My foray into psychedelic light shows…

Ok, I’ll be completely honest here; this whole escapade was all the fault of the Ozrics, or rather their “go to” light show crew from the 1990’s - Fruit Salad Lights. The first couple of times I saw them I was blown away by the projections that were as much a part of the show as the music. The only real recording of this period is the Brixton Fridge video, which is a bit ropey but gives you an idea of the sensory overload .


All of the 90’s Fruit Salad gear was analogue - proper old kinetic lighting, predominantly Optikinetics. So I thought to myself, “I’d like a go at that” - for no other reason that it was bloody cool. Anyway, I love live music but hate performing myself, so why not hide behind the lights?


So with a few Opti 250’s and an LED projector I started touting myself around, and managed some interesting gigs over the years I went out as Jellyfish. It was also handy living next door to a live music pub, because I became an in-house light show for the more interesting psych-tinged bands.


Personal highlights for me were the first Gong Unconvention at Glastonbury Assembly Rooms in 2004 - admittedly I was winging it a bit at this one. I loaded up my camper van with everything I had and took Tom Ayres along for backup / lifty heavy things. This was pre-smoking ban, so as you can imagine some of my memories are a bit hazy - much like the atmosphere in the room. If anyone has photo’s I’d love to see them, I was a bit busy and I think Tom spent most of the evening wondering how some people could be so incredibly stoned and still manage to move about.


Another highlight were the gigs I did with Dream Machine, a collection of former Thunderdogs and Ozric Tentacles musicians, one of which ended up on DVD - “the professional colorful trippy lightshow makes this gig an extraordinary experience”, thank you very much whoever wrote that.


Happy days.

Champignon & Friends. Grove Tavern, London 26/1/2003
John & Seaweed from Ozric Tentacles, with Johnny Morgan from Senser on percussion - plus a bunch of other musicians.
Pretty much the first outing for Jellyfish.
Dream Machine. Grove Tavern, London 27/2/2004
A great early gig for DM, with Seaweed on synths, and if my memory serves I think it was Rad (ex-Ozrics) on drums. They even got Danny the Thunderdogs singer up for a number as well. Rumour has it there is a recording of this floating about.
Dream Machine album launch party with Zub Zub. Bush Hall, London 27/11/2005.
Well, after being in awe of Jasper from Fruit Salad Lights, I actually got to work with him at this gig - sort of. He was running the proper lighting like the professional his is, and I was winging it again from the back of the hall . At least he let me use his monster Sony video projector, a lovely bit of kit.
I was properly bricking myself for this one.

An assortment of Jellyfish gig photo’s from 2005 to 2016 when I packed away my lighting gear for the last time. I still have one Opti 250 projector though, I couldn’t quite get rid of all of it. :)

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