Leading UK lighting and visuals rental company HSL are supplying lighting equipment, a 26-axes Kinesys automation system, all associated trussing and rigging plus crew to Snow Patrol as they embark on the first UK leg of their 2011 “Fallen Empires” world tour.

Lighting designer is Davy Sherwin, who has worked closely with Catalyst and live visuals programmer / visuals operator Robin Haddow and video director Blue Leach. The trio are collectively known as ‘The Art Department’ on the tour, and the stunning and beautifully fluid, intelligently harmonised show is the result of some serious triumvirate creative chemistry.

HSL’s project manager is Mike Oates. He says, “We love working with Davy and Robin and have seen the band’s show and their designs take a real journey and evolution over the last few years. Each tour is always fresh in ideas and this is among the best yet”.

Just as the band have explored new and alternative musical directions with Fallen Empires, their sixth hugely successful studio album, Sherwin’s lighting has moved into a different stratosphere.

Retaining all the theatricality and drama of the big rock show he’s introduced an architectural dynamic with six large flying pods that come together – only once at the culmination of the set – to form a giant snowflake which is the band’s logo.

The undersides of these are clad with Barco’s FLX LED mesh, and this is used for some really diverse, interesting and off-beat video looks and effects. The Pods also all move into numerous different positions together and independently, giving every song a totally unique look. They allow the stage to be opened up or closed down as required for the vibe of the song as well as bringing their own visual dimension to the performance.

Upstage in the stage left and stage right corners are four diagonal flying trusses, which are on the same Kinesys automation system as the Pods, and the front truss is an apex downstage V shape. Between the diagonals and the front truss are two straight side ‘torm’ trusses per side.

Right upstage is a large Stealth screen with a gauze in front and a grey cyc behind. When these two scenic elements (gauze and cyc) are combined with some classic ‘magic’ lighting, the screen disappears completely when not in use.

Rigged on the Pods are four Clay Paky Alpha Beam 700 moving lights and 30 Chroma-Q Color Block DB4 Mk II LED battens which outline the shape of the pod.

On the V-truss at the front are 16 VARI*LITE V*L3500 Washes and 16 i-Pix BB4 LED blinders. There are also 14 x linear 4-cell Moles vertically rigged for blasting into the audience for the band’s highly interactive show.

Upstage on the diagonal trusses are three Martin Professional MAC 3s on one truss and four on the other – both sides – giving a total of 14 MAC 3s, alternated with three and four Atomic Colours respectively – so 14 of those as well. These are potent rear stage lightsources and beam factors.

On the back truss are eight MAC 2K Wash XBs and six Atomic colours, all primarily used for highlighting the cyc.

Spread out along the four torms either side are a total of 16 Robe LEDWash 600s for general high up cross stage coverage.

The floor lighting starts upstage with another eight MAC 2K XB Washes to up-light the cyc. Then there is a row of eight MAC 3Ks pointing forwards alternated with seven Atomic Colours – all for intense back lighting and beams.

For super-punchy punctuations and accents there are six CP Sharpies on the mid stage risers and another six running along the downstage edge of the stage, giving a nice double-level effect for floor based power looks.

For cross stage lighting at deck level in the kicker position are another four Robe LEDWash 600s a side.

Stage atmospherics are achieved with the aid of two Le Maitre Stadium hazers, four Cirro Lite Strata mist systems and two Jem ZR 33s, and the HSL lighting package is completed with four Robert Juliat 3.5K Zodiac follow spots.

Sherwin’s console of choice is currently the Road Hog Full Boar, run with a mini wing and complete hot backup. This is the perfect console for the job!!!

He comments that the service from HSL has been “Amazing as always” and once again he is enjoying an excellent on-going working relationship with the Blackburn based company.

Haddow is running the Catalyst and all the playback video footage via a Hog PC, and Blue Leach is cutting the video IMAG mix on two Ableton Launchpad USB MIDI touch controllers, which feed into the Catalyst and are then output to screen. The Kinesys K2 system is operated by Dave Jolley.

HSL’s crew are crew boss Jonny Gallagher, dimmer guru Rob Starksfield, three fabulous technicians in the form of Mike Sheppard, Tim Oliver and Chris Roper .. and the aforementioned Dave Jolly, master of Kinesys movement control.

Date of issue : 26th March 2012.

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