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 Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2017 Display Reviews —› England - Jubilee Fireworks Ltd. reviews
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Posted: Jul 29, 2017 18:28:52

Hi everyone,

Please post your reviews/comments of the British display here!


Posted: Jul 30, 2017 02:01:14

My video of the Jubilee performance from La Ronde



Posted: Jul 30, 2017 05:28:47   Edited by: fredbastien

Perfect weather conditions for the peak of vacation season were the backdrop of this excellent show from the ultimate entrant of the 2017 edition of the Montreal International Fireworks Competition. Winner of the Gold Jupiter in 2015, Jubilee Fireworks was arguably the most anticipated contestant this year. Despite these favorable conditions, large sections of the grandstands were still empty whereas the audience is typically close to capacity towards the end of the competition.

Like Surex (Poland), Jubilee Fireworks favoured a “light” theme. This time, it was around the musical theatres, reminding me the Theatre of Fire performed by Foti (Australia) in 2006. The soundtrack was made of 13 segments, many being popular and effective to engage a diverse audience at one moment or another. It allowed for many changes in the rhythm of the show, even within the finale on “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge which featured an anti-climactic slower passage.

The team has decided to not use the fourth ramp. Five floating platforms created the fifth ramp. Also, some firing positions were located on all three access platforms which connect the third ramp to the second one.

The pyromusical design of the show was slightly less sophisticated and detailed than Jubilee Fireworks’ debut display. Nonetheless, whereas I use to scream only during some finales because they excite me a lot, I screamed a couple of times during this very entertaining show. The very first segment, with the “Ouverture” from the Phantom of the Opera, was massive and it involved a great number of firing positions. It also featured a wide range of products : candles of meteor-headed comets, crossettes, studatas, cylindrical shells, then volleys of whistles and barrages of shells and salutes. That was much more effective to engage the audience than a 3-minute narrative! In contrast, the tableau on “Memory” (Cats) was a very serene segment, based on various types of horsetails (some turning into short white comets, other ending in twinkling stars) and Niagara falls shells which were still burning when they touched the ground (or the water). However, the show lacked of smaller details which create vibrant memories, like the hanging salutes in 2015, bursting when Uptown Funk “stopped.” The original title of the 2017 show, “Gunpowder and Greasepaint,” has been translated in French by “Coup de théâtre,” a more exclamative term which evokes a surprising reversal of a story. I would have liked some “coups de théâtre.”

Of course, I didn’t anticipate a “coup de théâtre” in the form of problems which impact the technical design. Maybe people “can’t stop the beat,” as said in one of the songs selected by Jubilee, but reluctant firing positions can. As soon as the opening of the show, we saw a set of firing positions at the far-left of the third ramp which didn’t work. The Portuguese team has experienced a similar problem; however, their missing positions were in the centre left, which disrupted many sequences. In that sense, the impact was slightly less important in the British case. Also, firing positions located on the left access ramp properly worked, helping to support other segments. Although we have seen more serious technical failures in the Montreal competition before, the problem was persistent and caused many asymmetric patterns.

Beyond this problem, the technical design emphasized the depth of the firing area, probably as effectively as the French show. For instance, on the music of “One Night in Bangkok” (Chess), fans of very thin stars came into life on ramp 5, turning into thicker fountains. Then red strobes appeared in the background. The penultimate segment also featured sequences of mines on the 5th ramp with some sorts of fans behind. Distinct nautical carpets made of purple, blue, and orange flares appeared on the lake, as well as some nautical shells at the end of the finale. Generally speaking, I would say that the team had made a good use of the available space.

The quality of the pyrotechnic material was excellent. While a couple of products has been displayed many times, the arsenal included a wide range of effects, the aforementioned variety of horsetails being an example. Many pieces produced more complex effects. In the 4th part (“Timewarp”), we saw some colour-changing shells with an inner sphere which also changed of colours. Other shells with contrasting quarters also changed of colours following different patterns. There was a great richness of colours, notably on the music from The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Nautical carpets of flares, shells and fans of stars, as well as go-getters and falling leaves: all featured multiple colours. This segment also had very bright red and blue stars from shells. The quality of the pieces reminded me the show of Vaccaluzzo.

The synchronization was excellent through the show. It was very different from the 2015 performance where many segments had a razor-shape synchronization, likely increasing very significantly the number of cues required to fire with a such level of precision. This time, many sequences were note-synchronized or synchronized with some lyrics, but nothing too mechanical.

Despite the technical problems which occurred, Jubilee Fireworks is certainly a strong contender for a Jupiter. My personal and final ranking appears here.


