British electronic duo Bondax have recently completed a tour which saw them visit venues around the United States before returning to the UK for shows culminating in a headline performance at London’s Oval Space.
To create a tourable design for these shows, Bondax turned to designer Owen Pritchard-Smith of London-based Spirit Design. Owen had created a design for previous Bondax shows using lightboxes with the individual letters spelling out their name. With this tour taking a step up in size and production values, Owen aimed to create a look for the band which incorporated both lighting and video, and offered flexibility for the range of different venues played.
He commented: “With the band growing in popularity, we wanted to take the design up a level for this tour. I wanted to retain the focus on the band’s name, but use video screens to add more visual elements and give greater versatility in looks and shapes.
“I knew we needed six screens – one for each letter in the name – and a further screen for the front of the DJ booth. I had the idea of using semi-transparent LED which would allow me to shoot strobes through, combining the lighting and video elements. I spoke with Cameron Bannister from PRG XL, who recommended their F30 30mm LED screen to me as it was available in both UK and the US, and he arranged a demo.”
With a small touring production, and the requirement that all the equipment must fit into a splitter bus or van, Owen set about packaging the video and lights.
He explains: “I wanted the package to look slick and tidy, so I based the totems on scaffold poles and tank traps. That enabled us to keep cables mostly hidden and create small compact units that would fit on stage, even in smaller venues.”
The totems held both the LED panels, and the lighting supplied by PRG XL Video. Owen explains his choice of lighting fixtures: “I wanted to be able to create lots of variation and different looks, but with a limited number of fixtures. We used SGM P5s on the floor, and for the totem I used Atomics, and GLP impression X4S units, recommended by Cameron, which can create the variety of looks I wanted, yet were sufficiently compact for installation on the totems. For the US dates, we substituted those with Mac Aura XB fixtures, which were the nearest available equivalent, and they all worked well.”
Using the combination of lighting fixtures and video screens Owen created a versatile and scaleable show which worked for both small and larger stages. In total four different rigs were created to cover the variety of venues – two for the UK, depending on the venue size, with the larger rig incorporating more lighting fixtures including Clay Paky Sharpys; one for the US tour, and a further festival set-up with rolling truss instead of the scaffold totems.
During the tour preparation he worked with PRG XL’s Dana Read to pre-program the content, using the company’s demo space for the initial build: “The content for the video screens was mostly made up of colours and shapes. I used the video screens almost as a light source, whilst maintaining the main look incorporating the band’s logo.”
Cameron Bannister comments: “I thoroughly enjoy working with Owen and the team at Spirit Design. His willingness to share his end goals and his flexibility with solutions enables me to support his designs and budgets in a very enjoyable and fulfilling way. The end result looked fantastic, and reminds me of why it’s so great to be a part of this industry!”
Owen Pritchard-Smith sums up: “Cameron and the PRG XL team always provide a professional, personable, and accommodating service. Their experience and motivation allows me to learn about new equipment and provide my clients with a fresh, exciting and organic design.”
Spirit Design website: www.spiritdesignuk.com.
Photos: PRG XL Video/Darren Bandoo