Working from home? Switch to the DIGITAL edition of Projection, Lights & Staging News. CLICK HERE to signup now!
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Bryan Ferry Tour 2019

Steve Jennings (Photos and Text) • October 2019Showtime • October 9, 2019

BRYAN FERRY © Steve Jennings

Lighting Co

Christie Lites

Venue

Various

(World Tour)

Crew

Lighting Designer, Programmer & Director: Matt Arthur

Lighting Crew Chief: Paul “Socks” Eaves

Lighting Tech: Terra Duggen

Tour Manager: Catherine Roberts

Production Manager: Adam King

Staging/Set Co: All Access Staging

Custom Set Panels: Brilliant Stages (U.K.)

Custom Drapes: Hangman (U.K.)

Trucking Co: Ego Trips

Gear

1          Jands Vista lighting console

24       Martin MAC Viper Profiles

8          Martin MAC Viper Performances

18       Martin MAC Aura XB’s

7          Chroma-Q Color Force 72’s

10       ETC Source Four LED Series 2 Lustr fixtures

19       ETC Source Fours (750W, 19°)

2          40” Mirror Balls w/2ch DMX rotators

2          ½-ton Kinesys motors (Mirror Balls)

1          40’ traveller track

18       Custom LED strips for riser surrounds (BF supply)

8          Bespoke set panels (BF supply)

1          Scenic package (red drapes/backdrop/cyc; BF supply)

1          Laptop w/ S1 and M1 control surfaces

2          DF-50 hazers

 

Designer Insights by Steve Jennings

Matt Arthur

Lighting Designer, Programmer & Director

Matt Arthur, lighting designer, programmer & director for Bryan Ferry, says the design for the 2019 tour is still pretty much true to the original concept that he started with in 2015. Rob Sinclair designed it originally, they programmed it together and honed it over the first week of shows and then Arthur has taken care of it since then. “Rob popped back in a few times and offered some intelligent edits, but since mid-2018, management have asked me to take over the designer role as well as the continued direction and programming roles.

“Side lighting works really well for the band, and the red drapes take the colors so nicely… It’s a timeless look that suits Bryan’s style. I’ve substituted a few fixtures along the way to make it evolve and step it up. It used to be standard Source Fours without lenses on the floor, but they are now LED versions to get some color behind each band member from the floor. Also different are eight [Martin MAC] Viper Performances on the front truss (it used to be six Viper Profiles) to allow me to cut hard edges around the flown set pieces. The rest are still Mac Viper Profiles and Mac Aura XBs and Source Four 19º for key light. The biggest changes I have made are in the scenic elements, with the set pieces, and adding a new scenic “slash” backdrop upstage of traveller for the big reveal. The design of which looks like an exploded set piece, hence keeping the same type of look. The traveller used to open to reveal a plain cyc… which worked well, but as we returned to places more and more, we needed to move this look on.”

In Feb/Mar of 2019, Ferry’s tour went to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, but they couldn’t freight the panels, so that’s when Arthur came up with the “slash” backdrop so that they had something interesting to move to when the curtains opened… “and it looked really cool… especially when I lit the cyc which was upstage of it, and the backdrop silhouette is great.” Arthur also added a second mirror ball for this tour. The mirror balls fly in on Kinesys motors for a few songs in the set and some CF72’s under the red drapes. The CF’s light the red drape when its closed and highlight the front of “slash” backdrop when it is revealed. “Again, it’s about having somewhere to go… something Rob has always instilled in me, either building songs or shows, always have somewhere to go to make it bigger or exciting! So, there have been some changes over the years but not big “let’s start again” design changes that other tours can bring.”

The show is run manually. There is a master cue list per song that Matt Arthur will hit “Go” on the master playback and add in bumps, strobes, key light over the top. There are a lot of follow cues to make page changes and setup the first cue of the next song, help it flow at points, but mostly it’s hitting the button at the right time. “I have about 95 songs programmed in the pool. A lot of them haven’t been played for a while, but others will keep popping in and out. At the start of each run Bryan likes to add a bunch of new songs he maybe hasn’t played for a while, or at all, along with changing the set list around.”

This USA run was an anniversary of the Avalon album by Roxy Music, so Ferry added a load of songs from that album. “I think I had 17 new songs this year, and then tweaking the older ones to suit the new design/backdrop for this run. The first few weeks of the tour, certain parts of the set will change daily… until it settles down and he’s happy with the flow. The tricky part for me is that there aren’t ever any blackouts between songs, and each song fades and then links to the next… ideally seamlessly. So when the set changes, I need to create new links and hence new versions of the song from the last cue to the preset of the next, which is sometimes easy and sometimes tricky, depending on what the set-up is for the next song. I can have up to six versions of one song, as you never know if he’s going to recall that song order again in a few days time. There are still a few songs that are the same as when we programmed them in the early stages. Again, if it works for the song, ‘Virginia Plain’ is one that is still the same. Once you look at something for a long while, you start to question if it works or not. So naturally, I think it’s all been tweaked at some point.”

The set pieces are eight in total, hung in such a way as to create perspective, but some of them join together to form five panels, which is how they started out behind the reveal, hung off steel wire drifts off the downstage chord of the drape truss, with the cyc hung off the upstage side. “I wanted something that had cut-outs so I could still have the color of the cyc shine through and I definitely wanted the style to be modern and asymmetric. They are made of a light weight aluminum frame with main panel fronts with a brushed silver Dibond material which is a hard, but thin, acrylic core with thin layers of aluminum pressed onto each side. “They take front projection really well from the MAC Viper Performances and also straight color blocks. The shutters in the Performance allow me to cut around the edges so all you see is the panel. I have Auras on the floor purely dedicated to backlighting the pieces hung off the mid truss, so they don’t get lost with all that’s happening behind them. The Auras on the sides either light the drape behind them, or the panels…so placement of these is vital. The Vipers are an exceptional fixture for their output, their reliability and their nice flat field. Their gobos are great too! The Auras, for their size are one of my favorite little wash lights. I have had a long relationship with Ian Gordon (Christie Lites) out of Vancouver as both a friend and an account handler and he has always looked after us very well. The fact that they have Martin gear as part of their main inventory is a massive bonus, they’re a great company. The crew I had out of Christie were top notch!

“I have toured with our lighting crew chief, Paul Eaves, on previous projects in the US, and being a fellow Melbournian, we hit it off. He joined us as part of the crew in Oz when we were down there earlier in the year. Terra Duggan our lighting tech was a fantastic and very welcomed addition to the team on this run… great worker with a great personality. Thanks to both of them for a great run, sometimes in very tight and hot environments!”

 

More Bryan Ferry 2019 Tour photos by Steve Jennings:

 

The Latest News and Gear in Your Inbox - Sign Up Today!