Tag Archives: Camden

The Crookes, Dingwalls 29 April 2014

For some reason I forgot to post this and it has been in draft for the last month!  So cast your mind back to late April…

I’m in two minds about Camden’s Dingwalls, after one crappy experience on my first venture there (Tribes – horrible crowd, oversold, no chance of getting a drink at ridiculously packed yet understaffed bar etc.) and one brilliant experience following that (The Heartbreaks – amazing crowd, great space for photos in various spots around the venue, brilliant lighting and meeting the band afterwards). It could have gone either way with The Crookes earlier in the week but luckily it fell mostly into the latter category.

Difficult getting a decent shot of the guys from from front of stage as there were two rows of teenage girls forming a rigid barricade that none could pass through – their fans are staunch! I released myself from the throng after a couple of songs to discover that it wasn’t too busy from the side, and the lovely sound guy let me pop through the barrier to get closer to the stage. Nice one.

As I said, the lighting at Dingwalls is pretty decent, so no need for flash. I don’t know why I bothered to bring it really! I used ye olde faithful 24-70mm f/2.8 for the whole gig. Had my 50mm in the bag but didn’t bother using it. HANGING to pick up a 70-200mm f/2.8 in the coming weeks. My time will come, save save save…

Pics of the evening below, enjoy!

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Her Parents, The Monarch 2 May 2014

I’m glad I’m all over twitter as much as I am or else I would have discovered too late that Her Parents were breaking up, and missed their last ever London gig at The Monarch.  As luck would have it I found out on Thursday afternoon that their last gig was going to be the next evening, and as I (kind of) didn’t have anything else on, decided to see them one last time.

The gig was to be expected – hilarious, vigorous, shouty and silly.  Really going to miss these guys.  Do yourself a favour and buy their two albums before you can’t get them anymore.  Luckily I have both on (one) vinyl – considering they were both in my end of year lists for last year and the year before, how could I not?!  Their albums are for when you either a) want a laugh out loud or b) want to punch someone in the face repeatedly.  Music for ALL occasions!

Thanks for the last few years Her Parents, you will not be forgotten.

Pics of the night below, enjoy!

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Johnny Foreigner/Electric Soft Parade, The Borderline, April 2014

It’s been a busy few weeks recently, not so much on the gig photography but more on the day job side of things.  I’ve been looking to move jobs recently and have just landed a new one, so no more running to interviews on my lunch break or before work, all sorted!  Now I can focus more on blogging, facebooking, instagramming and tweeting – the important stuff.

As I mentioned previously I’ve been offered an in-house photographer position with MAMA venues, which I’ve now started.  I’ve recently shot a couple of bands at The Borderline which has been much fun – a nice small venue in an easy location with early stage times – what’s not to like?!  Plus the bands there have been great so far, so I’m hoping to do some more in the coming weeks.  A couple of weeks back I shot Johnny Foreigner there, and just last week Electric Soft Parade.  I’m keeping my eye on upcoming gigs to see what takes my fancy and will grab what I can!  If you know of any bands playing there coming up who would be good to photograph let me know and I’ll see if I can pop along.

A couple weeks ago I had a photo shoot with a lovely band from Southampton called Welcome Pariah, while they were up in Camden for a gig.  We traipsed around the back streets (and telephone boxes!) of Camden on a Friday night and took some group shots of them in various places.  Really easy to work with and just lovely guys all around.  The photos are being used as press shots to accompany their upcoming single (June release date), so will share a few pics of the shoot when that’s all come out.  Exciting stuff, for both the band and me!

Starting my new day job tomorrow (eep!), but honestly have loads and loads of gigs coming up in the next few weeks/months, so keep your eye on my twitter/instagram/blog etc.  Photos of the recent Borderline gigs below, enjoy!

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We Are Scientists, Barfly, 5 February 2014

And we’re back!

Long time no blog, mostly because of the lack of gigs to go to over the last month or two.  This year’s first gig came courtesy of free tickets to see the wonderful We Are Scientists at Camden Barfly earlier in the week.  So hilarious, so attractive, so fantastic.  Not sure of whether I’d be too close to the front of the stage I decided to take my 50mm 1.8 instead of anything more wide, partly because of the distance but also because the lens is much lighter than any of my other ones.  With the ongoing tube strikes I didn’t want to be caught on a tube carrying anything too heavy, so that was my excuse!  Mates Jill and John came along with us and we politely (always) walked through the crowd to a spot at the side close to the front.  I’m short, so excuse the crowd head shots – it had to be done.

