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Clouseau Celebrates 30
Belgium – Belgian superstar rock band Clouseau celebrate a remarkable 30 year career which has embraced several musical transitions, dynamic side projects and the enduring loyalty of at least three generations of fans transcending four decades of popularity, and still giving off endless energy!
Lighting and stage design for the Clouseau ‘30’ tour – an extensive itinerary visiting 500 2,000 capacity venues across Belgium – has been created by Luc Peumans of Painting with Light.
The visual concept is based around creating a lounge-style environment with carpets on the floor, standard lamps dotted around and an upright piano onstage.
Charismatic lead singer Koen enthusiastically engages with the audience as he tells assorted stories related to each song. The set list can also change with no warning depending on this audience interaction, as they will often shout out requests for specific songs which the band might decide to play! This improvisation keeps Luc and the crew on their toes and is an exciting and invigorating way to work ‘live’.
Luc is actually celebrating his own anniversary, being back behind the lighting console and pushing buttons day-to-day as a touring LD / operator for the first time in at least ten years – and he’s loving it!
The specified console for this tour is a Hog 4, supplied by AED. The last time Luc programmed and ran a Clouseau touring show himself, although he’s designed several shows and tours for them since then, he used a legendary WholeHog II, so to keep continuity and take advantage of the user-friendly architecture of the Hog OS, Luc stayed with the brand which is now manufactured by High End Systems.
Luc and Painting with Light’s Paco Mispelters programmed the ‘30’ show together and are splitting the console operating duties between them navigating between their schedules and other commitments, ensuring the band has one or the other of them at each gig.
Special for this show is an impressive chandelier created by Luc, utilising 120 Lucenti Pearl RGBW bulbs (an Edison screw fit product) featuring an intricate RGB LED ring and a warm white ‘filament’. This product has been developed by creative light engineering and concept specialist eXplorentis from Boutersem, and is distributed in Belgium by Face.
Each bulb is individually controlled via the lighting desk, and the 120 light sources are hung above the band on six bespoke 1.6 metre diameter metal circles, each accommodating 20 bulbs on the ends of slim steels. The circles can easily be hung on the venue’s house bar systems for quick rigging and de-rigging, and for safe transportation, they pack into a custom dolly.
Luc has designed this special effect both as a piece of light-art in its own right and to bring the warmth and intimacy of tungsten-emulation to the stage, enhancing the lounge style ambience. This is quite a departure from Clouseau’s more traditional, rocky presentations or the electro-dance vibes of last year.
Much of the set for this tour is stripped back with acoustically orientated versions of some Clouseau hits, reworked and played by Koen and Kris Wauters together with three musicians.
For the rest of the production lighting, Luc chose 18 Chauvet Rogue R2 Wash moving lights which are positioned on six custom elevating towers upstage. The towers were also designed for the tour by Luc, and fabricated by AXEPT. They are straightforward to rig, de-rig and transport, and can extend up to four metres in height.
They are also carrying 12 Chauvet Maverick Mk2 Spots, an LED fixture picked for its brightness and good colours and effects options, with seven rigged on the venue house bars and five on the floor to add dynamic new angles of effects lighting at key moments.
With a plain black backdrop, Luc really wanted to keep the set uncomplicated and emphasise the directness of the Clouseau equation. “It’s all about a great connection with the audience which has always underlined their live shows and letting the music – especially with 30 years of history to call on – speak for itself,” he commented.
On being back behind the lighting board, his enthusiasm is obvious: “I am really enjoying it, using the Hog 4 was a bit like riding a bicycle, all the methodology and techniques came flooding back very quickly. The basic look and feel of this console is very familiar but the screens are bigger and brighter, it’s more flexible, everything is more ergonomic and it’s even easier to programme quickly and efficiently! Also, now we save onto a hard drive rather than floppy disks, which is far better!”
The tour’s lighting equipment is supplied by Coruna Sound & Light.
The band is playing one show in each venue on the itinerary, and the tour is currently scheduled to continue well into 2018. They have released a special box set album ‘30’ to commemorate the occasion and coincide with the tour.
photos: Frank Lambrechts, picturesk
19th January 2018
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