Tag Archives: rock

2014 – The best of the best

Another year has nearly come to a close so it’s high time I got sorted and posted my ‘best of the year’ lists.  This list is MUCH easier to do with the help of Last.fm – if you don’t have an account then I suggest you get one!  I’m a big fan of stats and music, so I’m on there regularly checking which bands I’ve been listening to more than others.  The ‘top artists/top tracks’ isn’t exactly a true reflection of what I like the most, but it’s a pretty good guide.

So without further ado, here’s the listicles.

TOP 25 ALBUMS OF 2014

  1. The Courteeners – Concrete Love.  I was never a big fan of these guys until photographing them at Shepherd’s Bush last year.  Found it hard to not listen to this album at least twice a week since it was released.
  2. The Heartbreaks – We May Yet Stand a Chance.  Another corker from these guys, just missing out on the top spot (it was a REALLY tough choice).
  3. Interpol – El Pintor.  Did not expect Interpol to be in my top anything this year!  They’re back and as good as they’ve ever been (as good as their early stuff anyway).
  4. The Wytches – Annabel Dream Reader.  Finally got to listen to an album from these guys after banging on about them all through 2013.  Did not disappoint.
  5. DZ Deathrays – Black Rat.  These guys make me proud to be an Aussie 🙂
  6. Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  7. Eagulls – Eagulls
  8. Johnny Marr – Playland
  9. The Orwells – Disgraceland
  10. Morrissey – World Peace is None of Your Business
  11. The Family Rain – Under the Volcano
  12. Maximo Park – Too Much Information
  13. The Amazing Snakeheads – Amphetamine Ballads
  14. Manic Street Preachers – Futurology
  15. Sleaford Mods – Divide and Exit
  16. Wampire – Bazaar
  17. Bass Drum of Death – Rip This
  18. Liars – Mess
  19. Howler – World of Joy
  20. White Lung – Deep Fantasy
  21. Death From Above 1979 – The Physical World
  22. Temples – Sun Restructured
  23. Hookworms – The Hum
  24. Perfect Pussy – Say Yes to Love

Honorable mentions: Meatbodies – Meatbodies and Cheatahs – Cheatahs

TOP 25 TRACKS OF 2014

  1. Absolved – The Heartbreaks.  An easy number one this year.  Incomparable.  These guys know how to write a pop song.  If they had a bit more exposure it could have been a Christmas number one!
  2. Leave This Island – Maximo Park.  Another band from the 00’s coming back this year with some brilliant stuff.  This track will always remind me of my birthday in Edinburgh at the start of the year.  Lovely stuff.
  3. How Good It Was – Courteeners.  Summer in one song.  Hard not to sing along to.
  4. Continental Shelf – Viet Cong.  This is why you don’t do your end of year lists until at least mid-December.  Only heard this track about three weeks ago and it’s been an earworm ever since.  Formed from the ashes of Calgary band ‘Women’ (who were also brilliant), no doubt their album is going to be in my top 10 next year.
  5. Easy Money – Johnny Marr.  Is this not the most catchy song you have ever heard in your life?!  Pretty much.
  6. Anywhere – Interpol
  7. Reflective Skull – DZ Deathrays
  8. Where’s Your Car Debbie – Slaves
  9. Come on Over – Royal Blood
  10. So Now You Know – The Horrors
  11. Mess on a Mission – Liars
  12. XXX – The Bohicas
  13. Money – Life
  14. Tied up in Nottz – Sleaford Mods
  15. Trainwreck 1979 – Death from Above 1979
  16. So Oh – The Charlatans
  17. Here it Comes Again – Amazing Snakeheads
  18. Nerve Endings – Eagulls
  19. Dirty Sheets – The Orwells
  20. Let’s go to War – Manic Street Preachers
  21. Istanbul – Morrissey
  22. Cockeyed Rabbit Wrapped in Plastic – Slug
  23. Bad Attitude – Wapire
  24. Lawman – Girl Band

