Painting with Light Celebrates 30 with Clouseau

Belgian rock band Clouseau celebrated a remarkable 30 year career, with their latest tour, 30. Veteran LD, Luc Peumans of Painting with Light devised created the lighting and show design for the tour. The visual concept was based around creating a lounge-style environment with carpets on the floor, standard lamps dotted around and an upright piano onstage.

Peumans celebrated his own anniversary of being back behind the lighting console as a touring LD / operator for the first time in at least 10 years. The specified console for the tour was a High End Systems Hog 4, supplied by AED. The last time Peumans programmed and ran a Clouseau touring show himself – although he’s designed several shows and tours for them since then – he used a legendary WholeHog II. So, to keep continuity and take advantage of the user-friendly architecture of the Hog OS, Peumans stayed with the Hog brand by High End Systems.

Peumans and Painting with Light’s Paco Mispelters programmed the 30 show together and split the console operating duties between them, navigating between their schedules and other commitments, ensuring the band had one or the other of them at each gig. Special for this show was an impressive chandelier created by Peumans, utilising 120 Lucenti Pearl RGBW bulbs (an Edison screw fit product) featuring an intricate RGB LED ring and a warm white ‘filament’. This product was developed by creative light engineering and concept specialist eXplorentis from Boutersem, and is distributed in Belgium by Face. Each bulb was individually controlled via the lighting desk and the 120 lightsources were hung above the band on 6 bespoke 1.6m diameter metal circles, each accommodating 20 bulbs on the ends of slim steels. The circles can easily be hung on a venue’s house bar systems for quick rigging / de-rigging and, for safe transportation, they pack into a custom dolly.

For the rest of the production lighting, Peumans chose 18 Chauvet Professional Rogue R2 Wash moving lights which were positioned on 6 custom elevating towers upstage. The towers were also designed for the tour by Peumans, and fabricated by AXEPT. They also carried 12 Chauvet Maverick Mk2 Spots, an LED fixture picked for its brightness and good colours / effects options, with 7 rigged on the venue house bars and 5 on the floor to add dynamic new angles of effects lighting at key moments.

With a plain black backdrop, Peumans wanted to keep the set uncomplicated and emphasise the directness of the Clouseau equation. He commented: “It’s all about a great connection with the audience which has always underlined their live shows and letting the music – especially with 30 years of history to call on – speak for itself.”

On being back behind the lighting board, Peumans added: “I am really enjoying it. Using the Hog 4 was a bit like riding a bicycle, all the methodology and techniques came flooding back very quickly. The basic look and feel of this console is very familiar but the screens are bigger and brighter, it’s more flexible, everything is more ergonomic and it’s even easier to programme quickly and efficiently. Also, now we save onto a hard drive rather than floppy disks, which is far better.”

The tour’s lighting equipment was supplied by Coruna Sound & Light and the band have released a special box set album 30 to commemorate the occasion and coincide with the tour. /