24 October 2018
colour-sound-soft-cell-photo-copyright-stufish-0074Soft Cell at London’s O2 Arena
UK - Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting and LED screens for the Wave Goodbye concert by UK synth pop duo Soft Cell, who reunited after 17 years for one final show at London’s O2 Arena.
Award-winning lighting designer Rob Sinclair helped build the ambience and vibes for this sold-out pop music moment for the band who’ve occupied some hypnotically catchy and viscerally emotional space in the slightly darker echelons of 1980s synth pop.
Once he was confirmed on the creative team along with set designer Ric Lipson from Stufish, Rob started imagining the lighting.
It was also being streamed live to cinemas around the UK and Ireland and recorded for a live CD and DVD/Blu-ray release in 2019.
Both Rob and production manager Kamal Ackerie agreed early on that they wanted Colour Sound to be involved in the event, “We needed a London company that could supply both lighting and the main video elements and that had a good sense of humour,” he explains.
He’s also worked with H (Hadyn Cruickshank) and the team on previous tours and shows, so knew they would deliver
Once the stage set and screen layout was evolved, the lighting positions became obvious.
A 9 x 9m box truss - clad in a pink metallic-finished fabric surround to emulate the ‘soft cell’ - was installed above the stage on six Kinesys Elevation 1+ motors.
Rob wanted to have lots of fixtures on the rig and the choice of specifics was based around what Colour Sound had in stock, with Robe BMFLs being the main profile. Thirty-six of these, nine a side, were hung around the box truss.
Martin Sceptrons - there were 174 in total on the gig - were used to line the bottom chords of the box truss and of two upstage ‘wing’ trusses, flown stage left and right parallel with the back of the box truss.
More Sceptrons at floor level lined the forestage stage and the small thrust, both built by Brilliant, used in addition to the O2’s house stage.
A 9m-wide front truss was loaded with another 10 x BMFL Spots for keys and specials, together with two Claypaky Scenius Unico’s … specifically chosen for the shuttering and focussing needed for illuminating the pink fabric set piece around the box truss.
The two wing trusses were each rigged with 12 x Robe MMX Spots and a Scenius Unico at the offstage ends for picking up the side returns of the pink box truss cladding.
The front and wing trusses were made up from Litec pre-rigged truss which was extremely quick to assemble and rig on the day commented Colour Sound lighting crew chief James Hind, “it literally flew in and up!”
On the floor, 56 x Robe Spiider LED wash beams were deployed along the upstage set sections – which echoed the pink ‘soft cell’ truss surround vibe right underneath the side video screens, and along the stage left and right edges of the forestage.
Nine GLP JDC1 LED strobes were positioned along the upstage centre line on the deck, alternating with Spiiders.
Also, for aerial effects, but totally different, were six Novalight Super Novas - a large flower-style effect with a potent 2K lightsource - stationed at the back, two below the offstage edges of the wing trusses and the other two either side towards the back of the forestage.
Mid-stage, two stage lifts - for Marc Armond and David Ball to make entrances and exits - were each lit from below with six Robe LEDWash 600s.
Lighting control was a grandMA2, and video - via a Catalyst media server - was also run through a sperate grandMA2 console.
Rob worked alongside his lighting programmer and director Liam Griffiths as well as closely with video content creators Jack James and Nick Drew at Reality Creative Media (RCM), video operator Luke Whittington and Phil on the live camera mix.
James Hind was joined on lighting by a very strong crew of Sam Kenyon, Jon Rickets, Sam Akinwale, Alex Bratza and Adam LaFemina.
Colour Sound’s video crew was chiefed by Fergus Noble who worked alongside Ed Blackwell and Gareth Manicom.
They installed the three LED screens which were all made up from Colour Sound’s new Roe CB5 5 mm screen from the Carbon series, part of a £1 million LED screen investment by the west London based company this year.
He comments: “As always it was excellent working with Rob and we were all very proud to be part of such a landmark show and do our bit to make it memorable for the many Soft Cell fans everywhere.”
(Jim Evans)

Latest Issue. . .

Tweets from our Friends