Entec Lighting supplied equipment and crew for LD Dave Ross and the Sex Pistols’ recent “comeback” shows at Brixton Academy, London.
In spite of their once anarchic image, the band’s lighting requirements were relatively conservative this time around – 30 years down the line – although they did have some very definite ideas about the aesthetics. They wanted an ‘old skool’ look, everything lit in red, white or blue (i.e. Union Jack colours) and nothing too “flashy”. They also wanted to be able to see the audience at appropriate moments.
Entec was asked to quote on the lighting supply and won the account via production manager Chris Griffiths.
Entec’s Noreen O’Riordan comments “how splendid to be working with a band of our generation that changed the music industry so radically, God Save The Pistols!
Back in 1977, when the band so rudely kick started the art-house punk movement and shook the musical establishment to the core, there would have been no moving lights! However these shows were being recorded for a DVD directed by Julian Temple, so Ross’s design also needed to be TV friendly. He duly incorporated intelligent lights into rig, and used them in a retro style, almost as if they were PAR cans.
The band also wanted a bare stage – as if they had just walked in to an empty warehouse and started playing – and a stripped back, raw look and feel to the environment.
The rig was based around three 48 ft straight trusses, each loaded with 8 Vari*Light 2000 Washes and 3 Martin Atomic strobes.
Then there was a back wall of 6 vertical trusses, each 5 metres high and containing five 4-lite Moles (36 total). Ross specifically wanted a vintage ‘wall of death’ effect, and that’s why he went for DWEs as opposed to LED or video elements.
Later on in the set, an updated version of the band’s famous “God Save The Queen” backdrop was revealed, and up-lit with 3 Studio Due CityColor 2.5k, strategically positioned on the floor below.
Also on the floor were a selection of PAR cans, focussed on the surrounding environment like the venue’s fire hoses, hemp lines, exit doors and other ‘natural’ stage furniture.
The audience was illuminated with 8-lites strewn on the front truss, and bars of 6 PARs scattered around the auditorium including on the PA wings.
Entec also supplied 3 FOH follow spots, plus two crew in the form of Dave Black and Cathy Stewart, for the complete run, with Peter Schofield, Barry Branford, Martin Zeigert & Nic Burlace assisting with the rig & de rig.
Ross ran the show from a Hog iPC console.
“Simplicity was the essence of the show” he recalls, “They didn’t want a big, clever lightshow, just something right for a gritty, screeching music session with a couple of tricks at the back.”
Ross highlights the service from Entec, saying “They were as brilliant as ever. Nothing was too much trouble and everything was done to ensure that the shows ran smoothly and efficiently, including sending out a meticulously prepped rig and supplying excellent crew”.