Robert Coleman, Lighting Designer for Iron Maiden, specified 6 (not 666!) Robert Juliat Lancelot 4000W HTI followspots for the band’s current Legacy of the Beast World Tour, which started with a 38-date European leg in May 2018.
This is not the first time Coleman has used Robert Juliat followspots, having also specified them for the band’s 2017The Book of Soulsworld tour. “I’ve always found Robert Juliat incredibly reliable,” said Coleman who, first and foremost, takes advantage of Lancelot’s 2°-5° zoom range.
“Despite Lancelot being a long-throw followspot, it can easily handle the great variety of throw distances involved in touring different venues. Sometimes we have outdoor shows where the FOH position can be quite close to the stage; other times we can be somewhere the size of the O2 Arena with the spots mounted on the backwall. The Lancelots hold up well in both situations. The zoom and the optics are good in either position. And obviously, they are crazy bright!”
For the current Iron Maiden tour, Coleman has used the Lancelot followspots “in every configuration you can think of – FOH festival towers, the back wall of arenas, on catwalks…they have been everywhere you can imagine!”
He specified 6 of the grand RJ beasts with the initial intention of carrying one as a spare, but this soon developed into allocating one Lancelot for each member of the band. “We found six was the ideal number, with one sitting on the drummer to act as a working spare should anything goes wrong,” said Coleman.
It’s useful to have an extra spot up there, always ready to go, which we can use to add extra highlights when we want them, and to handle the occasional sightline issue when the size of the stage set presents a problem in some venues. Some adverse angles mean we can’t always hit the lead singer with one spot at all times, so by touring six we have the capacity to double up and use two spots to avoid shadows. And, of course, that extra followspot has the important role of picking up the band’s mascot, Eddie, when he makes his big appearance!”
Lancelot’s HTI source is also a firm favourite with Coleman: “The lamp has a good colour temperature which is not too harsh on the band members. I found a nice colour combination of corrections which gives a good, fleshy skin tone that makes all the band members look vibrant, healthy, warm and human…and looks great on the IMAG too.”
The Robert Juliat fixtures have proved their worth during set up and transportation too as Coleman explained: “The Lancelots are easy to set up and much quicker than other followspots because the bulb travels within the unit and doesn’t need setting up, and the stands go together quickly. This frees up a lot of time during pre-show checks to do other tasks. Additionally, from my perspective, the iris and the motion of the spot are always very smooth, which is what we are all looking for!”
The 6 RJ Lancelot units have been supplied for the entire tour by London-based Neg Earth Lights, which also supplied Robert Juliat for last year’s The Book of Soulsworld tour. “As usual, the Robert Juliat spots have been meticulously maintained to the point of perfection by Neg Earth which always helps,” continued Coleman. “The thoroughness of their preparation keeps everything running perfectly.”