Tag Archives: gigs

The Phoenix

Thought I’d write a quick update on what’s been occurring in my photography world recently.  It’s been a pretty quiet summer as far as gig photography goes, plus I’ve been studying outside of working full time, and doing a bit of travelling, so I’ve not had time to get up to much gig going in any case!

I was recently asked by the lovely people at The Phoenix in Cavendish Square to take some photographs of their refurbished downstairs area to share on their website/social media.  They now have an amazing mural on the wall that extends from street level to the bottom of the stairs which is a fantastic addition, and the fixtures and new art pieces on the walls are just perfect.  The place looks almost unrecognisable to what it was – get down there and have a butcher’s if you can, as it’s ace!

I got the chance to use my new lens that night as well – the Sigma 15mm 2.8.  She is LOVELY.  Great for getting absolutely everything in shot, which came in really handy for inside The Phoenix.  Will be using it again for club night photos as well, provided it doesn’t stretch people’s faces out too much 🙂

I’ve also taken live shots of some bands that were playing there a couple of weeks ago.  It was a last minute thing but really enjoyable.  The bands were all great and the celeb spotting in the crowd was much fun!  Penguins Rising were fantastic (Zac Starkey’s ‘new band’ – although singer Sharna Liguz completely stole the limelight), and The Valves are definitely a band that I’ll be going to see again.  Great line up and a really enjoyable night.

Have even MORE travelling to do in November which may or may not involve taking photos of bands.  Cambridge for Royal Blood, Nottingham for Kasabian and The Orwells in Bristol.  Oh, and Courteeners at Brixton Academy, but that travelling only involves one train stop from home.

Lots of other local gigs coming up as well so stay tuned!

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The Twilight Sad, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen 1 May 2014

Never would have thought that a band I don’t know too much about would manage to impress me so much in a live setting. Don’t get me wrong, I know of The Twilight Sad, and I bought their first album Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters when I first moved to London in 2009 (I’m an Aussie for those of you who don’t already know!). Never really kept track of what they were up to until having the opportunity to photograph and review their gig at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen last week for Shout 4 Music.

Oh. My. Word.

Haunting. Intense. Bleak. Yelling. Dark. Austere. THE LOT. Complete wall of sound from start to finish. This was their second sold out London date, playing Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters in its entirety and it was bloody lovely. Almost forgot to take photos at some points because it was hard to look away! Just brilliant. I saw on twitter afterwards that the sound up the back wasn’t that great, but from where I was standing it was perfect.

Flash stayed in the bag (it would have completely drowned out the ambiance/highlighted the dry ice too much) and 24-70mm f2.8 was a permanent fixture. Had a great spot up the front and almost couldn’t get out of the gig because it was like sardines up the back. If I were a big fan of the band I would have rightly been in heaven after that gig.

Review on Shout 4 Music here, and pics of the evening 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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The Twang, Village Underground 13th February 2014

Ahhh The Twang.  I can’t say I’m their biggest fan, and I would only know a few of their songs if I was really pushed to think about it.  But nevertheless, I applied to take photos of them at Village Underground earlier in the week and found myself heading along.  I’ll be honest with you, I was worried about getting a plastic pint of piss thrown at the back of my head whilst in the pit, or being yelled at, or slipping over someone’s vomit… but none of that happened, and I had one of the best times shooting at a gig that I’ve probably ever had.

The crowd were so incredibly into it!  Yes, there were some very drunk people, but they were all just so happy and singing along and cheers-ing each other throughout.  At one point Phil Etheridge had a proper go at a security guard who had angrily pushed his way through the crowd to pull a guy down who was sitting on another guys shoulders.  “He wasn’t doing anything wrong mate, he was just having a good time.  If you’re going to do shit like that all night then everyone’s going to have a boring time of it”.  Ouch!

Great night, great fun band and took some great shots.  Would take photos of them again in a heartbeat.  Village Underground has shot to the top of my favourite venues to shoot at list, lovely high ceilings, brilliant lighting and awesome exposed brickwork.  More please!  Keep an eye out for the pics on Shout 4 Music, but a few are below for your enjoyment.  Cheers 🙂

 

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Deap Vally, Bitterzoet, Amsterdam 16 November 2013

Lucky Jen took a trip to Amsterdam last weekend, mainly to see the fabulous ladies that are Deap Vally play at Bitterzoet, but also to see some canals, push bikes, and LOTS of Heineken.  Could have happily spent another few days in Amsterdam but the day job unfortunately doesn’t offer enough annual leave days (sigh), so it was a flying visit.

First time in Amsterdam meant first time at Bitterzoet.  It’s kind of in/near the red light district, and close to a couple of other bars that we wanted to check out while we were there.  Very convenient.  Bitterzoet was ace – the staff were nothing but friendly and efficient (take note London pub/club staff), the stained glass windows with naked ladies on them were gorgeous (they were!) and the venue had may vantage points to take photos, although most of the time I was up the front and to the side, as you can see from the pics (as they’re mostly of Lindsey).  We were lucky enough to get a signed poster off them personally at the end of the night, and had our photos taken with them (CRAZY FANS KLAXON).

