Prolux was developed in 1996 by Toby Duckworth with its conceptual roots dating back to Glastonbury Festival 1994.
Prolux has been on the road since 1996 with a history of some 50 dates during this period. Unfortunately, however, despite the scope of technology available to us today a digital camera has only just been procured, and so a minimal set of photos are available. Besides, it is very difficult to get a digital camera to take reasonable shots in a smokey club; so if you want to see it, you'll have to come.
Gigs of Spring 1996
The first gigs were performed in Somerset at small local concerts. The technology available was limited, and the excitement in those days was being resourceful with what was available. The public were impressed by Prolux, except that in those days we only had a green video projector, and so the general concensus was that colour would be an improvement.
During '96 a lot of development time was spent on a computer controlled light switching unit that was basically a load of switches controlled by a computer which sampled and analysed the sound. We did a boat party in Southhampton with this rig in April '95, this was our first gig outside the Southwest.
Electrohome green gun video projector - as used at the first gigs
Gigs of Autumn 1996
Following a relocation to Manchester, we became very involved with the University of Manchester circus skills society who ran (still run) a weekly social incorporating circus skills, and a number of live DJs. It is thanks to the juggling society that Prolux was able to move so fast into the Manchester club scene, as the venue was a regular collective of clubnight promoters. The weekly nature of the juggling club was also an excellent opportunity to streamline the rig and experiment with new ideas.
Gigs of Spring 1997
Through the juggling club, the promoters of Spiritus, a well known Manchester trance night discovered Prolux, and decided to give us a whirl. The first gig was at The Boardwalk, but the night soon moved to The Music Box on Oxford Road. By this time was had a colour projector, so were mxing both colour and monochrome projections about the club. The public response was excellent, and soon enquiries were coming from other clubs around Manchester. At this point it was necessary to evaluate the gig situation and not accept every opportunity that arose in order not to annoy our current clients. We stopped doing the juggling club by the end of Spring '97 and concentrated on Spiritus in the hope that it would soon lead to gigs outside Manchester.
Gigs of Summer/Autumn 1997
Soon word had spread to Liverpool, and we were doing irregular gigs for Hypnosis, a Liverpool based trance night. The crowd were great, and had the true party spirit - many a free party was also held in the beautiful Snowdonia in North Wales.
Gigs of Spring 1998
Spring '98 saw the first sucessful mobile visuals setup as part of a party in the Devon hills. Fortunately the weather was fine, so we set the DJs up in an empty horsebox, and the visuals kit in the back of a Transit van with the projector firing onto a taught piece of muslim stretched over the back-door aperture. I've got a great picture of it somewhere, but can't seem to find it. It's gigs like this where you've really got to be resourceful that are the most fun.
April '98 started to get hectic again, with Spiritus still going on in Manchester, and A new party, Plexus in Newcastle as well as the occassional gig in Liverpool.
"Simon Tranceart yet again transformed the Students Union basement into a psychedelic haven for 800 local mushroom heads, with the aid of the excellent projections from Prolux Real Time Visuals" - http://www.pierrot.demon.co.uk/shroomington/party.htm
Gigs of Summer/Autumn 1998
The end of the Manchester summer term also saw the final Spiritus - we were all quite sad about this, but the promotors needed to get on and do some new things. We all decided it was time for a change as we'd got into that routine where you're not really developing any more, just doing the same old thing. The end of Spiritus saw the rise of a new night in Liverpool, Alien Resonance, to which Prolux were invited. The venue was a nightmare, we had to set up the kit on a 75cm wide balcony suspended above the DJ booth - There wasn't enough space to swing a cat.
Alien Resonance (Liverpool) - The rig & projectors were setup on a 75cm wide balcony above the DJ booth.