Waving Goodbye to Soft Cell

London based lighting and visuals rental company Colour Sound Experiment supplied lighting, LED screens and Kinesys automation to iconic synth-pop duo Soft Cell’s last ever show, staged at London’s O2 Arena.

The six 1 tonne Kinesys Elevation 1+ hoists were used to fly a 10-metre square box truss over the stage which was rigged with Robe BMFL moving lights and Martin Sceptron LED battens, plus some set pieces which clad the outside edges of the truss creating a ‘soft cell’ effect.

During the show the box truss moved in and out and tilted and pitched to change the shape and appearance of the stage.

Lighting designer Rob Sinclair explained that he used the movement to close the space down at strategic moments during the epic two-and-a-half-hour show. Generally, he uses automation in his designs as a vehicle for increasing the dynamics and overall visual options onstage.

In this case, the upstage screen was tall, especially with the truss flying above it, so they wanted to be able to make the stage feel smaller, more enclosed and claustrophobic for a few songs.

Fletch from the Colour Sound crew looked after the rigging detail. He sourced these Kinesys motors from Outback Rigging as all of Colour Sound’s own Kinesys motor systems were out on other projects. They were used together with Kinesys LibraCELLs and a Vector control system supplied by Colour Sound.

The box truss weighed 3.5 tonnes, and LibraCELLs were used on every motor to ensure that none of the points or equipment became overloaded. These were also running in conjunction with a Mentor E-Stop system.

Fletch wanted Kinesys on the show due to its proven track record for safety and reliability.

Lighting was programmed to work harmoniously with the playback video content, so there were lots of pinks, blues and purple neon-esque looks and scenes, contrasted with harsher, starker whites.

Colour Sound’s lighting crew chief was James Hind, joined by a very strong team comprising Sam Kenyon, Jon Rickets, Sam Akinwale, Alex Bratza and Adam LaFemina. On video they had Fergus Noble as crew chief, plus Ed Blackwell and Gareth Manicom.

The set was designed by Ric Lipson from Stufish.

All images courtesy of Stufish.

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