More gigs to come in the following weeks so keep your eyes on the blog as things are expecting to ramp up again.  Have also been busy photographing the lovely people at both Midnight A Go Go and Ice Cold which are both always a fun night.  If you’re in the area come down to The Waiting Room and have a boogie!  Some of my shots are on the facebook pages, check ’em out.

Enjoy We Are Scientists!

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The Wytches, IC1s, a bit of this and a lot of that

Good day giggage readers!  Last few weeks have been super hectic with photog work, club nights and live music, and it looks set to continue at least until mid-December.  I am NOT complaining!  Here’s a quick roundup of what’s been going down in giggage-town lately, and what’s coming up soon.

One of the best new bands I’ve seen in a long time I saw twice in the last two weeks – The Wytches.  Get onto these guys if you haven’t already, noisy guitars, dark vocals and gloomy bass lines.  Bring on an album next year (crosses fingers).  Here’s my review on Shout4Music, and a few ‘unseen’ photos below.

I also caught IC1s recently, at both Heaven (supporting The Family Rain – love those guys) and The Macbeth in Hoxton.  They’ve been kicking around for a couple years but starting to get a buzz around them after supporting a few big name bands.  Another review on Shout4Music here, and more photos below!

Keep an eye on the blog in the next couple days/week for photos of The Courteeners (shot them at O2 Shepherd’s Bush last night – AMAZING – Liam Fray is a delight to photograph!), a band with some history, The Damned at The Roundhouse, and a band you should all check out, Damn Vandals at The Dublin Castle (lotta ‘damn!’-ing coming up).

After that, looks like a bit of a break in transmission for the Christmas/New Year period.  What are we all doing?  Anything exciting?  For me, the only place to be on NYE will have to be Nuis@nce, upstairs at The Enterprise in Chalk Farm.  Bound to be a fun evening of Britpop, indie and pop rock tunes.  What could be better?!

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Radkey, The Black Heart, 17 October 2013

I had the pleasure of seeing American band Radkey in tiny Black Heart in Camden last week.  Luckily I perched up the front for a few minutes before they came on so that I could get a decent spot to take photos at.  Radkey are fairly new to me – I only just heard their stuff about two weeks ago and bought tickets for the gig on a bit of a whim.  Glad I did though, awesome stuff.  Loads of people at the sold out gig singing along and getting all sweaty by the end of it.  Managed a quick photo with singer/guitarist Dee at the end of the night – they seem like lovely lads.  Go see them at The Macbeth with Polterghost on Halloween if you can!

Loads of gigs coming up, some taking photos (Holograms, Loom), some just watching (Arctic Monkeys, Parquet Courts) – it’s going to be a busy few weeks…

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Loom, The Black Heart, 4 September 2013

Loom upstairs in The Black Heart‘s tiny gig room… wow.  I’d not seen Loom live before, and was asked to go along and take photos on the first night of their Black Heart residency on Wednesday.

Being warned by Linn at Little Indie Blogs to ‘not stand too close to the front of the stage’ made me wonder what I was letting myself in for.  Very surprised no blood was spilled by the end of the gig – bodies flying everywhere, the crowd crashing onto the stage, front man Tarik screaming in people’s faces.

AWESOME.  All of it!

If you get a chance to see them on any of the other nights that they’re playing at The Black Heart I strongly suggest you do.  Different support bands each time, although Polterghost and Bloody Knees were both very worthy of seeing.

I used my new Canon 17-55 f/2.8 and to be honest I wasn’t hugely impressed with the results.  Might just be me not having practiced with it much, or knowing how to deal with ugly red lighting at smaller gigs!  Using the Speedlite for the first two bands just wasn’t working well either, although for Loom it seemed to look better.  Not sure, more playing around needed I think.

Photos below, enjoy!

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Cool Britannia, Fiddler’s Elbow 19 July 2013

I have been reliably informed that Cool Britannia last Friday night will be the last one ‘for a while’, which is a shame.  I’ll miss heading up to Fiddler’s Elbow at the end of most months to take photos of new bands and have a drink with the always welcoming ‘#CBfamily’.  But needs must and if they do return in a few months/years I’ll be back with bells on!  Enough of the sad stuff, the last CB was a good ‘un.  Four bands I’d not seen before which is always a bonus – Stone Thieves, Shelta, King Zoots and Stellify, all fantastic bands.  Was great to have a stripped back set from Shelta in the middle of the evening, although the urge to turn around and throttle kids in the crowd who were chatting throughout was overwhelming.  So disrespectful.  It was obvious that they were there for one of the other bands, but at least go sit down somewhere else and have a chat, don’t do it in the audience.  PET HATE!

