Have to say, I had been looking forward to this gig for ages. Last time I saw The Heartbreaks was at The Social for Merc Live and while they were fantastic, they seemed like they had to hold back due to the tiny stage. Dingwalls isn’t the biggest of stages, and I’ve had a lousy gig experience there before (Tribes – oversold, hideous crowd and an hour line up for drinks), but I had faith this time would be different. It would also be the first proper spin of my new(ish) 50mm f/1.8 lens, bought specifically for gigs like this one. Even though the moving parts sound a bit plastic-y and it feels too light to do any kind of decent shooting, it was superb. Might have to save up for the 50mm f/1.4 now…
Anyway, we were surprised to find Sissy & the Blisters were supporting – first rate band, but dissimilar in sound to The Heartbreaks, a lot darker and more rocky. Surprisingly, I’ve seen these guys more times than any other band since I’ve lived in London… not that I’m complaining! We rocked up just after they begun their set and the modest crowd milling around didn’t seem too interested. Big claps at the end though, and I thought they were ace.
Time for the main event, and a gaggle of (mostly teenage) girls had filled up the front area, point-and-shoots at the ready. As a vertically-challenged (non-professional) photographer it makes a pleasant change being at a gig where most of the patrons are shorter than you! We managed some great viewpoints throughout the gig so I snapped away like a woman possessed. The show itself was high energy, fun and loud, and the boys were ever the professionals, playing the majority of their Fun Times album and dropping in a few new tracks. We were in front of Chris (‘Deaks’) for the most part, then moved around to the upper level near the gents for a different viewpoint. Matthew loves his wistful middle-distance-look poses, so he was a gem of a subject. The guys look like they enjoyed themselves, and the crowd certainly did.
After dancing up a storm and imbibing a few Brother’s Cider (uh oh) the gig came to an end we meandered around the venue, bumping into a friend. Said friend introduced us to Theo Hutchcraft from Hurts who was wandering around having his photo taken with fans (a genuinely lovely guy). After we were all kicked out of the venue a group of us went down the road to The Hawley Arms and ended up chatting to/buying shots for some of the Heartbreaks boys. Accidentally called their guitarist ‘Deaks’ instead of Ryan (and I call myself a fan…), and managed to wake up the next morning without a clue as to what I had spoken to them all about. Not sure if that’s good or bad advertising for Brother’s Cider?!
Gig of the year, done.