Clay Paky’s Alpha Beam fixtures have toured as part of the UK Spot the Difference tour by Squeeze, the influential New Wave band whose hits include the 1979 single Cool for Cats. The tour took the re-formed band to venues ranging from the 100 Club in London to the massive O2 Manchester Apollo, creating the need for a lighting concept that was both simple and flexible.
Lighting designer Daniel Bocking designed the production with video projections and a rig dominated by 18 Alpha Beam 700s positioned in clusters of three to create a classic rock and roll feel for the band. The lighting was designed and programmed around bespoke video footage developed by content designer Colin Rozee of R2 Digital Productions and projected onto sails suspended from the rear truss.
“I needed really tight beams because I didn’t want to throw too much light around and risk washing out the video,” explains Daniel Bocking. “The Alpha Beams were brilliantly effective – just so narrow in the beam. The fixture creates highly defined, parallel beams that are clearly visible against other wash lights and video”.
Bocking was inspired to use the Alpha Beams on stage having worked with them successfully on TV shows. “I was blown away by them. Previously we would have used Vari-Lite VL spots, but they’re quite wide and lacking in definition so they can easily get lost. The Alpha Beams are just so tight; they can always be clearly seen. In that sense you get more value out of them,” he says.
Squeeze is still drawing rave reviews more than 35 years after it was formed by Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook. The band officially broke up in 1999 but reformed in 2007 and joined forces with Daniel Bocking to hit the festival circuit.
All lighting for the Squeeze’s 2010 Spot the Difference Tour has been supplied by Bandit Lites UK.