At the helm of lighting design for the James Bay success story since 2014 is Liam Tully. Currently, his full design is stacked full of Clay Paky Mythos and Ayrton Magic Blade-Rs and he is a firm follower of MA Lighting control using a grandMA2 Light as the main board, onPC Command Wing as back up and MA NPU for DMX distribution.
“From a control perspective, I moved to an MA setup a few months before taking on James Bay,” opens Tully. “Everything works seamlessly together. For the festival events on this tour, it is almost a given that there will be a grandMA2 FOH. On those days, we even leave our control in the truck and I just walk up with a USB pen. We have a festival rig that includes twenty of the MagicBlades that are rigged in a forty-foot-wide line to make a wall of light and I also work with the festival rig to compliment what we put on the floor. The MA system means that any tweaks to the programming are quick and simple – and effective.”
It’s the Clay Paky Mythos that forms the foundation for Tully’s full production rig which is essentially five trusses running up to downstage with side hangs that carry three more Mythos per side. “We do anything from venues of about two thousand in capacity to small arenas so flexibility has to be built into my design. The Mythos is a great fixture. It’s fast, it’s bright, quiet and the range of beam and zoom make it the perfect versatile hybrid tool. The Ayrton MagicBlade-Rs are rigged from the floor to form a wall upstage; as a designer they are just really exciting to use; I’m still finding new looks with them even after being on tour for more than a year.”
Tully is clearly an LD who understands that expert backup and support should be at the top of every designer’s list: “I use my local lighting company, Nitelites. The MD, Jamie Moore is constantly driving the company forward and that positivity and enthusiasm feeds through to the crew. The Bay crew are Shaun Moore, Richard Russell and Jordan Willis and I couldn’t have asked for better.
“In the same way I feel confident about the gear that I use,” he continues, “Whenever I’m in London and have a bit of free time I can go over the Ambersphere Solutions and look at what they have that’s new or have a chat about what I’m already using. Their door is always open; they just let me come in and play around with the lights. I had a demo of the Clay Paky Scenius a few weeks ago – I can’t wait to try that out on a show. And as for the Ayrton DreamPanelTM Twin: that’s a must for a future design!”