Colour Sound Light The Hunna

Photo: Lindsay Cave @loosplat

Lighting Designer Tom Campbell, of design practice MIRRAD, created a visual show for The Hunna’s latest UK tour, for which London based Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting, rigging and lasers.

The LD landed the gig at the end of 2017, having met the band when they were opening for another of his bands, The Coasts. He worked very closely with band members Ryan Potter and Dan Dorney and, to get the design process started, they sent him details on every song they play including BPM counts and mood boards, which enabled the Campbell to be very creative and head in the right direction from the off.

Campbell specified RTI NEO SIX fixtures, a laser light beam array with 6 single whitelight / RGB diodes, zoom and strobe on each individual diode and pan / tilt functionality. In this case, as they were in such close proximity to the band, to avoid any accidental audience scanning, the tilt parameter was disabled. There were 18 NEO SIXs distributed between 6 vertical sections of HUD low profile truss stood on the floor – 2 downstage, 2 upstage and 2 mid-stage, each with 3 NEO SIXs. The NEO SIX units were staggered in height by 2 inches, so with stage left and right units combined, the beams criss-crossed 1 diode apart, making 36 beams per pair of trusses with narrower gaps.  The band were fully aware of how they could / couldn’t move during the laser numbers as Campbell aimed to dramatically change the shape of the stage and create “abstract worlds” in which they could play and penetrate the ‘cage’ with hands or guitars.

The main lighting fixtures were 37 of Robe’s new MegaPointes. Campbell had first seen them at PLASA 2017. There were 19 Rove MegaPointes hung on 12ft drop-bars above the stage to give the illusion of floating in space, with another 16 on the deck. Of these, 8 were upstage and 4 a side stage left and right for low level cross lighting. With no front truss, these were vital to help illuminate the band and the mid stage area. There were 6 Robe LEDWash 300s used as footlights along the front of stage.

Campbell commented on the “amazing tungsten emulation” from these which was ideal for replacing traditional floor PAR cans. In fact, this was the first tour he has completed with no tungsten sources at all apart from 10 Squirrel-cage lightbulbs which lowered in on a pair of Wahlberg DMX winches triggered via the lighting console during the song Sycamore Tree. These were on the back truss and came in behind the band.

In addition, Campbell utilised 29 Philips Nitro 510c LED strobes which were used both as strobes and also for the roles of CTO blinders and washes. There were 19 on the same drop bars as the Robe MegaPointes, rigged just above, with the remaining 10 on the floor. Tom noted that they were “incredibly” versatile due to this multi-functionality. There were 17 German Light Products Impression X4 Bar 20s, positioned 9 upstage, butted up together in a 9 metre long run, and 4 along each side to box off and define the sides of the stage, especially during the laser numbers, where the 2 light sources worked complimentarily.

There was 29m of Martin by Harman Sceptron LED fixtures, complete with smoked diffuser tubes, positioned on the downstage edge of the stage, mid-stage and on the risers, where they added texture to the set and highlighted specific areas. Completing the lighting picture were 10 Chromlech Elidy panels, a 5×5 warm-white LED matrix again chosen for excellent tungsten-style characteristics. There was 6 each rigged on the 2 mid-stage LED towers to give a wall of tungsten effect. The console was an Avolites Sapphire Touch, with another running in tracking backup and 2 TitanNet processors. They were controlling a total of 16.5 DMX universes.

Adam La Femina was Colour Sound’s crew chief and worked closely with technician Tom Hopper. For production rehearsals and the Brixton show, both Alex Ryan (Colour Sound’s PM) and Tom Taylor joined the lighting crew. Daniel Briggs from AC Lasers looked after the pyro. Alex Ryan commented: “It was a great pleasure working with Tom. We were really impressed with his work, the attention to detail and the interesting visual approach which produced a stunning and unique looking show. We are all looking forward to future designs.”