Bandit is IN with Bryan Ferry

Bandit Lites UK is supplying the current Bryan Ferry UK and European tour with full lighting production and crew. This marks Bandit's first tour with the acclaimed UK artist, whose dynamic hit-making career stretches back to the 1970's. The lighting designer for this tour is Graham Feast, and Bandit also worked with production manager Jason Danter on the project.

Bryan Ferry is performing songs from his brand new Dylanesque album, plus a few carefully selected classic Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music blockbusters. Ferry, a former fine art student, has some very clear ideas on visuals himself and is good at communicating these. Together, Ferry and Feast decided to make the show look totally different from a Roxy Music gig, keeping it moody, mysterious, and with a definite sense of the unknown.

On the first UK leg of the tour, they are playing concert halls and theatres. With no production rehearsals, just a setup the day before the first show in Carlisle, Feast made use of Bandit's Martin Show Designer visualization and preprogramming suite at the Bedford HQ. After two days in there, he was able to go into the first show with a sizeable chunk of the show programmed.

Feast, who has worked with Ferry since 2003, is using a rig based around three straight trusses, with all the instruments having to work hard. Moving lights include 14 Martin MAC 2000 Spots (five on the back truss, four on the mid, and five on the floor). The wash lights are MAC 600s (five on the back truss, four on the mid, eight on the front, and four on the floor).

Far upstage is an LED starcloth, and in front of that is a painted sharks-tooth gauze backdrop, with an interesting abstract fairground image. The artwork for this was sourced by Ferry, and the drape was manufactured by Hangman. Continuing on the fairground theme, there are six strings of multicolored festoon, swagged between the back and mid trusses.

Bandit is also supplying two Lycian 2K followspots and a two-man crew, Mick Freer and Richie Flannagan. Feast is running the show using a Flying Pig Systems Wholehog 2 console.

Feast, who worked with Bandit last year designing McFly's arena tour, says, "It's great to be working with Bandit again. They are making sure we're well looked after and, as you would expect, all the gear arrived at the first gig well-prepped and ready for action."

With 10 musicians in addition to Ferry on stage, Feast has a lot of space to cover with a compact rig. There is also a pool of some 37 songs (a mere drop in the ocean considering Ferry's vast repertoire), of which about 20 songs are performed each night, so there has to be plenty of breadth and variety in the lighting as well.

In keeping with the original design scheme, there are plenty of shadows, contrasting effects and richly saturated color looks. Feast's subtle and understated lighting is also offset with occasional rock out moments and interlaced with some classic theatrical devices when needed.

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