HAWTHORN PLUG IN FOR STATUS QUO TOUR
Iconic rock band Status Quo are hitting out on the road once again for their latest tour Plugged In – Live and Rockin’. Following huge demand from fans, the band decided earlier in the year to upgrade their planned Aquostic shows and plug back in for an all-electric UK tour. Having supported the band for several years, full technical service provider Hawthorn has once again supplied lighting equipment for the hugely-anticipated performances.
Following the tragic death of Rick Parfitt in December last year, the legendary band is now made up of founding member and lead guitarist Francis Rossi, alongside Andrew Bown, John 'Rhino' Edwards, Leon Cave and Richie Malone. Keeping the flag flying, the band kicked off this year’s tour with Aquostic performances in Europe before returning to the UK for the electric shows.
Now finished in the UK, the band, along with Hawthorn’s lighting kit, has headed back overseas for the next leg of the tour. Having never taken the ‘Aquostic’ show to Europe, the decision was made to keep these performances in the original format. The tour will close in Nürnberg, Germany on 21st December 2017.
Working closely with Ewan Cameron, Status Quo’s long-standing lighting designer, the Concert Touring division at Hawthorn drew upon its vast range of hire stock to supply lighting to specification. This includes Martin MAC Viper Profiles, Aleda BEYE K10 and K20s, Mac Aura XBs and Hawthorn’s new-to-stock Ayrton MagicBlade FX fixtures.
Talking about the challenges of lighting two different shows, Cameron said “This year we’ve had the added complication that part of the tour is the electric show and the other part is the unplugged acoustic show. This meant that I needed to design a system that could be easily reconfigured to accommodate their very different requirements. For this I needed a range of units that could provide the punch required for a classic high energy rock and roll show but could then be re-tasked to fit in with the subtlety and gentler pace of the acoustic show.”
“The Ayrton Blade fixtures are a great example of the re-tasking on this tour. For the acoustic show, I needed a fixture that would provide an even wash across the grey velvet back drop to give bold stripes of vibrant colours. They can be rigged differently for the electric shows to become a punchy audience blinder and effects unit providing a wide range of different effects.”
Mick Freer, Head of Concert Touring at Hawthorn, said: “It’s always an honour to be asked to support Status Quo. They’re such an iconic British group and with the news of the UK tour going all-electric, there’s been a huge buzz around the performances. We’ve worked with the band’s LD Ewan [Cameron] many times before and it’s always great to see our kit supporting his designs and helping him to effectively deliver his creative vision.”
On his relationship working with Hawthorn, Campbell says “Mick [Freer] always goes the extra mile to make sure I get everything I need. I always get to work with touring crew that I know and have a good working relationship with and everyone at the Hawthorn warehouse is always really helpful and provide a great professional service.
“The equipment is always well maintained and the ongoing investment means that I can always choose from some of the newest products on the market.”
Hawthorn continues to bolster its position within the concert touring sector and has just returned from supplying a touring lighting rig and crew for OMD’s ‘The Punishment of Luxury Tour’. The performances kicked off at Liverpool Empire on 29 October and ran until the 8 December, closing at the Les Docks, Lausanne, Switzerland.