Consistently innovative, exciting and alternative, the trancey electro beats of Above
& Beyond filled London’s Wembley Arena for a special one off concert which was
also a charity fundraiser and celebrated the life and work of Jono Grant’s sister
Charlotte who died suddenly earlier this year. All proceeds from the show went to
Lighting and the video system was designed by Neil Marsh, working closely with all
three members of Above & Beyond – Jono, Tony McGuinness and Paavo Siljamăki –
with lighting kit and LED screens supplied by Colour Sound Experiment.
When in the UK, Colour Sound is one of Marsh’s go-to suppliers and when he
approached them about this show, H (Haydn Cruickshank) and the team fully
embraced the concept of the fundraiser and ensured that they could produce a full
on arena show.
Marsh decided on a completely new design for the Wembley show as it was special.
The idea of the 12 truss spines – running upstage / downstage, six hung in a curved
arrangement cascading onstage to offstage each side of the DJ booth – created the
basic stage architecture. This was originally inspired by a stylised drawing of an
angel created by Marsh’s wife, artist Leora Honeyman.
Having the spine trusses each side also left the perfect space for a large block of
LED which is ideally suited to the style of the visuals. While the LED elements
available will vary from gig to gig, the one large surface is preferred rather than a
fragmented look and on this occasion it was Colour Sound’s new proprietary BT-7
HD screen, which looked spectacular.
Two trusses were rigged either side at the front of stage, each loaded with six Robe
BMFL Spots well placed for scanning over the audience and pulling them into the
The 12 x spine trusses – of three different lengths – were populated with a total of
50 x Clay Paky Sharpies, 50 x 2-lite blinders and 26 x strobes. The bottom of each
truss was outlined with Colour Sound’s house 1 metre LED strips – utilising 60 units
The front of the DJ booth was clad with 12 active Showtec Sunstrips … to
differentiate it from the screen.
On the floor were another 12 x BMFL Spots, 12 Robe LEDWash 600s and 22 x Atomic
strobes arranged in pairs.
The impressive screen measured 15 metres wide by 7 high and its 7 mm resolution
offered a 1920p pixel-perfect, clean and high-clarity surface for the content which
needed no mapping or manipulation. Two 3×3 metre side screens were 400 pixels
All lighting was run off a ChamSys MQ200 console, Marsh’s desk of choice, through
which he also triggered the visuals.
MARSHColour Sound’s Haydn Cruickshank added, “It was a great pleasure to be able
to work on this with Marsh and Above & Beyond, especially for such a worthwhile
cause. We were very proud to have been part of an amazing event.’