Clay Paky’s Sharpy spotlights have been used at the 2011 NME awards, appearing in front of some of the best-known names of the indie rock scene. The event was held at London’s Brixton Academy, where Lighting Designer Tim Routledge created the looks for a show that included performances by The Foo Fighters, PJ Harvey and My Chemical Romance.
Besides lighting the show for the benefit of the live audience, Routledge also had the responsibility of making sure everything was lit to standard for broadcast on Channel 4 television.
Commenting on his choice of equipment, Routledge said: “The NME awards are a challenge. Turnaround time is short, and a restricted budget meant I was looking for something that could create strong distinctive looks, but relatively cheaply.”
“The Sharpy definitely provided the bang for the buck. We used to be amazed when the Alpha 300 first came out; and now here’s the Sharpy putting out much more light using just half the power – it’s ridiculously bright.”
Tim’s idea to use the Clay Paky Sharpy came after he’d used them to light a Cee Lo Green performance on the BBC with LD Steve Nolan: “One of the bands, Crystal Castles, wanted a laser-style look for their NME show, which I was able to replicate using the narrow beam of the Sharpy.”
“The strong beams it creates are very current and contemporary, but at the same time it’s no one-trick pony, either. By playing around with the prism, we managed to create a variety of distinctive looks for each of the different bands.”
The final act of the night was by the Foo Fighters who played an unscheduled two and a half hour set designed by Foo Fighter LD, Dan Hadley. Dan also managed to find room for the Sharpy, incorporating twenty of the units into the rig that the band had brought with them.
“Dan absolutely fell in love with the Sharpies”, said Tim Routledge. “I doubt it’ll be the last time he uses them either.”