Yaz, M’am

Popular 1980s synthpop duo Yazoo (akas Yaz) have reunited for a short high profile tour, currently on its UK leg. Lighting designer Nic Ayres chose Robe for his moving lights, which are supplied by Southampton-based rental company GLS, along with the rest of the lighting kit and technician Karen Brown.

Bruce French created the stylishly minimal video-based scenic design. This gives the stage its basic architecture and definition; with two different size Element Labs Stealth screen panels upstage, and eight 11 meter fingers of Superlite truss loaded with VersaTubes forming a gently asymmetric arc above the stage.

Content for the VersaTubes and the Stealth has been custom created by Mark Video, and he and Ayres worked closely during production rehearsals to ensure that lighting and video combine into coherent and seamless visual pictures for the show. Ayres used 14 Robe ColorSpot 700E ATs in total, one hung on the downstage end of each finger truss, four more on the box truss mother grid, and two on the floor, all arranged asymmetrically. Of the 12 Robe ColorWash 700E ATs, 8 were scattered around the mother grid, again in a random fashion and the other 4 were positioned on the floor: 2 on the deck and 2 on boxes off-center.

Ayres particularly likes the animation wheel in the ColorSpots because it produces a totally different effect to a gobo. In "Winter Kills" he uses the animation wheel in conjunction with a gobo to produce floating textured light effects. "I really like the ColorWashes” he says. “They are incredibly bright for a 700 fixture." He uses plenty of colors from the dark end of the spectrum and they have no trouble cutting through.

In creative terms, he wanted to produce a show that wasn't too rock or too pop, but hit the spot and exuded a period feel along with the video content. In addition to the 26 moving lights, Ayres’ rig contains ETC Source Fours, 2 bars of 6 PARs, and 16 PixelLines which are mounted beneath the 2 risers. All of this is controlled with an Avolites Pearl Expert.

The Yazoo tour will tour the US in July.

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