- August/September- James Morrison festival shows in Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Dubai and the UK. Lighting direction for James’ lighting designer Cate Carter of Bryte Design Studios, with a festival floor lighting package and crew supplied by Neg Earth.
- October- Heaven 17 “Penthouse & Pavement” 35th anniversary UK tour. Lighting design and lighting equipment hire.
- October- Gilbert O’Sullivan shows in the UK and Norway. Lighting equipment hire.
- November- Timeflies “Party In The Basement” European tour. Lighting equipment hire and lighting programming for the band’s production manager Mark Portlock.
- December- Beartooth UK tour. Lighting equipment hire to the band’s lighting designer Victor Zeiser of New York-based Squeek Lights.
If 2015 was one of Martin’s Lights busiest years ever, then 2016 is lining up to be even more so, with more gigs and tours already done by the end of July than were done in all of 2015! Here’s a brief summary of what we’ve done so far this year. Click on any photo to see it full size.
- January – They Might Be Giants UK tour (equipment supply to lighting designer Victor Zeiser)
- January & February – one-off shows with Gilbert O’Sullivan at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Dublin and at the Mermaid Theatre in London (with the BBC Concert Orchestra for Radio 2’s “Friday Night Is Music Night”) and a run of nine shows around the UK (lighting design and equipment supply).
- March & April – lighting direction, programming and desk operator services to James Morrison’s lighting designer Cate Carter of Bryte Design for a 13-show full production tour of the UK & Ireland (with lighting equipment and crew from Neg Earth) and 12-show European tour carrying an extensive floor lighting package.
- March & April – Newton Faulkner UK tour (lighting design & equipment supply, lighting director Gareth Dean).
- May – Kula Shaker UK and Ireland tour (lighting design & equipment supply)
- May to July (and ongoing) – James Morrison festival shows in the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Denmark and Iceland.
- June – Mercury Rev UK tour, finishing at Glastonbury Festival (lighting design and equipment supply).
- June to July – Newton Faulkner festival shows at Glastonbury, Lusty Glaze and Cornbury (lighting design and lighting console supply).
- July – Kula Shaker festival shows in Spain, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (lighting design and lighting console supply).
As well as these ongoing and regular client artists, Martin’s Lights has also lit one-off shows and other events for Shiplake College, Chichester University Students’ Union, Marc Almond, Arquiva and University College London (Business), and supplied equipment to The Cult and AIR.
2015 was one of Martin’s Lights busiest years ever. You can see details of some of our touring work on the other 2015 pages on the website. In addition to those tours, we also lit Hudson Taylor (UK and Ireland tours), The Staves (London shows), Gilbert O’Sullivan (Ireland tour), Madness and Kodaline (European festivals, looking after both bands for lighting designer Pete Hosier) and The Darkness (festivals in a dozen European countries). Other festivals and outdoor events we worked on included Bushstock in London (lights on three stages), Reading Festival (technician and programming/desk op services on the Lock Up/Pit stage) and Bear Grylls Survival Race in Trent Park in London (a complete lighting system on the main stage). We also serviced a wide variety of corporate events all over the country and provided a six-week installation of outdoor Christmas lighting at Marwell Wildlife in Hampshire. Click on any photo to see it full size.
Another talented artist with whom Martin’s Lights renewed a working relationship in 2015 is singer Marc Almond. Having last worked with him in 2012, Marc’s tour manager asked us to do so again this year and Martin’s Lights lit Marc’s “Velvet Trail” European tour in September as well as as one-off shows in Dublin, Belfast, Nottingham and London. For the tour, which took in The Netherlands, Germany and Switzerland, we supplied a floor lighting package of moving wash lights, LED Pars and mirror balls, and ChamSys control which was used to run lighting and, at some shows, to trigger the Arkaos media server running the show visuals. Click on any photo to see it full size.
