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Clay Paky strobes up a storm on Katy B
Lighting Designer
Tom Campbell
Siyan Ltd
Photo Credits
Header pic: PROJOE PHOTOGRAPHY - Other Pics: Sarah Rusthon-Read

UK – Dubstep/garage star Katy B’s current UK tour is bringing a moody nightclub atmosphere to venues up and down the country thanks to Tom Campbell’s audience engaging, silhouette rich, strobe heavy lighting design. Built around the dramatic effects that the exciting new Clay Paky Stormy CC and the award-winning A.leda B-EYE K20 and K10 can deliver, Campbell has created a stunning design with relatively few fixtures.

Campbell’s budget defying rig comprises his own floor package, however he also has to rely on venue house rigs for the overheads. This means he chooses his floor package carefully and works it hard to bring the signature look he wants to every venue. To that end Campbell has specified Clay Paky Stormys, alongside just four Clay Paky A.leda B-EYE K20s and ten B-EYE K20s from Siyan Ltd.

“I’m using the RGBW Stormys as block colour washes,” explains Campbell. “They give a more mature look than other strobes. They’re great fixtures and I’ll definitely be specifying them again.”

Campbell is using the RGBW version of the Stormy – a fixture that retains all the charm of a classic strobe yet uses the latest LED technology. The fixtures can flash in any colour desired, enabling Campbell to merge the strobes with the rest of the rig without the need for gels or slow, noisy, scrollers.

“The great thing about the Stormy is that like a classic strobe it’s equipped with a parabolic reflector, which means the flash effect is actually enhanced as unlike other LED strobes it doesn’t project light directly forwards,” explains Glyn O’Donoghue, managing director of UK Clay Paky distributor, Ambersphere. “In addition the digitally controlled frequency, duration and intensity of the pulse mean all these parameters are independently adjustable, which of course is impossible with a xenon lamp strobe. We have been delighted to see the Stormys used as such an effective part of Tom’s design, he’s created a very distinctive look with them.”

Campbell is also making excellent creative use of a number of Clay Paky’s B-EYE K20s and K10s, each of which bring a multitude of imaginative and distinctive looks to his design.

“One of my favourite parts of the show is when the B-EYEs deliver this big ‘old school’ disco look, an effect I don’t usually like as they can be borderline tacky, however the B eyes pulled it off perfectly and in quite a unique way.” laughs Campbell. “Also, for the song ‘Still’ I took inspiration from the music video, which is heavily back lit with a lot of white light. For this I have used the rotating lenses on the B-EYEs to get lots of twinkling parallel beams, the great thing about them is they are just so versatile and they look amazing.”

“Also when I use the B-EYEs as washes and beam units, the LED output on them is fantastic,” adds Campbell. “For example, in the song ‘5am’ I’m just using them as beam fixtures and they produce a stunningly bright, almost parallel beam.”

Campbell’s design sees him programming the B-EYE K10s inbuilt personalities to deliver some striking pixel-mapped effects across all the fixtures.

“Once you get your head around all the different layers and all the different things you can do with these fixtures (because there’s a lot!) it’s surprisingly simple to programme them,” says Campbell. “There are lots of different shapes you can put through the fixture, for example I’ve got a propeller look going across all the ones at the back and they look as if they have been pixel mapped and animated. I’m really loving them, they’ve allowed me to have a more compact rig and my show is a million times better because of what the fixtures can do.”