Lighting Designs


David Graham (bass), John Watts (vocals, guitar), Steve Skolnik (keyboards) and Steve Liddle (drums).

Fischer-Z were a British rock band,
who released three albums between
1979 and 1981.
The original line-up consisted of
John Watts (vocals, guitar), David Graham (bass),
Steve Skolnik (keyboards) and Steve Liddle (drums).
Fischer-Z's biggest hit was "The Worker",
one of the few records to go down the chart,
after being featured on BBC Television's Top Of The Pops.
Watts later put this down to the remix
of the song from the album version which
put the emphasis on the keyboards rather than his guitar.
Watts's lyrics drew heavily on his experiences as
a mental health care worker.
They were more popular in mainland Europe
than their native UK - particularly Portugal,
Belgium and Germany, where Watts continued
to have hits as a solo artist after the band broke up.
They were most successful of all in Australia,
where they achieved two Top 20 hits with "So Long" and "The Perfect Day".
Watts founded a new band with the same name in 1987,
with him being the only original member,
although Skolnik made a minor contribution
to one track on their first album.
The albums released with the new line-up were
less successful than those recorded earlier.
In 2007, Watts scored a radio hit with the song, "Sister Sue".
Fischer Z were Alan's main band in the early Gaslight days.
Nick Fisher, Alan's boss at Gaslight, would give his young lighting designers the opportunity to
develop with 'new' bands in the hope that the band would get bigger, more famous and in turn
hire more lights.Alan would
make a number of tours throughout Europe with Fisher Z who were hugely popular in Holland,
Belgium,and Germany
to name a few but struggled to gain audiences in the UK.They were successful in Europe partly
due to a non nuclear image,
very popular at the time due to the Cold War.
We supported The Police one night in Dusseldorf to 5000 people who were mainly
there to see Fischer Z, it was a great night.

We were like a close knit family on tour and enjoyed many nights of socialising in bars and clubs after the shows.
We made lots of friends wherever we went".
Alan's lighting rig would consist of bars of Par 64s' on Powerdrive stands, some floor cans and a 12 channel lighting desk. As each tour progressed then the lighting rig would get bigger.
Many years later, when Alan was committed to lighting an other band, he designed a stage set which incorporated album artwork on roller blinds and chrome trussing 'goalposts' which held low voltage lights.

Alan went to London when he was 19, in 1977. After being made unemployed as an electrician he took a catalogue of Punk Rock photographs with him, taken at various venues. It was his intention to show them off to record companies with some sort of view to selling them.
On arrival in London he met up with a musician by the name of


Click on the above link for amore in depth look at Roys' story
Roy was on the Arista Records label and to be fair his brand of music was not suited to the evolving times of the Punk scene.
"Roy was a very likeable person. He and I struck up a friendship and would go out night clubbing together in London.
I was eventually employed by Roy as the 'backline technician' for a forthcoming tour of clubs and colleges throughout England and would look after the seven piece bands' equipment such as keyboards, bass & drums, guitars etc. Setting them up and making sure nothing went wrong during the gig. I was usually sitting by the side of the stage just keeping an eye on things.Pretty boring really as nothing exciting happened onstage apart from seven musicians all doing their best to create an exciting gig.
So one night as we were playing Sheffield Limit Club, I discovered the house light control desk. It had only about six faders controlling the club lighting system.
As the band were halfway through their set I decided to play with the lighting desk. The six faders controlled some coloured spotlights above the tiny stage and I started to change lights in time with the music with some subtle fade ins and outs. I knew the music, so playing with the lights while the the band played actually came together in one of those 'magic moments'.
The band came offstage and I met them back in the dressing room. Everyone was euphoric! How could it be?
They had gone from playing a kind of dull set to a completely 'bouncing off the walls' , just won the World Cup celebrations!
I met them in the dressing room and they were all ecstatic about the gig. It had gone great........but only when I started doing the lights.
I rememeber John Cooper, Roys' manager, who was in fact.....the financial advisor for Beggars' Banquet, he came into the dressing room and along with the band started raving about "what a great gig" it was. "The lights lifted the show....without a doubt".
On the next tour "We'll get you some lights"
Alan was to hire lighting equipment for the tour from Gaslight Lighting. Gaslight was a ram shackled lighting company working out of a tiny lock up garage in Earls' Court. Run by a man by the name of Nick Fisher and occasionally assisted by Jim La Roche or John Dipple, Gaslight was a small company with big ideas.
John Cooper had told Alan that in order to hire lights for Roys' tour, he would have to convince Nick Fisher that he was familiar with lighting systems. Nick didn't want his equipment going out with someone with no experience. John Cooper did not want to pay for a technician from Gaslight. An extra person on the tour would mean additional wages, hotel and transport costs. So it was arranged for Alan to go to Gaslight and convince Nick that he was capable of looking after the equipment.
"It was a lovely sunny morning as I strolled down Finborough Road on my way to Lillie Yard to find Gaslight. I was slightly nervous as I had no idea what to expect when I got there. I eventually found Gaslight tucked away off the main road and was met by John Cooper and Nick.
Nick cut a very imposing figure. He was tall with the physique to match. He was more like a wrestler. After brief introductions and a couple of questions about lights which I confidently nodded my head and answered 'yes' and 'okay' to, Nick proceeded to set up and demonstrate the lighting rig. I watched intensely, everything he did. He set up the gear effortlessly within a few minutes, explaining as he worked. He then powered up the system, brought up a couple of faders on the lighting desk and the small demo room was transformed with deep rich colours. Ooooh! It looked great.
Just as I was admiring how pretty it all looked, he powered down and started dismantling everything. With cables and lights now on the floor all around me, Nick then invited me to set it all up again.
......and so Alans' career in the music industry began after confidently re-assembling the Gaslight lighting rig and showing Nick Fisher that he was more than able to take the system on tour.
Roy Hill and his band performed a three month tour in clubs and colleges around England & Wales.
The lighting equipment supplied by Gaslight consisted of :
6 bars of 4 Par 64 lanterns, 2 Powerdrive stands, 12 x 2kw Alderham dimmer pack, 12 way 2 preset desk with flash buttons