Johnny Marr finds The Spirit Power with Ayrton Cobra


English singer/song writer and ex-member of ‘80s band, the Smiths, Johnny Marr embarked on his UK tour, The Spirit Power, this April, finishing at Rock City, Nottingham on 14 April 2024.

Two-time TPI Lighting Designer of the Year, Ed Warren, of Next Level Lights, put together a compact yet impactful lighting design for the 10-date tour with Ayrton laser-sourced Cobra fixtures playing a key role.

The full rig included 16 Ayrton Cobra rigged on two over-stage trusses with 4 more Cobra units sited upstage of the band, the latter of which formed the touring floor package.

“We used them as big, bright wash lights with which to blast through the performers and backline,” explained Warren, “and as very tight, bright beam lights moving ominously around the venue for the more clubby, dance moments.

“But the main reason I chose them was for the big mirrorball moments later in the set. I wanted to see the effect of using a laser source light on a mirrorball, to see how the light reflected and sparkled….I was not let down! The laser source produced the best reflection beams I’ve ever seen off a mirrorball!

“The fact that you get a very crisp, narrow beam which doesn’t lose its shape no matter how far it throws is a fantastic feature. The narrow beams really were clear and accurate, as were the gobos. It’s also extremely bright. I definitely didn’t need to point all 20 of them at the mirrorball at once…but I did anyway!”

The Ayrton Cobra fixtures were supplied for the tour by Adlib for whose service Warren was full of praise. “Adlib were very welcoming and straightforward to work with as always,” he said. “They supplied lights and audio for the tour which were very well prepped and all went without a hitch.

“I’d also like to give a big shout out to Subul Lodi who was touring operator on this. She’s a dream to work with.”

Lodi added: “I particularly enjoyed using the Cobras on tour. They’re extremely punchy fixtures which added a lot of depth to the show, especially as we weren’t touring an overhead rig. They were reliable on the road and very easy to program. They made the mirrorball moment at the end of the show stand out beautifully!”