Tag Archives: guitar

Various, The Shacklewell Arms 9 August 2013

Another evening shooting for Linn at Little Indie Blogs (and for myself!).  I’m a big fan of The Shacklewell Arms, and only wish that the venue was closer to home.  The night was pushed back about an hour so Telegram weren’t on until after 9pm, but definitely worth waiting for.  Admittedly I’d not heard of Telegram before Linn spoke to me about them, so had a search online before the gig and found a few live clips that gave me a brief introduction to them.  Look forward to seeing them again though, a part of the new psychedelia ‘trend’ (ugh, hate that word) around at the moment (Toy, Charlie Boyer & The Voyeurs, Temples etc.) which I’m a fan of.  Excellent at pulling shapes too… My second time in a month seeing Neil’s Children – they’re following me!  Enjoyed their set more this time around for some reason, even though they had a few technical hitches.  When they get going they have such a huge sound.  Dark Horses were the headlining but I only stuck around for a couple of songs for fear of not being able to catch any decent transport home.  From what I saw they were intense and mesmerising, and the crowd had filled up so much you could barely move.  Managed to catch the tube down to Brixton and emerge to find that the sky was flooding!  Luckily the bus didn’t arrive for a good 10 minutes, so I sheltered my camera (and my hair) from the rain until my bus rocked up.  Bad evening to not bring an umbrella out…

Second outing with the 7D this one.  Looking at buying another lens in the coming weeks as I’m bored of changing lenses a few times a night.  Have my eye on a Canon 17-55mm 2.8 or Canon 16-35mm 2.8… is it worth getting an L series when the alternative is much cheaper and almost just as good?  Decisions decisions.

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Cheatahs, Old Queen’s Head 1 August 2013

I was looking forward to going along to see Cheatahs at Old Queen’s Head as I knew from a previous visit that the lighting in there was lovely (= good for photographers) and relatively easy to get some close shots.  I was especially excited because my new pride and joy had arrived in the post – I am now the proud owner of a Canon 7D!  It took a while to get used to on the first night as a lot of the buttons were in different places than I was used to with the 1000D, so had to fiddle around in the dark with a few things, but the pictures didn’t turn out too bad.  The venue wasn’t packed to the rafters either, which was great as it was a hot evening.  Although someone needed to turn down the dry ice – my hair stank of the stuff when I got home!  Great gig though, and my first time seeing Cheatahs.  Pics below…

 

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Sulk, The Shacklewell Arms 31 May 2013

Made the trip last week from SE London to NE London to one of my favourite gig venues, The Shacklewell Arms, to see brilliant London band Sulk.  I had been looking forward to this for many weeks as their debut album ‘Graceless’ had been on high rotation on my iPod since it was released.  Pretty sure that album is going to be right up there on my best of end of year album list – it’s June already anyway!  The support band Whistlejacket weren’t too bad.  Quite a bit of posing from where I was standing but they had a few decent songs that kept me interested.  Had managed a spot close to the front but although the gig was supposedly not sold out, there were plenty of people in the tiny back room.  Met a lovely fellow from GoodSoul Promotions who I had previously had conversations with on Twitter.  Great guys – follow them here!  Sulk graced (ha!) the stage to many cheers and opened with album closer ‘End Time’ for the sweaty crowd, of which quite a few were singing along.  It seems like Sulk are destined to be one of those ‘cult’ (for want of a better word) bands, bands who people either love, hate, or don’t actually ‘get’.  Most in the room seemed to ‘get’ them though, and for a London crowd it was pleasing to see so many people swaying and singing the lyrics. The band appeared to be enjoying themselves too, Jon occasionally letting his sulky(!) demeanour slip and grinning towards the crowd.  A short set, but full of the good stuff (surprised Marion Shrine was left off – maybe next time?), and at the end of the gig I managed to snaffle the set list.  Apart from wanting the gig to go on for longer, their set was near perfect.  Looking forward to seeing them again, whenever that might be.

All shots taken with the standard kit, Canon EOS1000D, with 50mm lens.  Not sure if maybe Shacklewell have done something with their lighting but it was MUCH easier to take photos with no flash at the gig for a change.  No need to bring along my new Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit, which I accidently forgot to pack anyway.  Photos below for your viewing pleasure!

