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Robe Sends Off Supergrass in Style

Lighting designer Martin Dudley used Robe's new ROBIN 300E Beams and ColorSpot 700E ATs to light UK indie rockers Supergrass as they played a series of farewell gigs, splitting after a lively 17 year chart topping career.

Dudley's company Martin's Lights supplied all the lighting equipment for the tour. He has worked with Supergrass on and off for the last 8 years and has LD’d the band on a number of occasions over the last 2 years when their regular designer, Matt Arthur, has been busy elsewhere.

He used this as a high profile opportunity to put the ROBIN 300E Beams through their paces, with 8 units on the show, which were all mounted on flight cases in a line at the back of stage - in ACL style - but utilised for a whole variety of different effects.

"They are unbelievably bright," declares Dudley commenting on the Beams. He also used 6 of his ColorSpot 700E ATs for the shows - so not a lot of moving lights for the larger venues like Brixton Academy, but just those 14 units gave him plenty of creative scope for the band's epic 2 hour set, which included 4 songs from each of their 6 studio albums in reverse chronology, plus their 2 earliest hits, with a short film between each section.

The other things that particularly impressed him about the ROBIN 300 Beams were the split colours, the 'dirty' colours and the soft edging effect on the beams utilising the frost filter. He also noted that the gobos matched those of the ColorSpot 700s really well ... plus the fact that all 8 ROBINs could be run off just 16 Amps of power.

His brief for Supergrass's lighting design was left completely open, but it all had to fit into one truck with the PA, backline and merchandising so immediately lent itself to being minimal, whilst needing to be very versatile to cover the shifts in musical style. In addition to the moving lights, he used a selection of generics - PARs, blinders and strobes.

The idea was to reveal different elements of the lighting in layers as the show progressed, so the ROBIN 300 Beams were only introduced during the second section covering the 5th album, Road to Rouen, and then it was very subtly, in a frosted out congo blue. The first song, “Tales Of Endurance” was a quiet 'builder', so a good point for bringing in floor lighting.

Dudley's technician on the tour was Andy Bain, who liked the light (20 Kg) weight of the ROBINs, and the fact that the units are so manoeuvrable. Their flight cases are also compact and easy to stack in the truck.

Martin's Lights purchased its first Robes about 5 years ago - ColorSpot 575 ATs - which have worked constantly ever since, including on a few Supergrass shows! All Dudley's Robe kit has been supplied through Robe UK.

"Robe is a great brand - the units are bright, reliable and well engineered," he affirms, "I have looked at many comparable brands, and Robe still keeps coming out on top for me".

The tour was production managed by Mick Brown, who also has a long history with the band, who performed their final show at La Cigale in Paris on June 11th.