Lighting and visuals rental specialist Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting and video for the recent UK tour by Welsh rockers Feeder, who are back on the road with their “Arrow” album campaign.
Bryan Leitch is the band’s LD and visual designer and the person who took the tour to Colour Sound after previous excellent experiences with the west London based company. “It was a video based tour so ideal for Colour Sound” he commented. Colour Sound also invested in some new lighting fixtures to ensure that Bryan had exactly the rig he wanted.
Bryan has worked for Feeder since 2004. On this tour he was joined on the road by technician / crew chief - and Colour Sound regular - James Hind.
His creative inspiration for the design started with three festival shows last summer where they used an upstage screen split into three sections, a format that lead singer / guitarist Grant Nicholas really liked.
Another consideration for the overall design was that it had to be scalable to deal the wide range of venue sizes.
This touring version utilised 60 panels of Colour Sound’s proprietary BT-6 LED screen, configured as 4 tiles wide and 5 high – so 20 panels per screen - which was upped to 6-high for the London show at Brixton Academy.
Video content was a mix of existing material and brand new footage which was created by Bryan - much of the new clips were shot on an iPhone 8 - then edited and complied to fit exactly to the screen specifications. This was replayed via a pair of Green Hippo v4 media servers.
New kit bought for the tour included Vintage Blaze 55s from Showtec, a very cool looking fixture combining a tungsten lamp, and a RGB LED background effect with strobe function plus colour macros for an extra dimension. The combination of both these dynamic light sources appealed to Bryan who describes them as “beautiful” lights. He particularly likes the fact that the LED sources are subtle and concealed, but their effect is high impact.
Six of these were utilised on the tour, rigged on the upstage truss which was also flying the video panels, fitted into Colour Sound’s practical and easy to rig touring frames.
Also new were ProLight's AIR6PIX moving LED battens. These offer individually controllable LED pixels, and both sides of the lightsources pivot to create classic ACL “fan” and “knot” looks. The idea of being able to bend the light like this really appealed to Bryan and the AIR6PIX offer something new and different from the plethora of LED battens out there.
Eight were rigged on four vertical upstage towers and used for both wash and effects looks. The count was boosted to 12 units for Brixton.
Bryan chose Robe’s new MegaPointes as the main moving light, with six on the rig, distributed between four upright trusses at the back, a mid-stage truss overhead and two slightly shorter downstage vertical sticks of truss, also on the deck.
These super-bright multi-purpose fixtures, which offer excellent beam, spot and wash modes, enabled less lights to go a huge amount further.
“It’s a rock show” stated Bryan with a big smile, clearly relishing lighting the two hours and 10 minutes of mayhem each night with an array of loud and boisterous rock numbers punctuated with a stripped back acoustic section! “MegaPointes were perfect for this type of set! Six was all we needed!” confirmed Bryan.
The MegaPointe count was upped to 16 fixtures for Brixton.
In addition to these, six Robe LEDWash 300s provided filler light, some Source Fours on the mid truss were the basic key lighting and six Claypaky Stormy LED strobes were also attached to the upright trusses along with six 4-lite blinders.
Also for Brixton, Colour Sound supplied what Bryan describes as “The mother” of all confetti blasts … to help bring the show to a tumultuous close!
To accommodate this, a front truss was installed over the dancefloor / audience area complete with four automated fan ‘spreaders’, and two stadium confetti blasters were positioned in the pit … which fired out a proverbial ‘shed-pile’ of gold confetti over an elongated period of around four minutes! It was a real show-stopper!
The two Avolites Sapphire Touch consoles and the two Green Hippo video servers were supplied by MIRRAD.
Colour Sound sent three extra technicians to Brixton – Alex Bratza, Simon Robertson and Alfie Hursthouse.
Bryan was delighted to be working with Colour Sound again.
He comments that the tightness and pressured timescale involved in getting so much extra kit into Brixton - and integrated into the show in time - was a serious achievement, “You have to be extremely well prepped for an exercise like that to work smoothly for what was essentially a one off” he stated.
Bryan loves working with Feeder and he really enjoyed creating the video content for this one, although it was also one of the biggest challenges!
He had to produce video for 48 songs as it was a ‘best of’ tour and Grant wanted to be able to choose any of them for the set each night!
Bryan ended up with around 900 elements of video material which had to be whittled down … for which he developed a nifty numbering and reference system that enabled him to recall clips instantly.
Photos: Lindsay [email protected]