Impressions cut it for Scissor Sisters

Posted on Thursday, August 5th, 2010


The Scissor Sisters have been in Australia to play Splendour in the Grass as well as a few side shows. As with many festival side shows, the rig was subject to gear availability and budget but lighting director Glen Johnson did his best to recreate the Paul Normandale designed show that is seen on their current world tour.

Chameleon Touring Systems supplied the lighting for most of the Australian sojourn – Phaseshift Productions did Melbourne – with the rig including nine GLP Impressions RZ120, six Martin MAC600 Wash, ten MAC700 Spot, six MAC500 and a MA2 Lite for control.

Whilst the world tour features GLP’s powerful new Impression XL they were unfortunately off the menu for these shows but they were adequately replaced by six MAC2000 Wash XB.

The original show features six floor-mounted impression XL LED heads into an elaborate motion controlled set. Like the XL’s, the nine impression 120RZ Zooms are mounted at the back of the stage, and blast their light through four 8 x 8 sections of spinning aluminium louvre shutters.

After a three-year break, the New York-based Scissor Sisters are clearly seeking something more sophisticated than a disco lighting set – but GLP’s LED washlights still have to keep company with a pair of 13W lasers, confetti machines and conventional automated spots and washes in this riotous spectacular.

Glen Johnson reports that he immediately noticed not only the brightness of the GLP XL – with 240 Luxeon LEDs it is almost three times as bright as the smaller Impression – but the speed of response and a smoothness of flicker-free dimming quite unlike the ‘stepped’ effect of other LED lights he had used.

The cold and warm white capabilities (variable between 3200K and 7200K) was another feature he was able to exploit via the colour temperature channel in the fixture control facilities as well as white and CTO on the colour wheel. “We find we can get most of what we need from the colour temperature channel,” he said.

Glen Johnson is not the first to remark that the Impressions remind him a lot of the old fast mirror scanning effects, and that the power generated enables it to produce an excellent strobing effect.

“It’s an extremely fast head, really small and light so you can do things that would not be possible with conventional moving heads. They are extremely responsive – and the dimmer is pretty damn good.”

Photos: Troy Constable