Posted: Jul 30, 2017 15:52:54   Edited by: Smoke

Clear skies and a reasonable late-evening temperature of 21 C, along with low humidity levels, made for generally ideal conditions for this highly anticipated British display. Surface wind speeds, though, were very light to occasionally calm (as evidenced by surrounding flags on nearby buildings), which led to some periods of smoke build up as the display progressed. This caused the display to eventually appear somewhat murky for those spectators viewing on Notre-Dame Street due to ESE directional tendencies developing by mid-evening, mostly in those areas going North (i.e. away from the bridge going North). Higher-altitude smoke was also often approaching those of us positioned closer to the bridge, which added a different experience since we are not accustomed to receiving smoke so directly. What was a clear sky soon appeared as a temporarily partly cloudy sky over us. As expected, though, viewing was still good because humidity levels were low (by contrast to the situation during Vulcan’s 2015 display), preventing excessive smoke accumulations, and higher-altitude smoke was being fanned somewhat faster. The ESE winds (and slightly stronger overhead NE winds), though very light, meant the most ideal viewing for the La Ronde audience.

This was a very enjoyable display by Jubilee Fireworks Ltd.. The display began quite vibrantly, with a splash of rich colors and a deafening sequence of shells and salutes, filling up the sky without hesitation and leading to quick roars of approval from probably the largest Notre-Dame Street audience so far this year. We enjoyed some thrilling sequences of low-level comets and bursts of massive upper-level shells, and the crowd was often carried away with the rapidly scattering shells (similar to go-getters shortly after exploding). The choreography of the display was very well done, and the selection of music was enjoyable. We, once again, had the opportunity to appreciate a fantastic display of exquisite color richness and very good product quality. The interplay between effects at certain points in the display, including during the introduction, was simply fantastic and brought out the much of the musical elements nicely. This was notable with respect to the shell of shells and multi-breaks, and the rapidity of low-level fans of comets. Horsetails and other drooping effects, such as the falling leaves, were effectively used to represent the more tranquil pieces of the performance. Some of the firing positions used were quite interesting and generated some stunning periods of symmetry, and a wide left-right extent along low- to mid-level - this was especially true during the dramatic introductory section. My personal favorite segment was “Footloose” (being an 80s-90s person), which brought my thoughts to Italy 2013’s shorter version of this, and “You Can’t Stop The Beat”, which made me remember Sweden’s dramatic conclusion from last year (2016).

I agree with Fred that the theme was fairly modest. I further felt that its meaning was rather elusive. In their 2015 performance, as I recall, the theme was similarly vague, even though it seemed easier to envision what might be done with that one before hand. Much like in 2015’s case, I hoped to see, this time, a more tightly reinforced thematic premise through the pyrotechnics because, once again this year, the theme employed appeared to have a dichotomous nature. Being a fan of sectored themes, I initially imagined something of the sort with this display. I wrote in 2015 that it might have been an effective approach to separate the display into two broader parts, with finer transitional points within each, and while the theme presented this year was different in its delivery, the general principle, I found, still applied to this display. Unfortunately, that was not the case yesterday. Fred mentioned above the French translation of the theme, which, to me, would appear to carry a very different meaning and purpose than the English title of “Gunpowder and Greasepaint”. Intuitively, the French version made more sense in accordance with the design of the display, as well as most of the soundtracks that had been used. Indeed, the display sometimes had a theatrical sense to it (in some ways, similar to Germany’s display), but this might not have always been obvious. The opening segment certainly had an operatic feel to it, but many of the following sections of the display then became a little more divergent from that initial feel.

Apart from the theme, somewhat like Portugal, there had been a sense of imbalance towards right-hand sections (our right) of the display, at mid- to especially low-level, due to some firing positions not coming to life. These instances were not numerous but often enough to be noticeable. I also thought that more could have been done for representation, not just with respect to the theme, but at a finer scale within individual segments, as suggested previously. For example, while the moments of tranquility were appropriate, they were a little too quiet at some points. The horsetails themselves became a little redundant, but they were, fortunately, sparsely distributed. The finale was powerful, but it was too short in duration, and I would have liked to see more color. I also thought that some other segments could have been more dramatically concluded.

Overall, a very well choreographed display, despite the lighter thematic framework, and it should be awarded with a Jupiter this year. The execution of the display was fantastic, even though I felt that it was, overall, less elaborate than that of their 2015 performance.


Posted: Jul 31, 2017 07:33:25

Carl's video of the show: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5vc763


Posted: Aug 2, 2017 01:41:31

Overall, I thought this was a very good show. The shells were very colourful and were of high-quality. The show also had a very strong opening. Unlike some of the previous comments though, I actually found the synchronization to be just a bit off at times.

In many points in the songs, it seemed like the sync was just 1 second behind.

Likewise, as others have stated, there were some firing issues, particularly on the left side.

That said, a great final competing show of the season.

Posted: Aug 5, 2017 11:19:29

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