Managed quite a few good pics at Cool Britannia this time though, which I’m rather proud of.  I have recently been asked to take photos for another blog at gigs around London, which I’m sure will keep me busy while Cool Britannia is cooling off.  Expect to see an increased amount of blog activity in the coming weeks – if I can keep up!  I shot a lot of the pics at Cool Britannia in black and white as I’m not a fan of the coloured lighting they use at Fiddler’s, and B&W always looks nice and moody anyway.  I used my Canon 1000D with my 50mm 1.8 for most of the gig.  Looking to upgrade my camera soon… watch this space!

Pictures below, enjoy.

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Cool Britannia 21st June 2013

It’s always exciting going along to Cool Britannia nights, because you’re never really sure what you’re going to get musically, or what kind of people will come along to see the bands.  June’s CB night saw four bands (a feat in itself) PLUS an acoustic set by Dean Mumford, he of Rifles fame.  Talk about packing it in!  The Deets were on first who were just fantastic, high energy, stage presence, dashing outfits, and most importantly – good tunes.  Sadly it seemed that most people were still out enjoying the ‘sunshine’ (ahem) at that time of the evening and The Deets played to a small crowd.  The people who were there seemed impressed though.  Violet Class up next which was a bit of a change of pace with their retro casual gear and 90s Britpop sound.  Super laid back, and a few more people milling around during and after their set.  Welcome Pariah on next, and while I’d seen them at a CB night previously I was happy to see them again, great band.  Catch them while they’re still playing the little venues!  Fiddlers Elbow was becoming slightly more crowded by now, with a fun bunch of people.  The crowd at these nights are always full of surprises!  The Mercanaries were last band proper on and they were hilarious.  Not hilarious in a bad way, oh no, just in a crowd interaction, entertaining way.  Jumping off the stage, jumping on each other, making a real fun time of the whole set.  Really hard to photograph as they were moving around so much – had to turn on the flash for most of the shots, which turned out well (new flash – YAY!).  Dean Mumford arrived on stage as the crowd had increased loads, and it was becoming rather sweaty in the venue.  He banged out a few old Rifles tunes and then started taking requests from the crowd on what to sing next.  A genuinely lovely fella.  The crowd were so involved that a few of them also jumped on stage, some assisting on drums, others on vocals.  Good stuff, and a brilliant end to a fun evening.

First time I’d given the new Canon Speedlite 430EX II flash unit a whirl and oh my, it’s lovely.  Just makes people in the crowd look that much… prettier!  Takes the harshness of the full frontal flash when it’s bouncing off the roof instead.  Never an issue with not being able to focus in a dark room either due to the red beam.  Took a few shots of Dean and The Mercanaries with the flash on as you can see below.  Still prefer the non-flash shots but some of the flash ones were amazing (the one with the two Mercanaries guys having a cuddle is ace!).  I had all three lenses there on the night – 35mm, 17 – 55mm and 75 – 300mm.  Changing them every five minutes was a hassle, so here’s to saving up for a lens that can do the job of all three of those lenses instead!!  Enjoy the pics, there are a lot of them…

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Cool Britannia, Fiddlers Elbow 19 April 2013

Another month, another excellent Cool Britannia.  This was one of the best Cool Britannia nights I’ve been to so far I think, four fantastic bands, loads of interesting and friendly punters and happy times all around.  This month saw The Repeat Offenders, The Brompton Mix, Marmalade Sky and Deadbeat Echoes take to the Fiddler’s Elbow stage.  I’d not seen any of the bands playing this month before either, which was a bonus.  Always happy to go along and take pics at Cool Britannia because not only are the bands always decent, Gina and Jess (who run the nights) are the loveliest people you’ll ever meet.  Helps that they have fantastic taste and knowledge in mod/baggy/indie/Britpop/Madchester bands too I guess!  There was a certain Rick Buckler (aka drummer from The Jam) hanging around the bar for a while as well, keeping a keen eye on The Brompton Mix, who he manages.  Engineered a quick snap of him with the help of some plucky regulars (thanks Pete & Vanisha!), although he was really quite lovely anyway.  After the bands had finished a few of them hung around for a while and danced and drank and laughed and fell over, until we were all very politely rounded up and shown the door at around 1am.  Can’t wait for the next one!

I was using my Canon EOS 1000D with all three of its lenses over the course of the evening: 50mm, 18mm – 55mm and 75mm – 300mm.  I probably used the 50 the most for the band shots, and the 18-55 for punter shots.  The lighting isn’t brilliant at Fidler’s Elbow, but instead of using the flash (I hate that), I upped the ISO to as high as it goes – 1600 for this camera.  Enjoy!

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