West London based rental company Entec is supplying lighting and rigging equipment and crew to the UK and European legs of legendary singer songwriter guitarist and music producer Mark Knopfler’s 2013 “Privateering” tour, with lighting designed by the also illustrious Simon Tutchener!
Entec made a major investment in the latest Clay Paky moving lights – buying 38 Alpha Spot QWO 800s and 20 Sharpy Washes – to ensure that Tutchener had exactly the creative tools he wanted for the tour, which plays 72 concerts in 65 cities and has already included a six night sold-out run at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
It’s the first time that Entec has worked with Knopfler, but Tutchener has designed his lighting since 2000. He and Production Manager Kevin Hopgood have both used Entec before on various projects and decided that they were the right company for delivering a classy lighting solution for this one.
With the intensity of the tour schedule to the fore, Tutchener designed the rig to go in and out of venues quickly and easily … as well as looking fabulous. Making an aesthetic link to previous Knopfler tours, he designed a strong, elegant architectural lighting centrepiece, this time in the form of a diamond shaped truss.
“The diamond is clean looking and simple to rig,” he explains. It also accentuates the depth of the 56 ft wide by 40 ft deep performance space and is complimented by a front truss. All of it fits into one truck and can be up and working in two and a half hours on average in the right venue.
Tutchener and his three Entec crew – Steve Rusling (Stona) Ewan Cameron and Tom Crosbie – all work on the build. Tutchener assembles and rigs the front truss while the others work on the diamond, a situation that sometimes gets highly competitive in a friendly way!
In addition to the QWOs and Sharpy Washes, there are three strings of ACLs (i.e. 24), two on the floor and two in the truss – the antithesis of the new fixtures as a classic touring stage lighting effect from the industry’s infancy; four 8-lites on the front truss which are used once; and 15 ETC Source Fours utilised for key lighting and front specials for the band and guest artists. LED fixtures enhance the diamond.
Eight of the QWOs are positioned on the floor for aerial and gobo effects and low level beam-work, and the whole stage is wrapped in a starcloth backdrop. Entec is also supplying four Lycian 2K followspots.
Tutchener operates the show using a grandMA2 full size console with a grandMA2 light for backup, and runs it very much in theatre style mode.
He took the control consoles and a WYSIWYG system into Music Bank studios for 9 days of band rehearsals, and was able to crack on with pre-programming. After that it was into LH2 for a week of full technical rehearsals with the rig, then to Bucharest for the first show.
He’s delighted with the new Clay Paky’s – the strength, intensity and quality of the light output and the smooth colour mixing amongst numerous other features.
He comments, “I’m extremely happy working with Entec again, the service is outstanding as always – friendly and nothing is missed in the attention to detail. I am really honoured that they were prepared to invest in the new fixtures without hesitation, and apart from that, it’s always a massive pleasure working with Noreen and her team!”
Noreen O’Riordan, Entec’s Project Manager for the tour comments, “Manager Paul Crockford, Tour Manager Tim Hook and Kevin Hopgood lead from the front and have employed a community of people that pull together to match the on stage perfection driven by Mark Knopfler.
“His tours are full-on so it is essential that both work ethic and personalities gel. Visiting the Royal Albert Hall show was fabulous with so many life-long friends on the team there with many stories to be shared and much laughter and banter.
“Simon’s light show really lived up to all our expectations and made the months of preparation and financial investment worthwhile, no pressure Simon!”
She adds that Entec is “Immensely honoured” to be invited to join a tour with such kudos.
“I would like to thank Simon and Kevin for their trust, Steve, Ewan and Tom for being fantastic ambassadors and for taking such good care of the equipment on the road, some places have been tricky! Special thanks to Adam, James, Sudip, Pepper and Will …the Entec team that make it all happen”.
With a relatively expedient amount of lights for the profile of the show, Tutchener has produced a tasty, dynamic mix that keeps plenty in reserve to ensure that there is never a repeated look throughout the two and a half hour set.