Tag Archives: photography

Wild Beasts, XOYO, 26th February 2014

Last week I was lucky enough to score a photog pass to the sold out Wild Beasts album launch show at XOYO for London in Stereo.  The place was PACKED.  And sweaty.  Album number four and I’m still loving Wild Beasts.  Probably one of very few bands who have released more than two albums that I’ve actually remained a big fan of.  The new album is a corker (was to be expected though) and the gig at XOYO was brilliant.  Hearing their stuff live and up close is such a pleasure, and they seem like genuinely thankful and lovely guys.

As it was so busy at XOYO it was difficult to get a decent range of shots throughout the gig – I was mostly stuck up on a ledge one side of the stage, so my zoom lens came in handy.  I took the 35mm 1.2 for a spin as well, really loving that lens right now.  New glass will be coming soon though I hope (after a bit more saving), watch this space!

Pics of the night below, and here on London in Stereo.  Enjoy!

PS – have just been offered an in-house photographer position with MAMA venues (Camden Barfly, Borderline, The Forum, The Garage etc. – ALL THE AMAZING VENUES!) so expect a LOAD of blog posts in the coming months!

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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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Steve Gerrard music photography workshop, Birmingham – Virgil and the Accelerators

Well.  I had a brilliant day yesterday.

A couple months back I was doing some Google searching for gig photography workshops/courses in London and always seemed to come back to the same thing, Steve Gerrard‘s music photography workshop.   Partly because there were VERY few workshops around specific to music photography, but mainly because Steve’s looked right up my alley.  The workshop was being held in Birmingham, which was fine because being an Australian it’s fun to venture to parts of the UK that I’ve not been to before.  So I paid for the course, applied for annual leave from my day job and bought some train tickets.

After a nightmare journey up to Birmingham yesterday (big thanks to the person who jumped in front of a train at Milton Keynes…) I eventually arrived and met some awesome budding, amateur and professional photographers.  Oh, and Steve.  Steve is amazing.  Even though I missed out on the first hour of the workshop, the knowledge and tips that he gave us throughout the day were priceless.  

We were treated to going out after lunch with a real, proper band(!), Virgil and the Accelerators, and took photos of them in various locations around The Custard Factory, where the workshop was held.  SO MUCH FUN.  The guys in the band (and their manager) were just lovely.  The band were great at taking direction, but also great at being effortlessly cool.  Will have to check them out when they come to London next (Islington O2 on November 7th FYI!).

After taking loads of pics outside of the band we went back inside and Steve showed us a few bits and pieces in Lightroom, Photoshop and some other editing programs (which I’m looking into as we speak).  I came away from the workshop with my brain bursting with new information and excited to be putting what I learnt into practice in the next couple months.  It was super inspiring to chat to the people that came along to the workshop as well, all at various stages of their photography ‘careers’.  Such a fantastic day, I can’t recommend Steve’s workshop highly enough.  If you’re looking to do more band photography (or wedding photography – he does a bloody good job of that too!) check him out.

Here are some pics that I took of the band and the day in general.  Enjoy!

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Various – The Macbeth Hoxton, 26 July 2013

Just a quick blog this one!  I was asked by Linn from Little Indie Blogs to take some snaps of a couple of bands playing at The Macbeth on Friday night, and decided to go along and see all the bands playing.  I’m glad I did because they were all really decent.  Decoy Jet were a stand out, really looking forward to checking them out again in the coming months.  Think those guys are going somewhere!  Alex Lipinski was a great warm up with his gorgeous acoustic, bluesy set, and the last two bands Prayers (shoegaze-y goodness) and Dirty Rivers (dirty rock ‘n roll) were both excellent.   Check out the pics below.

I’ve upgraded to a new Lightroom so have been playing around with the presets and seeing what’s on offer.  Fun.  I’ve also just invested in a new camera so watch this space…!

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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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Temples, The Boston Arms 20 June 2013

I’m usually quite a fan of seeing gigs at The Boston Arms, but there were a few things at the Temples/Charlie Boyer & The Voyeur gig earlier in the week that just didn’t sit right with me.  Gig itself was fantastic, I have nothing to complain about there!  For starters on the bad stuff though, they did a bag check upon entrance.  Fine, no worries, but I still went through with my camera and spare lens (AND point and shoot camera that I bought along ‘just in case’).  We positioned ourselves to the front left of the raised stage where there was a bit of space, and while we were there the security guard confiscated at least three people’s cameras off them, both professional and point and shoot.  Not sure if they were taking video footage or just photos, but I wasn’t taking any chances so only snapped when I knew he wasn’t around.  This is a massive irk in the first place, but when you have a kid right up the front filming the entire CB&TV gig on an iPhone, without break, it just gets a little silly.  Why allow that but not allow point & shoot/professional cameras?  Why allow a low-quality film of the gig and not a high one?  I could tell the security was watching me waiting to pounce, but he didn’t because I wouldn’t snap when he was around.  Managed to get a decent amount of photos too, ha!  Annoyance number two – no air conditioning.  I don’t think I’ve sweated so much at a gig before in my life (and I’ve been to plenty of gigs during summertime in Australia…).  People weren’t really even dancing, probably because it was so incredibly stuffy.  Annoyance number three – a 15 minute wait to get a cider.  Yup, I KNOW they’re only £3.50 (great!) but I’d rather not stand in a line for 15 minutes with sweaty guys rubbing up behind me trying to push in.  Another bar would solve the problem, but where it would go I have no idea.  CB&TV were great.  I’d rather they were on for longer and played everything off their album but I guess it wasn’t their gig!  Will have to see a headline gig of theirs at some stage, loving them at the moment.  Temples were good as well, we were mostly up the back for them because it was so bloody hot we didn’t want to be around people!  No album as yet so only knew a few of their tunes but they played well and the crowd seemed impressed.  You could tell that quite a few of the punters were there because of the Noel Gallagher effect (the clothing/haircuts were a dead giveaway), but all in all a fun gig, despite the annoyances!

