Andrew Liddle, the longstanding designer for New Order since the band’s emergence from Joy Division in the early ’80s, turned to Elation’s powerful Proteus Excalibur narrow-beam moving head to create stunning, laser-complementary lighting on the band’s recent tour across mainland Europe and the UK. Recognized as one of the most influential bands of its era, New Order continues to enhance its legacy, captivating audiences with a timeless fusion of music and visually gripping performances.
Andrew specified the Excalibur for the tour and says the choice came from a chance suggestion from Ryan Knutson at Brown Note Productions in Denver that eventually led to New Order utilising the fixtures on a short US tour this past March. “Since then, they have become an integral part of the show,” the designer says, “working to expand into the audience the looks being created from five 30w full-color lasers from ER Productions.”
In those March shows, operating from a rear truss at a 2.5m trim, six Excaliburs were used for some of the band’s slower more melodic tracks like 1983’s ‘Your Silent Face’ where beams silhouetted the band with three interspersed lasers scanning roofward. For the EU/UK tour in September, while the core of the rig remained, Andrew added a further two sets of three Excaliburs for a total of 12 units, all supplied by UK rental and production house Siyan Ltd. The powerful fixtures served as an impactful underlayer for the laser arrays, acting as ideal ‘laser emulation’ tools, particularly in venues where lasers were restricted due to local regulations.
“We added six Excaliburs to the far offstage wings with a laser behind each wing group,” Andrew explained. “We also used them to create straight solid beam fans in some of the faster songs like ‘Temptation’ and added inevitable fixed to mixed blue flashes for ‘Blue Monday’.” The fixtures were also used on their own, “the prisms were great for indexed 90º bumps” Andrew said, while its tight 0.8-degree beam could fill a huge space, reaching the back of arenas.
Siyan Ltd., having facilitated the design evolution previously at the O2 Arena in late 2021, played a crucial role in realizing Andrew’s vision for the EU/UK tour. The company supplied lighting, rigging, LED screen, cameras, and crew, aligning with Andrew’s specifications.
New Order recently returned to the US for a couple of west coast shows with the essential 12 Excaliburs provided from Delicate Productions ensuring a seamless continuation of the band’s visually captivating performances.
Photo: © Warren Jackson, Kevin Stevens