Colour Sound Crosses Great Divide With Twin Atlantic
West London rental specialist, Colour Sound Experiment, supplied lighting and video for the latest leg of Glasgow alt. rockers Twin Atlantic’s ongoing 'Great Divide' album tour, working with Lighting and Visuals Designer Paul McAdams, who has evolved an edgy and vibrant show to match the band’s massive energy.
This latest run of gigs – which included London’s Brixton Academy and their largest headline show to date at hometown Glasgow’s Hydro Arena – saw McAdams build on the design he had created for the autumn 2014 tour – also supplied by Colour Sound.
The concept evolved around a core floor ‘touring’ package which was scaled up for the larger venues on the itinerary, which have increased in line with the growing profile of the band, complete with a local-promoter supplied ‘top’ rig. At Brixton this was also provided by Colour Sound.
The starting point for the touring design was video. The band had wanted to integrate the medium into their stage show for some time, and the ‘Great Divide’ presented an ideal and practical opportunity. Sourcing both lighting and video from one company also enabled a cost-effective solution.
McAdams drew up a series of geometric shapes with LED screen in mind – which satisfied his OCD and love of order - but he also needed these shapes to provide some chaos to suit the band’s edginess and uncompromising rocky delivery. It also had to be adaptable for different sized stages, so he ended up with 50 tiles of Colour Sound’s proprietary BT-20 20mm pitch product split into 13 columns of different lengths.
These could make up one big shape or any number of fragmented ones and were hung on a dedicated truss from a series of drop bars to give the height variation.
Video content was run via a Green Hippo media server triggered by his ChamSys MagicQ300 lighting control console. The lighting was then added around the screen shape.
He chose 24 Robe Pointe multi-purpose moving lights to be central to the touring rig as they are ideal for creating powerful big ‘rock looks’ to grace the stage and blast out into the audience, together with a myriad of beamy looks and gobo and prism effects. Twelve were rigged on the video truss and the other twelve scattered around the backline on the floor.
On the floor were 12 Atomic strobes for burn-out moments and 12 Robe LEDWash 600s for key lighting the band, with another eight for washing the two backdrops which were in for the first 7 or so songs before dropping simultaneously to reveal the video screens. Six LEDWash 1200s on the front truss were used to create all the main stage washes. Eight 2-lite blinders completed the touring ‘specials’ rig.
For the Brixton show, Colour Sound added three ‘house’ trusses, between them rigged with 13 Robe MMX Spots, 12 more LEDWash 600s, another 12 Atomics and 12 additional 2-lites. Eight Source Four profiles on the front truss were also used as extra key light.
Working alongside McAdams were crew Franki McDade and Haydn Williams. Both have worked with him on previous Twin Atlantic tours but this time he was lucky enough to be able to request them as a Colour Sound team. “They are absolutely brilliant – great people, extremely knowledgeable and absolutely nothing fazes them!” he said.
Aesthetically, the show is really dramatic to watch, with much moody back-light and silhouetting and a potent restless rhythm sprinkled with idiosyncrasy.
McAdams likes his key lighting coming from the floor rather than above which gives ‘the picture’ a depth and distinctive definition.
He uses the video as another light source as much as for displaying content. The screen surface also brings a completely different quality - and look - of light to the stage.
Some of the footage is re-edited versions of the band’s music videos, while other effects have been specially created for the show, and there is nothing standard looking about any of it. McAdams has worked hard on making these effects molten and liquid-like, bringing a different textured movement to the performance space that is a complete contrast to the moving lights.
He uses a lot of white and white variations, particularly on the colder bluey end of the scale, as well as some classy pastels that appear as the set progresses, giving us a new take on classic rockiness.
Colour Sound’s Hadyn Cruickshank comments, “We are excited to be working with Paul and the band again… all of them are rising stars! The design is fresh and original and everyone involved in the tour has a great energy… and I’m sure a great future in front of them”.
Photos: Louise Stickland
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