I used my Canon EOS 1000D with 50mm and 75-300mm.  Up the back at The Boston Arms you usually get a good view of the band because of the raised stage, so the 75-300 comes in handy.  Only if the lighting is halfway decent… enjoy!

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Jacco Gardner, The Social 11th June 2013

I’ve become quite a fan of The Social in the last few months.  The first time I went there to see a band (Sharks) it was packed and I was up the back and couldn’t see a thing.  Hated it and didn’t want to go back.  Luckily the next gig I went to there (The Heartbreaks as it so happens) wasn’t as packed, and after discovering where to stand for a good view I enjoyed it a hell of a lot more.  Earlier this week I went to see the lovely Jacco Gardner at The Social, expecting it to be packed (it was a free gig after all), only to find that when he(/they?) took to the stage there were only around 30 other people in the room.  Jacco Gardner is brilliant, so I’m a bit confused as to why there weren’t more people there?!  Whatever the case, it was a great gig.  Oh, I have to talk about the support band first though.  We managed to catch all of Ming City Rockers’ set before the main event.  I wouldn’t say that they’re ‘my’ kind of music, but they were awesome.  Bit of an F-you attitude, long hair, shouty, 70s Americana punk/rock all topped off with super fun outfits.  I don’t think the crowd were too interested but I thought they were ace.  Highly recommend seeing them if you can!  Jacco Gardner’s set was much different to Ming City Rockers’, a lot more laid back and dreamy, with perfect harmonies and musicianship from his band.  Jacco seemed like such a lovely guy, quite shy and thankful for everyone for coming along.  The drummer.  Oh my word THE DRUMMER.  Mid length shaggy unkempt hair, huge beard, sunglasses and a fag hanging out of his mouth (unlit of course) the entire time.  He was the dog’s bollocks!  Didn’t manage any decent photos of him but his awesome face is etched in my memory anyway.  Check them out when you can, doubtful you’ll get to see them for free again, but I would have paid anyway.  Take a listen to the album if you haven’t already, gorgeous stuff.

Luckily The Social doesn’t appear to have a camera policy, so was able to take in whatever I wanted with no hassle.  The lighting is a bit too bright in some places, and too dark in others, so it was difficult to get it quite right in a lot of the photos.  Managed a few decent shots though, see below and as always, enjoy!

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Her Parents, Old Blue Last 1 June 2013

After going to the brilliant Sulk gig the night before, it was touch and go as to whether I would be up for going to see the free Her Parents gig at Old Blue Last.  The night before was big, but after a few naps, some dirty take away and a red bull I was up for going along to the gig and seeing what might happen.  Her Parents were supporting Internet Forever, who I wasn’t really fussed on seeing.  I’d been a fan of Her Parents after hearing their first album Physical Release last year. I think I overplayed it, but not to worry, as second album Happy Birthday was released a few weeks ago and I could now overplay something else!  The fact that the vinyl version came with a wicked slip  mat and the first album on side B made it too ridiculous an offer to turn down.  But anyway, THE GIG.  I don’t know if there are enough describing words in the world to express how utterly scintillating they were – I couldn’t turn away – or go to the toilet!  They were so much fun, on par with We Are Scientists for the comedic banter they came out with.  Jumping into the crowd while still playing, silly conversations, horse masks, screaming matches – how are any band supposed to top that this year?!  Unfortunately there wasn’t that much dancing in the crowd, I think the patrons had come along to either just see  Internet Forever, or see a free gig, so might have been a bit freaked out by the band’s energy.  That said, a few people were singing along and dancing like loonies.  As I had a camera in one hand and a pint in the other it was a difficult balancing act, but managed to have a little dance to a few of their songs.  Highly recommend catching them live if you get the chance, and do yourself a favour and buy their albums!

Standard kit used again at this gig, my 50mm lens with my 1000D body.  I’ve been using my 18-55 lens sparingly lately.  It’s good for wider shots but lets a lot less light in than my 50mm, which is a pain at smaller/darker gigs.  The gigs I go to are usually quite dark anyway.  Would dearly love a 14mm f/2.8 but starting at £1,800 on Amazon, it is WAY out of my price range!  The 20mm f/2.8 might be the better option at just under £400.  Still, it’s an expensive hobby…

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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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