Connections Nightclub:

81 James Street, Northbridge WA

Perth’s Connections Nightclub, after celebrating 30 years of continuous operation last year, has done what every self-respecting lady does these days after passing such a milestone… she’s had a facelift. And not just a lick of paint and some botox, we’re talking about ‘the works’ with nearly half a million dollars spent on a very glamorous nip and tuck. The venue has been refitted with smoke-glass mirror, marble, retro ’70s chandeliers, super-glam floral wallpaper and over-stuffed hot pink suede couches. It has also been extended with an open-air rooftop terrace cut into the buildings of Northbridge with million-dollar views of the city skyline.

The terrace features teak tables and chairs, recycled brick and DJs playing low-key, kick-backed tunes to sit and chill to until the dawn.While this renovation has resulted in a flexible, contemporary and state-of-the-art venue it still retains the feel and vibe that has evolved and developed over 30 years of trade. So it’s a case of an aesthetic mix of ‘hits and memories’, if that makes any sense.This is particularly evident in the club’s lighting, where 20-year-old mechanical fixtures share space with computer-controlled moving mirror/head units and the latest in LED technology.“It has been our policy for many years to build up different layers of technologies to provide the richest, most flexible lightshow possible,” explains Tim Brown, who owns and runs the club. “The idea is to build up layers of technology so we get as many different styles of lighting as possible. It’s a bit like our music policy; we don’t choose one genre of music and stay there, we try to keep it interesting and mix it up. It’s the same with our entertainment and our lighting.”Both Tim and Jamee Robinson, the club’s Technical Director, were looking for a little something extra in the lighting, something new that would become a focal point in the venue. “Essentially we were looking for a unique fixture that had a physical presence as well as having a strong effect but was not going to overwhelm or dominate the room,” he said. “Connections is well known for its use of mirrorballs, so when I heard about the Streamers from Kaos Lighting — which had been described to me as the modern day mirrorball — I was immediately interested. As soon as I saw them in action I knew I’d found what I was looking for and ordered six of them.” Once assembled — a task that Jamee describes as quite simple — it was decided to rig them in two groups on either side of the main truss so that their effect was greatly enhanced by positioning them as close together as possible. This meant making some aluminium droppers so that the arms overlapped at different heights. The overall look is very three dimensional and hypnotic. “Programming the fixtures was easy, with awesome effects like colour strobing and complex chases quickly achievable,” added Jamee. “After having the product in the venue for about a month I’m still coming up with new looks, so it seems the only limit is your own creativity. I also found that aiming the Martin MX-10 scanners at the fixtures while they were not lit up created a completely different look that was especially strong when using a UV or deep red filter.” Lux Entertainment Technology installed the rest of the lighting, which includes 12 Martin MX10 Extremes around the truss circle, 12 Pro Shop LED Strips in the wall behind the DJ, and a huge mirrorball cluster inside the Global Truss four-metre circular truss. [Photo: Nigel Etherington]

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