James Morrison played his first shows in two years in summer 2015, in anticipation of the winter release of his new album “Higher Than Here” and once again, James’ lighting designer Cate Carter of Bryte Design asked Martin’s Lights to work on the live shows. James played three intimate shows in London in August and Cate designed an elegant floor package from Martin’s Lights hire inventory for the shows. This package was expanded for James’ full UK tour in November and consisted of moving wash and spot lights, vintage theatrical flood lights and LED Pars, with the floor package and the venue lighting systems controlled via Martin’s Lights brand new ChamSys MQ80 console with an Extra Wing Compact. Martin Dudley programmed and operated all of James’ full live shows in 2015, which also included showcase gigs in Hamburg, Germany and Zurich, Switzerland. Click on any photo to see it full size.
In 2014, Martin’s Lights renewed its working relationship with with Afro Celt Sound System, pioneers of the fusion between world music and electronic music, and 2015 we lit all of the band’s appearances at festivals in the UK (including the HebCelt Festival on the isle Of Lewes in the Outer Hebrides), The Netherlands and at the Woodstock Festival in Poland where the band performed in front of their biggest crowd ever. Travelling light, no lighting production was carried for these shows but in most cases Martin’s Lights supplied lighting control in the form of laptop-based ChamSys MagicQ PC software with Maxi Wing and Extra Wing Compact hardware. Click on any photo to see it full size.
In early 2014, Martin’s Lights continued its working relationship with Newton Faulkner which goes back almost eight years to Newton’s debut album “Handbuilt By Robots”. This time, Newton and his management requested a “classy” look for the UK and Irish tour to promote his fourth album “Studio Zoo” which was released in 2013, and for the first time in six years, Newton’s show featured additional musicians- Beth Porter on cello, zither, glockenspiel and backing vocals, Sam Brookes (also the support act for the tour) on second guitar, bass and backing vocals, Toby Faulkner on backing vocals and Sam Brookes’ drummer Rob Pemberton on percussion. As is often the way, the design of the stage and lighting evolved from the initial meeting, but the final result of the tour, on which many of the venues were sold out, was described by Newton himself as “Martin’s finest work yet”…
The design started with a specific request from Newton to use again the LED starcloth that featured on the previous 2012 tour. The lighting system featured five Robe Colorspot 700E AT moving lights flown on in-house upstage trusses, positioned so that the middle unit could spotlight Newton directly from behind. Two Colorspot 575AT moving lights on flightcases on the downstage outer corners were used to sidelight Newton and to throw gobo patterns onto the starcloth. Eight Robe ROBIN LEDWash 600 moving lights were rigged on flightcases and upright scaff pipes in a gentle arc around the back of Newton and the other performers, with the outer units set at approximately one metre height, rising to three metres
for the central units, and extensive use of their three separately controllable rings of LEDs was made for both subtle and bold effects. On four of these scaff pipes, two-cell DWE blinders were rigged for lighting several of the “big” moments of the show.
Hanging directly above Newton at different heights were three clear 1000W GES pendant lamps. Four Par 64 36x 1W LED floor lamps were positioned behind Newton’s stage riser and two each behind the other musicians’ risers either side to give blasts of saturated colour from below. A half metre mirrorball was rigged low behind Beth Porter’s riser to accent a short but beautiful cello solo during “Don’t Make Me Go There”. A Cirro hazer provided atmosphere and control of the whole system was from a ChamSys MagicQ PC and Maxi Wing setup. At the London show in the Camden Roundhouse, the touring lighting system was added to the venue’s lighting rig and 46 additional moving lights, plus dimmers, were patched into the desk and morphed seamlessly into the touring show.
Martin Dudley was the lighting designer and technician for the tour, which, after three days’ rehearsal, visited 23 venues in the UK mainland, Northern Ireland and Eire. Gareth Dean was the lighting technician. Martin was also involved in other aspects of the show design including stage clothes, and Newton’s “living room” stage set which featured a set of bookshelves and a working radiogram featuring internal lighting (both built and modified by Joe Nallon from CSCo). Martin’s Lights also supplied to the tour a custom-built wardrobe flightcase for the stage clothes, featuring RGB LED lighting!
All photos © Becky Nallon Photography 2014. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. These photos must not be copied, shared or otherwise used without permission. You can see more photos on the Martin’s Lights Limited Facebook page.
