Robe in the Prime Circle

Robe LEDBeam 150 - Prime Circle tour, Daniel Craig Johnson

Celebrity endorsement is something most brands dream about and pay massively for, so when popular South African rock band, Prime Circle decided to invest in Robe moving lights it took the concept to a different level.

Marco Gomes the band’s bass guitarist, songwriter and manager together with Lighting Designer Benjamin “Benji” Muir-Millsn purchased the Robe miniPointes, Robe LEDBeam 150s and Robe VIVAs from South African distributor DWR. Gomes and Muir-Millsn explained that touring in South Africa was a challenge due to many venues on the circuit that only offered minimal lighting, so owning their own rig meant that every show had a great light show, with better production value and less time was needed for re-plotting each show. Instead, they spent more time developing the core light show with their own kit, which made get ins and outs significantly quicker and more efficient.

After deliberations, Gomes and Muir-Millsn decided on the equipment and the three types of Robe fixture were chosen for their brightness, zoom ranges and compact sizes. The “beautiful” colour mixing of the LEDBeam 150s; the “brightness and speed” of the miniPointes and the ”fantastic light quality” of the VIVAs.

This was Prime Circle’s first Robe purchase, and they want to expand the rig in the future. The decision to go with Robe was based on the fact they had used the products before. Pointes were always Muir-Millsn’s favourite, and the LEDBeam 150 had become his preferred small wash beam fixture. Prime Circle had already used the new lighting on shows which “upped the aesthetic substantially” said Muir-Millsn, he also added that he still wanted the show to be more developed, and he wished he had used them on every gig, but for practicality, it was only used on their SA shows.

Prime Circle was founded in December 2001 and have seven studio albums and an enthusiastic and loyal fan base throughout South Africa and in parts of Europe. “They are an interesting band to light,” explained Muir-Millsn: “with a wide variety of tempos from slow isolated ballads to big heavy rock numbers.” This meant their lighting needed to cover a great dynamic range, from intimate and compelling one moment to huge rock-out numbers the next. Muir-Millsn called on all the skills and techniques he originally learned and practised in theatre, both to light the band and the audience so all were part of the action.

The whole experience was an incredible learning curve for him, from a time where he plotted and cue-stacked everything to lighting a full-on show with just a few palettes prepared and a lot of improvisation each night, all of which led him to different approaches on the control side as well. A couple of years back the band purchased an MA dot2 console from DWR so accompanied with their own lights, it made for an excellent basic touring system.

“Prime Circle is one of my personal favourites and it’s an honour to supply equipment to the heroes in our music industry.” WR’s Duncan Riley concluded: “Their lyrics and performance are so powerful that they would move a crowd without a single lighting fixture, however, I’m extremely grateful that they have taken Robe on-board and trust that the new lights will help build the mood for many amazing shows to come in the future.”