Amoeba Lightshow


Amoeba Lightshow ran in and around Birmingham, UK by Fred Smith, Steve Hayes and Cass from the mid 60's to early 70's with occasional help from Roger Fentiman.

Rank Aldis Tutor projector were used, no oil wheels!! with everything freshly prepared from raw ingredients as we went along, for that authentic dysenteric look.

Boiling slides, hand manipulated optical effects and watch glass overheads - I designed and built my own overhead projector with controllable heat input and anamorphic lens. Fred Smith even designed and built his own zoom lenses!

Amoeba Lightshow did a lot of work at Mothers Club in Birmingham, at Mark Williams' regular Strange Days gigs at the Balsall Heath Institute, and at the Birmingham Arts Lab.

Bands included Black Sabbath (many times), Family (many times), Roy Harper (many times), The Who (Wolverhampton Civic Hall), The Sweet (ditto), Dr John (Cambridge), The Idle Race and the Bakerloo Line (many times).

Roger Fentiman - November 2001

Bachdenkel was one of the first bands that Amoeba (Fred Smith and Cass Cassidy) ever worked with.

We rehearsed together and played a few memorable gigs at Cannon Hill Arts Centre, Birmingham Arts Settlement, the famous Strange Days gigs at Balsall Heath and probably others which I forget.

In 1969, after hitting the cover of Mark Williams "Strange Days" magazine as "Britain's Greatest Unknown Group", Bachdenkel was hotly touted by various record companies and, logically enough if you knew us, fled to France and stayed there. Fred came with us for some time, and performed his excellent oily light shows for a variety of very interesting gigs before some very startled audiences - Amoeba was an important part of our act at that time and we all have good memories of Fred, Cass and the show.

Fred used to use Aldis projecters - probably two of them - in James Cameron's film "Aliens" you can apparently see an Aldis projector on the table in one of the lab scenes. He bought glass biological slides and put coloured photographic inks between the slides - these would boil, and the mostly fascinating result was projected on a sheet screen behind the band - sometimes on the audience. He also used a flat projector which allowed him to put his inks in a dish for a different effect - he would use one projector after the other, often two at once

Pete Kimberley - June 2002 (Updated August 2002)


If you can help with more information about this Light show we would love to hear from you.

Amoeba Light Show
Amoeba Light Show

May 1969

Amoeba Light Show

January 1970

Amoeba Light Show

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Amoeba Light Show

Birmingham Arts Lab, 1969