Avolites and RADlite on the Brats

Avolites control equipment was again specified for the high profile NME Brats tour 2003, with lighting equipment supplied by High Wycombe-based rental company Siyan. The tour’s overall lighting design was created by Bryan Leitch, and it also utilised a RADlite visual manipulation system for video clips, animations and venue branding.

The UK tour – starring The Polyphonic Spree, The Datsuns, The Thrills and Interpol – is generally known as a showcase for some of the hottest new talent on the contemporary music block. After touring the country, it culminated at the London Astoria. The venue then hosted a further week of NME Brats’ concerts at the venue, with an eclectic selection of other NOW new and established bands.

Siyan has supplied lighting gear for the Brats tour for the last 5 years. With such a busy line up, it is essential for any lighting control to be quick, flexible, and easy to programme, change or update as desired in the different venues. That’s why they’ve always chosen Avolites consoles as the ideal tools to run this tour – this year it was a Pearl 2004. An Avolites ART dimming system was also onboard.

The Pearl running the lights was operated by several different LD’s including Yens Nyholm, (The Polyphonic Spree) and Mike Adams (Interpol and The Thrills), so it was crucial that they used an ‘industry standard’ desk with which everyone is familiar.

When the tour reached the last date at the Astoria, they switched to the house lighting rig, which was installed and is also run by Siyan, featuring an Avolites Sapphire desk.

The tour lighting rig consisted of Robe and SGM moving lights, 4-lite Molefeys, ETC Source Fours, ACLs, Martin Atomic strobes and ChromaQ scrollers … all of which were run off the Pearl.


The RADlite system was run separately by another Avo Pearl console operated by Siyan crew member Tom James. Siyan own eight RADLIte systems, four of which are currently out with Bryan Leitch on the Coldplay world tour.

Leitch also specified RADlite for the Brats. Originally it was employed as a simple solution for the NME’s venue branding. However once it’s capabilities were demonstrated, it was decided to also make it available to the bands as part of their visuals.

Polyphonic Spree jumped at the chance! They brought along a large number of AVI files, which were programmed in, treated and used to create exciting and mind-boggling visuals and animations onscreen during their set. “As soon as people see the RADlite in action” comment’s Siyan’s Nick Valdez, “They want to use it”. The RADlite was also used throughout the Brats week of shows at the Astoria, and Polyphonic Spree took one to the Forum for their own separate headline gig.

Photos credits: Steve Gillett

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