WOT Lights,

Cathode Elysium Lights

We got into doing lighthows initially because Dave Paulding, Terry Hooker and myself John Oatham, belonged to a drama club (markhousedramaclub.com) where Dave and myself were involved with stage lighting.

At the time light shows were starting to appear and as all teenagers in the sixties we were bheavily into bands and music.

We started experimenting with Epidiascopes and overhead projectors and mixtures of inks but soon realised the huge loss in light output made them unsuitable except for low light surroundings.

We then played around with slide projectors such as Aldis, Gnome,Norris etc. even using a modified "Magic Lantern".

We found that the direct, instead instead of reflected light was much better suited to the job, and if we removed the heat filters, the ink would boil and make the psychedelic effects we were after.

We used 2"x2" cover glass (normally used to protect 35mm slides) we put a few drops of coloured indian ink on a slide along with a few drops of different coloured "flowmaster" ink (used to top up early felt-tip pens) which was oil based and so didn't mix with the water colour ink, then place a slide on top allowing the capillary action to spread the ink, then we would repeat this again and add a third cover glass, making a 3-glass sandwich.

This was then put into a manual 2-slide carrier and projected onto the band. Although sometimes messy the effect obtained when the 2 layers of ink boiled and bubbled was well worth it.Most gigs would entail about 6 projectors and a cine projector showing black and white Buster Keaton type films and occasionally some "Glamour" films if the setting was right.

We concentrated 2 main slide projectors on the band and by crudely covering the front lens alternatively with our hands, we were able to flash the projected images in time with the music. This was not something that we had seen any other lightshow doing and it added a certain dynamism to the show.

We later progressed onto using Tutor I and Tutor II projectors ending up with well over a dozen projectors enabling us to do 4 gigs in the same night sometimes with a crew of about 8. Other projectors we used were Kershaw's (similar shape as Tutor II's but 240v 1000W)

To be continued...

John Oatham - August 2020

PS WOT Lights was only a temporary name due us working several venues on same nights, Cathode Elysium Lights (CEL) was the main name.

Cathode Elysium Lights
Cathode Elysium Lights
Cathode Elysium Lights
Cathode Elysium Lights

February 1970

Cathode Elysium Lights

September 1970

Cathode Elysium Lights

October 1970


January 1971