Lighting Designer Davy Sherwin has created a ‘formidably cool’ lighting set for Wolf Alice’s latest album campaign, Visions of a Life. Conceived in collaboration with the band to keep the focus tightly on-stage, Sherwin’s stripped-back yet versatile design perfectly fits Wolf Alice’s catalogue.
Using a modest selection of lighting fixtures, Sherwin was supplied by specialist concert touring and event lighting solution provider Lights Control Rigging. “The band was keen to develop a fresh new look. They wanted clean lines with no onstage ‘contraptions’,” Sherwin explained. “They were interested in the detail of the look for each song and the final design was a result of a close collaboration with lead singer and guitarist Ellie [Rowsell] and the rest of the band. The album features a range of musical styles, it is intense with a big energy and there is a real physicality to the band themselves.
“I knew I needed to create something that would offer a scope of looks, yet be easy to tour with the limited crew I have on the road. There is only myself and lighting technician, Ben Hodgkins, taking care of lighting day to day. Ryan and his team were all over it from the off, making suggestions in terms of kit, quick rigging and masking solutions etc. I choose to work closely with my lighting supplier to ensure I have the best possible solution for my client and this is where LCR really shines.”
Sherwin’s rig was dominated by the German Light Products X4 Bars for side, back and up lighting, with additional side lighting provided by Martin by Harman MAC Auras and some MAC Viper Spots for the FOH face lighting.
“The lyrics of the songs are really important to Wolf Alice’s fan base,” Sherwin continued. “Keeping the focus on the band while being able to see lead singer Ellie Rowsell’s face was a priority. In terms of stage lighting, I was looking for something versatile but dramatic and the easy-to-rig GLP X4 battens with their variable focus, moody colour palette and video-mappable pixels did the trick.”
Ryan Hopkins, Director of LCR, worked closely with Sherwin to ensure the creative flexibility he was looking for was not compromised by the need for easy tourability. “Davy’s focus is to create a high impact, client pleasing design; ours is to make it robust, reliable and easy to tour,” Hopkins said. “Davy was looking to achieve a strongly side and back-lit, multi-angle, floor-rigged design. To keep the onstage look clean and sharp, we designed and built some side masking pieces and to ensure the easiest possible get-in/get-out we built pre-wired – and where possible, pre-rigged – booms and trusses.”
Sherwin was delighted with the outcome, added: “Ryan and his team have been brilliant, always looking for time saving fixes that make each day of the tour easier to manage. The way that the kit has been prepped and put together, the fact it’s always in tip top condition plus there is someone skilled and knowledgeable at the end of the phone 24/7 makes working with Ryan, Mike [Oates] and their team at LCR a total success every tour.”
Hopkins concluded: “Working with Davy on the Wolf Alice tour has been a real pleasure and embraces all the reasons why we set up LCR in the first place. Our aim is always to be a proactive and supportive plug-in for the LD wherever they are on the road. We wish Davy all the best with the rest of the campaign.”
Wolf Alice are touring Europe throughout early 2018, followed by a US and Australia tour into the summer.