Colour Sound Supplies Richard Ashcroft Arena Shows

Photo: Louise Stickland

UK lighting and video rental company Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting and LED screen to two recent high profile shows by singer-songwriter Richard Ashcroft at Liverpool Arena and London’s O2, working with designer Jonny Gaskell.

Gaskell started with designing the video playback system. He suggested a large upstage LED screen for the playback material for which live camera director Julian Hogg re-edited some existing and classic Ashcroft music video footage and created some new content, which they decided to repackage onscreen in a series of virtual old TV set frames.

The 40ft wide x 20ft high screen was constructed from Colour Sound’s BT-6 HD LED product, with two 3.5m x 5.5m side screens added for Julian’s IMAG mix, which was made up from BT-7.

A Green Hippo Hippotizer v4 was used for storing all the playback footage appearing on the main screen. Hogg had four operated and four robo-cams at his disposal for the IMAG, with outputs from his mix sent via the Hippo to the main screen and, direct from his PPU, to the two side screens.

Complementing the vintage TV look and adding another strong scenic element was four Briese focus 180 fixtures, a photo umbrella complete with a tungsten lightsource used by photographers.

The main stage lighting trusses were kept simple with three straight trusses over the stage – front, mid and back. Added to that was a circular truss flown between the mid and back trusses which had a 1.2m diameter mirror ball tucked inside it that flew down for one of the final numbers of the set.

Gaskell chose Robe’s BMFL Spots for his main profile units with eight on the front truss for key lighting. They were joined by eight LEDWash 600s, eight 2-lites and eight Claypaky Stormy LED strobes facing into the audience.

On the mid-truss were 6 x BMFL Spots, 6 x LEDWash 600’s, 6 x 2-lite molefays, 6 x Stormys and 4 x LEDWash 1200’s, the latter dedicated to subtly highlighting the orchestra.

On the floor were another eight each BMFL Spots. Of the LEDWash 600’s, two were used like floor cans under Ashcroft’s chin, with the other six distributed upstage. There were also four LEDWash 1200’s – two downstage, left and right – to cross Ashcroft from low angles.

One Zap Technologies 5K Biglite was rigged on the mid truss directly upstage of his microphone position, with another 6 x 2-lites and six strobes positioned around the backline at head height on tank-trap stands.

Gaskell operated the show from his own ChamSys control set up. He worked alongside associate Lighting Director Joe Beardsmore, who also looked after the Hippotizer during the show, and was joined by a crew from Colour Sound comprising Andy Melleney, Simon Robertson and Hadyn Williams on lights, with Ed Blackwell on the LED and video.