Lighting design outside the normal realms of pop music
It should come as no surprise that when Pulp announced a brief summer reformation just a small seismic shock was felt in their hometown of Sheffield. Such is the wonderfully understated majesty of Pulp. While most bands strive for national adoration, Pulp seek more cerebral satisfactions; twenty-two concert appearances between May and September provided a tantalising reminder of their pop artistry and made summer 2011 truly special.
To re-present such witty knowing artists gave designer Rob Sinclair a creative opportunity outside the normal realms of ‘pop music’; the show would need to be kitsch without cliché. “When I first met up with the band we talked about the neon Pulp sign from the Common People video and how it embodied the trashy yet glamourous side of their music. They wanted to use the original one but it would have been too small for festival stages and too fragile to tour . Richard Young, the production manager, and I knew that the only choice to make the new sign were Specialz. Armed with a sketch we called Dave Smith, knowing he would understand exactly what we wanted and make something reliable and roadworthy.”
Made using Non-Neon, basically an LED rope light that resembles neon, each letter stands approximately two metres tall and is mounted to Perspex back-plate which is independently flown. “Lit up and revealed one at a time the letters looked fabulous, yet with the screens on behind and the letters blacked-out they could almost be made to disappear. As an unexpected bonus the unlit letters even looked great when sidelit. Specialz did a very clever and neat job; even providing a tiny dimmer that sat on the truss.” Rendered in two pastel colours, pink sandwiched between two circuits of blue, Sinclair had twelve channels of LED dimming, “I could chase them or use single colours. The sign branded the stage perfectly and instantly took us into the world of Pulp.”