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Suede, Alexandra Palace, 30 March 2013

Suede are fantastic, aren’t they?  I mean, they’re really fantastic.  Over the past 20 or so years since I’ve been a fan (what – 20 years?  HOW OLD ARE YOU?!?  I know, I know…) I’ve never seen them live.  I had the opportunity a couple of years ago when I first moved to London, but decided against it for some reason, probably because the person I was with wasn’t really a fan and didn’t want to go with me.  What a bellend.  A few months ago it was announced they would do a gig at the gorgeous looking Alexandra Palace, which is renowned for its ‘long, flat floor’ and ‘terrible sound’, but the decision was made, friends rounded up and off we went.  Unfortunately we missed Temples, but caught all of Spector’s spectacle (I don’t mean that in a good way – sorry, I just can’t like them).  We were in a great spot for Suede and managed to keep it that way until bladders were too full to cope anymore.  Brett LOVES performing live, doesn’t he?  If he doesn’t, he was doing a damn fine job of pretending at Ally Pally.  Swinging his hips, whipping his mic and jumping on speakers the whole evening.  The rest of the band were fantastic of course, but Brett was the star, with the spotlight on him the whole time.  The backdrop was awesome – screens of various singles/album covers depending on what was being played at the time.

Ally Pally wasn’t that bad either, the sound was fine both near the front and up the back, and I could see the band the entire time as the stage was quite high (as were my shoes).  The ‘rules’ of Ally Pally state that you can’t take in removable lens cameras, so I ended up taking my Nokia point and shoot in with me.  Bit annoyed when I saw a girl walk out of the toilets with a Canon DSLR, complete with massive zoom lens, hanging around her neck.  Next time… The gig was brilliant, and left me wondering why I haven’t tried harder to go and see Suede when they toured last time.  Here are a couple of photos taken with my Nokia that you can almost make out Brett in them.  Enjoy!

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Violent Soho | Velociraptor, Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne, 10 March 2013

Finally, back in the blogging game!  Apologies all around for not blogging for a while, I’ve been on an awesome trip to the land of kangaroos and expensive pints.  When I returned it was so depressing even the thought of blogging was too much to handle.  So while we were in Melbourne we took in a couple of gigs, the first being Violent Soho, supported by Velociraptor.  I’d not heard any of either band’s music but decided to go along anyway as it was cheap and they were playing at Ding Dong, a Melbourne gig venue/institution which I will always love, even though it was half burned down and rebuilt into something not nearly as dingy or dirty as the first incarnation (sadly – I miss the broken toilet doors and giant bum poster over the DJ booth).  Velociraptor just stole the night for me.  According to their twitter they are a ‘Brisbane garage-pop 12 piece band of legend’, but tonight there would only be 7 of them on stage.  A tiny stage.  The guys from DZ Deathrays (who I’ve photographed previously here) are also in the band, taking more of a back seat while the alternating drummer/vocalist stole the show.  And they really did steal the show – mincing around, jumping into the crowd, pulling shapes… my only regret is not getting down the front to take photos of them closer up.  The crowd were getting into it, singing along occasionally and dancing like idiots.  Excellent.

After all the excitement of Velociraptor the crowd had increased in size so we had to move to a different spot, which was difficult to get any decent shots of Violent Soho.  No bother really though because I was still buzzing about Velociraptor too much to care.  Violent Soho were great, and clearly had a lot of Melbourne fans judging by the crowds reception of them.  I know it’s not a competition, but this was one of those rare times when the support band stole the night for me.  If you get a chance to see Velociraptor at any stage, definitely do it.

Here are a few shots of the evening.  I kept on focussing too much on the drummers so a lot of my (discarded) shots were out of focus on the other band members… lesson learned!  These were all taken with my Canon EOS 1000D, with my 50mm 1.8 lens.

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Jake Bugg, O2 Shepherds Bush 27 February 2013

Back to Shepherds Bush we go.  I’ve said it before, I’m not a fan of going there because it’s so out of the way (for everyone it seems), but this time we had seats, and after getting there about half an hour after doors opened we had one of the best spots in the house.  We caught all of Valerie June‘s set which was impressive, she has a ridiculously brilliant voice on her.  Nice to see a different kind of support act than the usual dime a dozen indie bands.  The crowd in the seats were pretty well behaved, apart from a couple behind us who were I guess on a date, trying to impress each other by laughing overly loudly and chatting incessantly.  An older guy in front of them (there with his daughter) turned around at one stage and gave them a talking to, which seemed to shut them right up!  Other than that, decent crowd, really varied.  We had two old guys (60+) sitting in front of us, one with pocket-sized binoculars which was quite cute.  Jake Bugg was better than I expected.  To be honest I don’t really know what I expected.  Not a single bum note, and his guitar playing was effortless.  He’s clearly not one for smiling – don’t think he cracked a smile throughout the whole set.  When you’re that talented though I guess smiling and crowd interaction is optional… I’d see him again in a second, but I’m not sure I would be willing to pay the ticket price that he can request nowadays.  That’s what you get for having a number one album I guess.

