West London, UK based rental company Entec Sound & Light continues is excellent working relationship – this is tour number 5 – with The Australian Pink Floyd Show (TAPS) – the definitive tribute band to the UK’s highest profile progressive rock band.
Entec is supplying lighting and video equipment plus crew to the UK and European sections of the TAPS 2010 world tour, which sees the ever-popular phenomenon continue to play arenas in the UK, this time around culminating at London’s O2.
Lighting designer Phil White says, “Entec are brilliant – as always. The kit is in excellent condition, the crew are great, there is a lot of attention paid to detail …. and the company is always a pleasure to deal with”. Entec’s project manager for TAPS is Noreen O’Riordan.
The current lighting design is inspired by the seminal 1994 Pink Floyd “Pulse”/”Division Bell” tour. Since their origins in the 1960s, the real Pink Floyd were always experimenting with new ideas, and visual innovation was a key in their performance experience. In this show, certain historical elements are faithfully replicated, others are reinvented and some totally fresh ideas are brought to the party, ensuring that the at the spirit of invention lives on in an eclectic mix of Floydesque moments.
Entec invested in a series of new Martin Professional MAC 250 upgrade kits for this tour, which have turned 38 of their MAC 250 moving lights into MAC 250 Beams. New flight cases for these were also purchased for the tour.
The stage space is defined by a large arch upstage. In the centre of this and slightly downstage is a 6 metre diameter circle of truss. The MAC 250 Beams are divided between these two pieces of architecture – both of which are also used as projection surfaces. There are 22 fixtures on the arch and 16 around the circle.
White is extremely pleased with the MAC 250 Beams. “They are stunningly bright” he comments, explaining that – as it was a 2 truck tour with lighting and video having to fit into one – they wanted a small unit that was agile and powerful and an expedient size for the truck pack. They looked at the options and the MAC 250 Beam offered the dynamics of becoming a wash light with the diffuser and an effects light using the gobos …. as well as very bright.
As you would expect, there are lots of massive anthemic lighting looks with beams and smoke abounding, and also many moody moments, where the lighting creeps along, allowing the characteristically sinister and darkly philosophical vocals to penetrate the stream of consciousness.
Sometimes in the show, the strong shapes of the arch and the circle are pronounced, and at others, through a bit of neat lighting trickery, White fades them into the background.
Other moving lights include 4 x MAC 700 Washes and 6 x MAC 700 Spots, which are upstage on the floor. There are another 3 x MAC 700 Washes on the front truss, used for lighting the band together with 10 ETC Source Four key lights, and this is the only front light in this heavily back-lit show. There are also 5 x 4-lite Moles on the front truss for audience illumination.
Effects included 6 Atomic strobes, 2 on the floor and 4 on the arch, and 15 i-Pix Satellite LED bricks, 12 for toning the circle and 3 for the drum kit.
Along the front of the stage are 15 Source Four PAR narrows, and right at the back, below the arch, the 3 bars of ACLs used on the previous tour have been replaced with 12 individual CP60 PARs. These two sets of fixtures are focussed together to give a dramatic double fan effect.
Also new to Entec’s rental stock are two of the new Novalight Nova Flower 2Ks, a mega bright flower effect with pan/tilt and colour changing features. These are positioned upstage at the back, and used sparingly, kicking in specifically towards the end of the set, with powerful split beams blasting through the band. They add lots of big bright drama to the mirror ball sequence in Comfortably Numb, and White exploits the more subtle effect of colour mixing and the gradual dimmer in another two songs.
The lighting rig is completed with 11 x 2-lites positioned around the arch and 8 in the circle, all pointing outwards, which are great for emphasising the shape and form of the metalwork.
White’s console of choice for control is a grandMA full size
The grandMA at FOH is networked to a grandMA light sitting side stage, and this is triggering a RADlite media server running all the video via MIDI from the Fostex machine onstage, which also generates the click track.
Video is an integral element to the TAPS show, used highly imaginatively to bring post Floydian irony to the visual equation as well as humour, with Skippy, the pink kangaroo, who features prominently in the footage. The ‘narrative’ video is mainly concentrated on the circle, with abstract effects and more ambient clips appearing on the arch – as the two are treated as separate surfaces.
Much of the video is referenced to Floyd’s vast body of creative work, but uniquely created and engineered by video producer Brian Kolupski and the band’s lead guitarist Damian Darlington, ensuring that it gives TAPS its own unique identity as a performance.
Entec is supplying 3 Barco R10 projectors, one for the circle and two for the arch. They are fitted with DMX cards to control the shutters, giving a proper blackout.
White is working alongside an Entec crew of 3 – Richard Hutton – who also looks after the video, John Lahiffe and Charlie Denny.
The tour is production managed by Andy Keightley. Wigwam are supplying the PA, and lasers are from Colour Sound Experiment, operated by Neil Marsh. FOH engineer is Gareth Darlington and on monitors is Matt Coton.
For more press info on Entec, please call Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘[email protected]’. To contact Entec direct, call +44 (0)20 8842 4004 or check www.entec-soundandlight.com.