Tag Archives: guitar

Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Cargo, 5th February 2013

And so we enter February… THE MONTH OF GIGS.  February seems to always be a busy month for gigs, not sure why, but I’m definitely not complaining.    This month has started with a brilliant band who I’d not seen live before, not through lack of trying.  Unknown Mortal Orchestra are one of those bands who you would probably hear one song from once and think ‘meh, they’re ok’, but after repeated listens it becomes a ‘woah hang on, this is pretty special’ scenario.  Their debut self-titled album came out mid-2011 and I only just discovered it at the very end of 2011 – AFTER I’d done my end of year lists.  Life is, indeed, a bitch sometimes.  Their second album ‘II’ was released earlier this year and while I wasn’t immediately taken with it, it was definitely a grower.  Although only having released two albums, the gig felt like it was a greatest hits set – you actually realise that they’re full of the ‘good stuff’.  While not your typical indie-guitar-band on record, watching Ruban Neilson on stage playing guitar it would appear that he’s a super talented guitar player.  They clearly have a lot of fans in London as Cargo was sold out, and I was squashed up the back, with no ability to take any halfway decent photos!  While we’re on the subject of Cargo, the venue itself is gorgeous, but the non-refrigerated bottled cider (none on tap) at £5 a pop, the having to pour your cider into a plastic cup before going into the actual gig, and the extreme overload of hipsters make it a venue that I’d prefer not to see gigs at if I can help it.  That said, brilliant gig, and I’d see UMO again in a heartbeat.

Here are some less than spectacular pictures from the back of the venue, enjoy!

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Toy at Camden Barfly 19th December 2012

I was a bit hesitant about Toy when I first heard them.  Did they wear their influences too proudly on their sleeves?  A bit.  Were their outfits too decidedly 60s?  Perhaps. Were they unequivocally psychedelic?  Pretty much.  Did I listen to their album a couple times and fall in love with them?  Oh HELL yes.  After listening to a couple of their tracks on youtube I thought that this was perhaps another one of those throw-away shoegaze bands that seem to be popping up all over the place in the last couple years.  I downloaded their album anyway, and after a couple spins my adoration was cemented.  These guys are brilliant.  The gig was sold out (small venue – to be expected) and packed, but we managed to get a spot down the front in about the second row before the band came on.  We were up the back for the support band, Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs (shit name, good band) so took a few snaps of the back of people’s heads and the band.  Which reminds me, have to add some of CB&TV stuff to my iPod, very listen-able.  Toy pottered around on-stage for a couple minutes before blowing all our heads off with the first few numbers.  Wall of sound = check.  Amazing haircuts = check.  Moody demeanour = check.  It all made for some pretty tasty shots, especially because the crowd weren’t jumping around, just kind of swaying in time.  For my last gig of the year, I couldn’t have done much better.  10/10 – would see/shoot again… purely on haircuts alone.

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Cool Britannia at Fiddler’s Elbow, 14th December 2012

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and for BAD reasons – not enough gigs to go to!  Cool Britannia is always a great place to take a few shots of some ace bands so I was pleased to head along last Friday and enjoy the show.  This was their last for 2012, but a little bird has informed me that there could be many more in 2013.  As always it was a great night, filled with much cider and frivolity.  Great bands as well, which always helps!  This month it was The Beautiful Game, Desert Ships (who I had seen at CB previously) and Galileo 7.  Check out the photos below, I used my standards, the Canon 18-55 and 50mm f1.8.  I thought the lighting was darker than usual which makes taking a good shot without adjusting in processing really difficult.  I’m also using Lightroom now after I nearly had a fist fight with my laptop over Windows Photo Gallery not wanting to open any of my pictures for some reason.  After un-installing and installing again still no love.  Time to brush up on how to use Lightroom then…!

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The Crookes at The Lexington 7 November 2012

Time for the second round of #NewPop in less than a week, this time Sheffield’s The Crookes.  I’ve been a mild fan since their Bloodshot Days… erm, days, so was looking forward to the evening.  Hey Sholay were providing support (as were As Elephants, but we didn’t see much of them) who’s album I had but hadn’t quite ‘clicked’ (as they say on The X Factor) with.  Apparently the gig was sold out, and it looked like it might have been.  As soon as we got there we spotted Steve Lamacq at the downstairs bar, apparently clutching an electric cigarette?!  He has been a Crookes fan for ages, so didn’t surprise me that he was there.  Oh to have Lammo’s job – interviewing Manic Street Preachers on his radio show one minute, watching The Crookes at The Lexington the next…

Anyway, the gig.  Hey Sholay were brilliant.  Not just saying that because their singer sported a Smiths t-shirt whilst setting up their gear before they landed on stage, they actually WERE fantastic.  Made me want to go back and listen to their album on repeat, because I got it now.  Singer’s vocals were probably the best live vocals I’ve heard this year, and even though the bastard crowd were chatting incessantly while they were playing (pet hate), they were given large ‘woohoo!’s and cheers at the end of most songs.  Good effort for a support act in London.  The Crookes came on all turned up jeans and fun buttoned shirts, George’s bass guitar just below his chin, bless him.  The crowd had swelled and the ‘everyone stand around in the top area while there’s plenty of space down the front’ Lexington standard took place.  Difficult to take photos of these guys (as with DZ Deathrays) as they were forever jumping around with hair in faces (well, in George’s case it was – where did all that hair come from?!).  I gave it a shot though, snapped away for a few, then enjoyed the rest of the gig.  Still couldn’t get the Hey Sholay performance out of my mind after leaving the gig though.  Keep an eye on those guys.

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Cool Britannia 3 August 2012

As per usual, Cool Britannia pulled it out of the bag again last night.  Four ace bands to photograph and easily accessible spots up the front for all of them.  Loads of punters to take photos of as well which was quite fun.  The bands were Desert ShipsWelcome PariahSilver Factory and ScenicLife.  Enjoy!

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