Back to using my Canon 1000D 75-300mm lens, no more point-and-shoots for a while me thinks!  Pictures below, enjoy.

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The Cribs, O2 Shepherd’s Bush 22 February 2013

Ahhh The Cribs.  One of only a small handful of bands from the Naughties who are still making great music, and still true to their fans.  I have a lot of time for bands like The Cribs – passionate, politically minded, not afraid to say what they want and hell, they know how to write a song.  For a band who are 10 years old (young?) and with plenty of fans, they’re still the same as they’ve ever been – no dating of airhead models, no selling their souls to advertise for commercial brands, no spending their earnings on unnecessarily sickeningly flashy cars (I’m looking at you Harry Styles).  The Cribs are the real deal.  That said, I’ve only seen them once before, so I was really looking forward to this gig.  Shepherd’s Bush is a pain in the arse to get to, but the venue itself is alright, provided you have a decent spot in the crowd.  I wasn’t too sure on the camera situation at the Bush so decided to take the Nikon Coolpix again.  We managed to squeeze into a spot right at the back and centre of the standing area, and stayed there until our bladders could take it no longer.  The Cribs were brilliant, pulling out all the hits with the whole crowd singing along, pints flying through the air (oh yeah, like that’ll NEVER get boring children…).  Not a huge fan of their latest album In The Belly of the Brazen Bull (it still poos all over a lot of other albums released last year), so there was a bit of a lull when they played a few songs off that in a row.  Other than that though, the crowd were loving every minute of it, kids were dancing and shouting and singing along… and so was I.   Photo quality in this blog is severely lacking due to a) being so far up the back, b) using the point & shoot, not DSLR, and c) not standing still long enough to take a decent, non-dancing photo.  Some gigs are meant to just be enjoyed though, and this one was very, very enjoyable.  So enjoyable, that I bought a t-shirt.  When Payola comes out (belatedly) on March 11th, do yourself a favour and pick it up.

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Night Engine, The Borderline 20 February 2013

Even though they’re yet to release an album, or have yet to play more than a baby-sized handful of gigs in the UK, I reckon Night Engine are going to be big.  There are a lot of comparisons with various other bands/artists of yesteryear but I won’t patronise you by telling you who they sound like, because EVERY MAN AND HIS BLOODY DOG WHO WRITES IN THE MUSIC PRESS has said who they sound like.  Derivative?  Sure.  Does it matter?  Not at all.  Awesome band, who I hope to see more of in the near future.  Guessing with a sold out Borderline though, it might be difficult to get as up close to the band as I was here.  This was the first time I took my Nikon CoolPix P310 for a spin at a gig.  I bought it as it was recommended as one of the better point & shoots for low light conditions and has a decent zoom.  I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s never going to produce as good quality photos as a DSLR, but for something that fits in your pocket it takes excellent, crisp shots.  At such a packed gig especially it was much easier to whip it out and take a few sneaky photos between people’s heads!  Results are below, enjoy.

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The Heartbreaks/Dexters at Old Queen’s Head, 7th February 2013

Who doesn’t like a free gig?  And when The Heartbreaks are involved there’s no way in the world you’re NOT going to drag yourself out of the house and go up to Old Queen’s Head in the pouring rain to see ‘Morecambe’s finest’ for the third time.  Great line up for a free gig, Dexters having recently had their single ‘Recover’ played on the build-up to the England v Brazil game (tune) and gaining quite a strong following, as well as Plantman who I’d not heard of before but have decided I’ll need to check them out after catching their set in between loo breaks and trips to the bar.  Interesting crowd at the gig, get the feeling over half of them were there just because it was their local pub.

Dexters were great, would go see them again and actually PAY for it next time.  They had a few die-hard fans at the front taking photos and singing along.  Managed to get a seat at one of the corner booths for the main event though, which was a bonus because I had a perfect view of the stage.  Didn’t need to use the 75-300 lens as I was so close anyway, even the 50mm was a bit too close.  Being that close I wasn’t able to snap a picture of all of them together, especially because Joseph was sitting off to the right with his drums, away from the rest of the guys.  The shots I did manage though turned out clear and bright, all thanks to the brilliant lighting at the venue.  If only more pubs could have lighting like this!  The Heartbreaks kicked it all off with a new track, then pulled out the hits, one after the other after the other.  Not much crowd interaction, but I don’t think everyone was there because of the Heartbreaks to be honest.  Free gigs, who knows what kind of punters will turn up?  Another brilliant performance, although next time I see them fingers crossed there will be new album tracks to sing along to.  Extremely pleased with my photos, the joys of being right up the front!

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