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Tears for Fears opt for simplicity

20 May 2019

LIGHTING DESIGNER Alex Reardon says he needed a fixture which could provide soft atmospherics and hard-edged beams for Tears for Fears’ tour, in which he aimed to strike the optimum balance between illumination and special effects.  He aimed to create designs which mixed every combination of the two features appropriately. …

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Fast turnaround for ‘70s legends

20 May 2019

SHORT CHANGEOVERS were critical to the success of the Legends Live tour featuring four chart acts from the 1970s, including Suzi Quatro, David Essex and Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers, according to David Preston of Capital Sound.  The London-based audio company deployed an MLA system by Martin Audio at venues…

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K2 maintains intimate feel at Glasgow’s O2 Academy

20 May 2019

DESIGNING AN audio system that would work equally well for rock and pop shows, comedy and club nights was critical for Steve Hoyland of venue operator Academy Music Group (AMG), when he installed a new in-house PA at Glasgow’s O2 Academy (cap. 2,500).  The venue, which is hosting shows by…

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Historic Royal Albert Hall in sound refit

20 May 2019

LONDON’S 5,200-capacity Royal Albert Hall (RAH) has successfully installed a “game-changing” audio system as part of a £2 million refit, with no interruption to its schedule, says Pat Smith of audiovisual specialist SFL.  A 465-box loudspeaker system by manufacturer d&b audiotechnik was fitted into the 148-year-old venue, involving work in…

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Fatboy’s sound in the round

12 April 2019

FATBOY SLIM (aka Norman Cook) traditionally prefers more intimate venues to large arenas, but was able to transform London’s The O2 (cap. 21,000) into a club, thanks to the use of an in-the-round presentation and an audio system which brought him closer to the audience, according to Capital Sound Hire’s…

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dLive aids Kaiser Chiefs’ nostalgia

12 April 2019

SIMPLICITY OF operation was one of the key factors in determining the choice of a new console by front-of-house (FOH) engineer Chris Leckie for the Kaiser Chiefs tour, which took in venues including London’s O2 Academy Brixton (cap. 4,900), Barrowland (2,100) in Glasgow, Exeter’s Great Hall (1,800) and The Engine…

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Projecting Bastille’s dystopian vision

12 April 2019

AIMING TO create the atmosphere of a dystopian party on a tour supporting their Doom Days LP, Bastille used a backdrop with a “torn” look fabricated with layers of crinkly metallic mesh. Production manager Chris Speirs and show designer Rob Sinclair invited projection specialist Really Creative Media (RCM) to provide…

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Unipix immersed in Snow show

12 April 2019

SNOW PATROL frontman Gary Lightbody’s idea for a video box with images on the four visible interior sides formed the look of the band’s latest tour supporting their album Wilderness. Lighting and show designer Davy Sherwin invited Tring-based Universal Pixels (Unipix) to realise the idea, creating a projection box brought…

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Audio upgrade for versatile Troxy

12 April 2019

LONDON’S 3,100-capacity Troxy has become the first UK theatre to install the new JBL VTX A12 line array system, by US-based manufacturer Harman Professional Solutions. The move follows a thorough investigation of rival systems according to Tom Sutton-Roberts general manager at the venue, which has concerts with  Oh Sees, Taking…

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Blade running for The 1975

18 March 2019

SEEKING A daring and innovative set for their tour in support of third LP, A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships, The 1975 opted for several moving elements in their show. Three video cubes were suspended above the band, alongside the their “blade” trademark, at shows in venues including Manchester Arena…

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Taking Vaccines to Vegas

18 March 2019

A TOUCH of Las Vegas was among the creative ideas served up by The Vaccines to designer Dan Williams, as they prepared for their Combat Sports tour. Singer/guitarist Justin Hayward-Young proposed a neon-style light lining the edge of the risers, complemented by a pair of scenic palm trees. Williams worked…

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Overtones get what they want

18 March 2019

THE VARIETY of venues on the tour by vocal group The Overtones demanded a flexible sound system which could deliver the clarity of required by the singers, according to front-of-house engineer Mark Clements. He had to ensure that each singer had their own tailored vocal mix at venues including Watford…

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Robe delivers raw power to The Streets

18 March 2019

REQUIRED TO create an “intense but not too distracting” design for The Streets, Jon Trincas and Steve Hough had to rely simply on lighting to create their visual effects. Artiste Mike Skinner, whose rap music is said to range between “total chaos and jittery calm”, insisted on no video for…

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Unico approach to Snow Patrol

18 March 2019

USING LIGHTING to change the size and shape of the stage on Snow Patrol’s Wilderness tour, show designer Davy Sherwin needed a fixture with a strong beam, capable of standing out against the “psychedelic” visuals of the video screen. After providing him with some initial ideas the band gave him…

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Synergy’s ‘big canvas’ for Numan

23 January 2019

NEW SOFTWARE allowed Gary Numan’s tour to integrate lights and video imagery seamlessly, according to creative designer Luke Edwards, with lighting fixtures using pixel mapping to project images from the screen out towards the audience. Using two Avolites Sapphire Touch consoles, plus the manufacturer’s Ai Q3 media servers running the…

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Creative cubes for The League

23 January 2019

ALTHOUGH VIDEO has always been an important element of The Human League’s stage show, manager Simon Watson did not want the set for the band’s latest tour to be filled with LED screens, according to lighting designer Rob Sinclair. While part of the solution, was projection mapping of video onto…

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Solotech secures SSE long-term

23 January 2019

FOLLOWING THE acquisition of SSE Audio by Quebec-based Groupe Solotech, the British company’s co-founder John Penn has told LIVE UK the deal secures the long-term future of the operation and opens the doors to further international growth. While Martin Tremblay, Groupe Solotech president and CEO, describes the deal as “the…

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Snapshot push for vocals and guitar

18 December 2018

ONE KEY challenge facing the Stereophonics’ sound team on tour is to keep bass notes under tight control, according to monitor engineer Harm Schopman, who says the band like the vocals of frontman Kelly Jones and the guitars to be prominent in the mix. He and front-of-house engineer Dave Roden…

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Sculptural classics for Beautiful Life

18 December 2018

PREFERRING NOT to influence their stage designer Andy Hurst, Rick Astley and his team gave him free rein to create a look which he felt reflected his latest album, Beautiful Life. Hurst felt it warranted a “classy, sculptural” design which he achieved by inviting production company HSL to provide lighting….

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ChromaQ illuminates the Vista of Cliff’s decades

18 December 2018

WHEN CLIFF Richard toured his 60th anniversary celebration, lighting designer Derek Jones says he was keen to deploy traditional and high-tech effects for a show which divided the singer’s career chronologically into 20 minute sections per decade. Deploying a rig which included MAC Auras for band key lighting and full…

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