Blackburn UK based lighting rental company HSL is supplying all lighting equipment and crew to Production North for the current 6 week UK tour by massively popular boyband JLS.
HSL's project manager Mike Oates says, "It's good to be back on the road with the Production North team and working alongside production manager Karen Ringland on this. The design is straightforward and uncomplicated, well thought out and works perfectly for the band and the style of presentation".
The lighting was designed by Peter Barnes. He and show producer Beth Honan - who have previously worked together on Blazing Squad and Girls Aloud - collaborated closely during production rehearsals at Rhyl Pavilion in Wales, together with lighting programmer/operator Dave Lee. Lee is overseeing lighting the show on tour, working alongside HSL technician Johnny Harper.
Barnes had to maximise an expediently sized rig in terms of effect, and says, "HSL as always were extremely helpful in cutting a great deal that allowed plenty of creative latitude".
The basic visual style combines elements from the television environment that catapulted JLS to fame as runners up on the 2008 series of X-Factor, with a clean looking stage for their slickly choreographed, vibrant pop show, complete with twist of live theatre. The overall emphasis is very much being on the 4 boys - Aston, Marvin, JB and Oritsé.
The set was supplied by Production North and consists of four sets of steps connected by a raised walkway at the back. Upstage of this is a 30ft wide by 10ft deep MiTrix video screen which shows specially created content throughout the show. Ensuring that lighting and video complimented one another was another aspect of the visual design.
There are 23 PixelLine LED battens ensconced in the treads of the set steps and the top of the set walkway is mesh grilled, allowing up-lighting from 4 Molefey units beneath. Also below the set are 4 smoke machines and 4 high powered fans, used to make vertical smoke jet effects. A powerful 2Kw Space Flower effect nestles underneath the central staircase arch - and that's it for the floor lighting - reflecting the brief to keep the stage clear and uncluttered.
In the air is a back truss containing 7 Robe ColorSpot 700E AT moving lights and 6 of the new Robe ROBIN 300E Beams - in which HSL has recently heavily invested. Says Lee, "They are excellent - extremely bright".
The mid truss has another 4 ROBIN 300E Beams and 4 i-Pix BB4 LED blinders, while the front truss has 8 Robe ColorWash 700E ATs, 3 Martin Professional Atomic strobes and 4 x 4-way Moles.
Framing the video screen are 10 GLP Impression LED moving lights.
In terms of lamps it's in keeping with the minimal concept, but it is one of those rigs that is flexible and dynamic enough with good programming and thought to offer up a wide range of looks and atmospheres with ease.
Lee operates the show using a Hog iPC console - his desk of choice for a show of this size. He says, "As always the support and back up from HSL has been second to none, and Mike (Oates) is brilliant, paying lots of attention to detail and ensuring that we have everything needed for a smooth running tour".
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