In October 2013, Morcheeba released their new album “Head Up High”, their second since reuniting with singer Skye in 2010, and they lined up an extensive European tour for the autumn and winter to promote the album. Martin’s Lights has worked with the band’s lighting designer Cate Carter since 2012, assisting her with James Morrison shows, she asked us to do the same with Morcheeba, and we supplied lighting direction for eighteen of the band’s shows across thirteen countries in venues from 500 to 3000 capacity.
Cate designed a “double” backdrop for the tour, utilising a new laminating technique from drape manufacturers Hangman. The backdrop, six metres wide by four metres high, is based on the album cover artwork, and when lit from the front appears black and white, taking the colour of the lights with which it is lit. When lit from behind with the tungsten flood lamps carried on tour, it reveals the full, multi-colour version of the artwork. Two additional backdrop legs, two metres wide by four metres high, continued the theme, allowing the backdrop to adapt to the wide variety of stage sizes encountered on the tour.
The other lighting fixtures carried were ten GLP Impression LED moving lights used to light the backdrop from the front and to backlight the band, and a pair of Source Four profiles to side light singer Skye. Lighting control was from a ChamSys MQ100 console with an Extra Wing, and each day the programmed show was “morphed” to suit the venue’s lighting systems, which varied widely from a few Parcans to dozens of brand-new moving lights!
The tour started in Prague in the Czech Republic in October, ran for three weeks, then it took a short break and reconvened in Spain in early December, finishing in Athens, Greece, on 14th December.
2013 has seen Martin’s Lights work with a whole range of clients, new and old, in both the “rock’n’roll“ (live music) and corporate areas, both as lighting designer and providing lighting hire from their Reading base.
Regular and returning clients have included Gilbert O’Sullivan (a three-date Dutch tour), James Morrison’s summer festival season (working for James’ lighting designer Cate Carter, click here for a feature on this), Fun-Da-Mental (at the Terraneo festival in Croatia), Chichester University Students’ Union’s May Ball, the National Dancesport Cup, Communion Music (stage lighting for two venues at the Bushstock festival in Shepherd’s Bush, and a lighting system for Oi Va Voi’s first London show in three years), University College London (Business)’ (annual drinks reception at the Portico in Gower Street, London), the Sub89 venue in Reading and Coloursound Experiment (a lighting redesign for the Lock Up stage at Reading and Leeds Festivals, technician services on the stage at Reading and lighting hire), Mustard Presentations (corporate lighting design and lighting hire), Newton Faulkner (lighting design) and The Cult (lighting hire).
New clients have included Daneshill School in Hook, Hampshire (a lighting installation and hires), Beth Orton (at the Royal Festival Hall), Easthampstead Baptist Church (a lighting installation), Dexy’s (Midnight Runners, lighting direction for several festival shows) and Alicia Keys, for whom we supplied stage lighting for a Blackberry Secret Sessions show, where we also supplied architectural and ambient lighting inside and outside the venue, as well as power distribution for lighting, cameras, internet streaming and catering. We also looked after the majority of the shows on Morcheeba‘s autumn and winter European tour for Cate Carter of Bryte Design (lighting direction, click here for a feature on this).
In 2012, Martin’s Lights lit several of James Morrison’s shows on his summer festival season for James’ lighting designer Cate Carter. She asked us to do the same this year, and we looked after seven shows in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium and the UK. The shows were a mixture of trucking dates, where Neg Earth supplied a lighting extras package, and fly dates where the only equipment taken to the shows was a silver backdrop featuring James’ logo, and a ChamSys Magic Q PC system consisting of a touchscreen laptop and Maxi Wing control surface, supplied by Martin’s Lights. On the truck dates, the extras package featured a second gold gathered backdrop, two 4m lighting towers each supporting four 5kW Skypan fixtures and four Martin MAC101 moving lights, with seven Clay Paky Alpha Beam 300 moving lights and five two-cell blinders on the floor, and nine BB4 units to light the backdrops. The control on these shows was a full ChamSys MQ100 desk with Playback Wing. Both versions of the ChamSys desk were used to control the festival lighting systems and the extras package, and extensive use of the fixture cloning and morphing facilities was made to enable the show to work with the wide variety of rigs encountered.