I used my Canon 7D with 17-55mm lens, and was considering using flash but really didn’t need to.  Check out the pics below, enjoy!

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Virgil and the Accelerators, O2 Islington, 7 November 2013

Finally had the chance to catch Virgil and the Accelerators live, after being lucky enough to shoot with them at the Steve Gerrard gig photography workshop in Birmingham a few months back (blog here!).  They’ve been touring madly for the last couple of months and finally they made to to London, bringing a swag of t-shirts and albums to sell on the night.  I managed a good spot up the front to take photos, and noticed a line of fans, all with their phones/point & shoot cameras at the ready, already decked out in V&TA t-shirts!  They have some pretty keen fans…  Virgil and Jack are so easy to photograph – brilliant presence and fantastic shape pullers.  Difficult to see Gabriel behind his drum kit but he was smashing away the whole time, not unlike his mascot, The Muppets’ ‘Animal’, who sat in front of his kit.  I managed to find their manager Martin after a few songs and thanked him for the ticket/photo pass, to which he passed onto me not one but TWO V&TA t-shirts!  One of them adorns a photo I had taken of them at the Steve Gerrard day, which I was most pleased about.

I used my Canon 7D with 17-55mm f2.8 most of the time, and switched to my 50mm 1.8 for a few shots.  The 50mm is just so much lighter and easier to shoot with after lugging the 17-55mm around!  Was up fairly close to the stage though so the 50mm wasn’t always convenient.  The lighting was decent so wasn’t even concerned that it was a no-flash gig.  I mostly sat on 1000 ISO.  Pics below, enjoy!

 

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East End Live, Shoreditch 13 July 2013

I got wind of East End Live music festival via Filthy Boy posting links about being in the line-up on their Facebook page.  They did it quite a bit actually, and you know the old story, repetition wears people down!  Not really, I had nothing else to do last weekend and the other half was off to see The Rolling Stones on Saturday evening so I thought why the hell not.  Plenty of opportunities for snaps of new bands by the looks of things.  So off I trotted to Shoreditch with my camera and a couple of lenses, through the intense heat, and lined up at The Griffin for my wrist band.  The line was short and fast moving, good start.  The heat was oppressive (hottest day of the year so far, hitting 31C), so I wondered how long I’d actually be hanging around – sweaty gigs in dark rooms in this weather are never high on the to-do list.  I popped into Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen first and oh my it was LOVELY. Air con turned up to the max and a very small crowd of people.  Brilliant!  I hung around HSB&K for Beat Mark, who were quite lovely, and then watched Neil’s Children, who were fantastic.  Took a few snaps, then legged it up the road to try to catch Loom at Red Gallery.  Big line out the front and the doorman let me know that they were running about 30 minutes late and hadn’t opened yet.  Can’t be dealing with that – I have other bands to see!  Walked back to Hoxton Square and went downstairs at Zigfrid von Underbelly to see Skinny Girl Diet.  Loved these women, would definitely see them again.  Still not very crowded anywhere and was in the front row for SGD.  Left just as they were finishing back to HSB&K to see the band I had been waiting for – Filthy Boy.  They were fantastic as usual, and even had a male fan front and centre of the crowd dancing and singing along to most of the words.  James Endeacott was there keeping an eye on things, and even though the crowd wasn’t the biggest they all seemed to be enjoying the music.  Took a few too many snaps of them, then decided to head to Cargo to see Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs.  Big mistake – the line was ridiculous.  Two lines, one for wristbands and one for general entry.  The lines were going super slow so decided to ditch Cargo (and unfortunately CB&TV who I love, but have seen twice before anyway) to hang out at ZvU for the rest of the evening and wait for Sauna Youth who were I guess you could say, ‘headlining’ the venue.

Glad I went back there as it was cool (as in, not stuffy and hot!), the crowd were lovely and it wasn’t too busy.  The bands were ace as well, according to the timetable, I caught Beards, who were great (can’t find any info on them online – someone enlighten me!), and Perspex Flesh, whose frontman’s shape pulling was ace.  So many great shots of him, enjoyed them loads.  I stuck my flash on for the last three bands as it was quite dark in there and difficult to pick up features.  Managed some really good shots but as I was so close I almost didn’t need to use my 35mm.  I still did though as it’s a nice lens!  After Sauna Youth I decided to head home (via our local greasy take away shop) as the transport would start to get ridiculous the longer I stayed.  Great day, and would recommend anyone going along if they do it again next year.  Bit gutted I didn’t get to see CB&TV, but I’d seen them before, and managed to see some excellent new bands instead.   Since the event, I’ve seen a couple of people whinging about the day on twitter, saying that they couldn’t get into Red Gallery and that bands were three hours delayed etc.  You can’t expect everything to run smoothly at these kind of events, and you certainly can’t expect everything to go according to how you think it will in your head.  Adapt – change – do something different!  If I had hung around Red Gallery waiting for it to open, or Cargo in the line, I wouldn’t have seen at least three of the awesome bands I DID get to see.  I saw 7 bands.  SEVEN!  At £15 for 12 venues, over 10 hours, and on such a beautiful day, there’s not much more that you could have asked for.  Whingers be dammed!

Oh yeah, and here’s some pics.

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