Tag Archives: London

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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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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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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