The photos on this page are by Becky Nallon. Copyright Becky Nallon (2013), all rights reserved.
In 2012, Martin’s Lights illuminated a whole range of artists such as Portico Quartet, Gaz Coombes (of Supergrass), The Staves, Marc Almond, Maddy Prior And The Carnival Band, Slow Club, Skye Edwards (of Morcheeba), Gary Numan, Guillemots and Death In Vegas. Martin’s Lights provided lighting designers and directors for these artists’ shows and tours, and supplied lighting equipment to the promoters of the shows, directly to the bands or to their own lighting designers.
We also supplied lighting services to “corporate” clients including University College London, Chichester University Students’ Union and Tullow Oil.
Newton Faulkner’s first album, 2007’s Hand Built By Robots, was certified double-platinum in the UK and his 2012 album Write It On Your Skin debuted at number one on the UK album charts. Martin’s Lights has worked with Newton since that first album and has done a dozen tours with him in the UK, Europe and as far afield as Australia and New Zealand, as well as many festival appearances including Glastonbury, the V Festivals, T In The Park and the 2012 Olympics celebrations in London’s Hyde Park. In October 2012 Newton undertook a sold-out UK tour to promote the Write It On Your Skin album and once again Martin’s Lights supplied complete lighting production for the rehearsals and eighteen shows. The lighting design was based on a back truss which supported five Robe Colorspot 700E AT moving lights and a white cloth which dropped at the end of the show to reveal an LED starcloth. Two 3 metre high upstage truss towers supported eight Robe ROBIN LEDWash 600 moving lights and two Robe Colorspot 575AT moving lights. Six more Colorspot 575ATs were sat on flight cases onstage and Newton was front-lit with a pair of Source Four profiles. Finishing touches included three small mirror balls, a pair of Par 64 floorcans to throw shadows of Newton onto the white cloth, a pair of Par 64 LED lamps to colour tone the upright trusses, and three Par 16 green LED birdy lights underneath a custom transparent Perspex shelf inside Newton’s onstage globe where his ginger and honey tea was kept! The system was controlled by lighting designer/technician Martin Dudley on ChamSys MagicQ PC software running on a touchscreen laptop with a ChamSys Maxi Wing, and was ably looked after by technician Gareth Dean.
In the summer of 2012, James Morrison’s lighting designer Cate Carter was also working with Elbow, so Martin’s Lights looked after a dozen of James’ shows for her – a mixture of indoor shows, festival appearances in the UK and Europe and headline performances at prestigious venues like Hampton Court Palace and Kew Gardens. Lighting director Martin Dudley worked alongside technicians from Neg Earth who supplied both the full lighting systems for the indoor gigs and an extensive lighting extras package for the outdoor shows, and all the shows were run on a ChamSys MQ100 Pro 2010 console with a Playback Wing.
The final show of this run was at the Wembley Arena in London where James performed alongside Elton John and actor Jude Law at the “Peace One Day” concert. Martin’s Lights is looking forward to working again with James Morrison in 2013.
You can see more about these shows here.
Martin’s Lights has worked with Gilbert O’Sullivan for more than a decade and has seen him re-establish his audience during that period, with Gilbert moving up from playing small arts centres to concert halls and theatres. Since 2007, we have worked closely with Gilbert’s manager Kevin O’Sullivan, and his audio team of Kevin Sefton and Francis Gardner, to improve the production values of the live shows and Gilbert now tours full PA, video projection and a lighting extras package.
Gilbert’s tour in March and April 2012 took in fifteen venues in the UK and Ireland. Martin’s Lights supplied a 15 metre x 6 metre LED starcloth, six Robe Colorspot 575AT moving lights and eight 36x 1W LED Par 64s. This lighting package, and the in-house lighting systems, was controlled with a ChamSys MagicQ PC and Maxi Wing. Martin’s Lights also supplied flight cases for the band’s backline, and rigging accessories for the projection screen.