Honorable mentions: Wanderlust – Wild Beasts and Drown the Monster – White Lung

TOP GIGS OF 2014

  1. The Orwells – The Fleece, Bristol.  Expect little and be surprised.  Could not believe how good these guys were live, pushed it as far as they were physically able.  Super entertaining.
  2. The Heartbreaks – The Lexington, London.  Hard not to enjoy a gig by these guys these days.  They have such lovely fans as well – learning the dance moves to the ‘Absolved’ video clip, much to the delight of the band.
  3. Eagulls – Electrowerkz, London
  4. Amazing Snakeheads – Electric Ballroom, London
  5. The Courteeners – Brixton Academy, London
  6. The Cribs – East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
  7. Her Parents – The Monarch, London
  8. Menswear – Queen of Hoxton, London
  9. Manic Street Preachers – Huxley’s Neue Welt, Berlin
  10. Twilight Sad – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London

FAVOURITE PHOTOS OF 2014

This blog wouldn’t be complete without a list of my favourite photos that I had taken at gigs in 2014.  Still pinch myself that I’m lucky enough to get in the pit at gigs these days.  Long may it continue!

Enjoy your holidays if you have any, and I’ll see you in the New Year!

Jx

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bass Drum of Death/Crows/Yak, The Shacklewell Arms 13 November 2014

Once again The Shacklewell rolls out three incredible bands in one night – how do they manage to get it right so often?!  (I suspect Bad Vibrations had a big part in all of this…)

My main purpose of heading to the gig was to see Bass Drum of Death but decided to head there early to catch Yak.  Knew nothing about them until they started playing, and I still don’t know anything about them apart from the fact that they are remarkable live.  Definitely seeing them again at some stage.

Seeing as Yak were so fantastic, odds on the next band, Crows, would have to be crap, SURELY. Nope, another remarkable band and another remarkable performance.

And then there was Bass Drum of Death.  By that stage the crowd was packed in like sardines and the mosh pit was like a whirlpool, sucking everyone in.  Almost lost my balance up the front a few times but couldn’t stop laughing because everyone was just having way too much fun.  Not the best shots of these guys due to no flash/being jostled constantly, but I gave it a red hot go.

Managed to not break the camera and the 24-70 survived to tell the tale… just.  Black and white shots again because red lighting is just NO FUN when you’re trying to take photos without a flash.

If you can, check out ALL the bands in this post, live.  It’ll be worth your while!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Her Parents, The Monarch 2 May 2014

I’m glad I’m all over twitter as much as I am or else I would have discovered too late that Her Parents were breaking up, and missed their last ever London gig at The Monarch.  As luck would have it I found out on Thursday afternoon that their last gig was going to be the next evening, and as I (kind of) didn’t have anything else on, decided to see them one last time.

The gig was to be expected – hilarious, vigorous, shouty and silly.  Really going to miss these guys.  Do yourself a favour and buy their two albums before you can’t get them anymore.  Luckily I have both on (one) vinyl – considering they were both in my end of year lists for last year and the year before, how could I not?!  Their albums are for when you either a) want a laugh out loud or b) want to punch someone in the face repeatedly.  Music for ALL occasions!

Thanks for the last few years Her Parents, you will not be forgotten.

Pics of the night below, enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , ,

Traams/Crushed Beaks, The Lexington 30 April 2014

Well well well, Traams eh?  2014’s dark horses!  Gig and a half on Wednesday night, one that I wasn’t expecting to be so blown away by (why? I have no idea…).

Their album “Grin” has been one of those very few albums this year that I’ll continue to revisit when I’m bored of whatever new treasures I’ve recently added to my iPod.  Always a great listen, but live they really put some magic into it.  More live bands like this please!  Energy in buckets and stage presence like no other (the bassist especially, just too bloody cool) .

The gig was wedged between two other gig nights for me (both of which I was photographing and reviewing – hectic) so I didn’t think I would enjoy it as much as I did.  Glad we arrived early as Crushed Beaks were also fab, with yet another ridiculously cool bassist. I wasn’t really intending on taking many, if any photos, but I’m really glad I took my camera along.  It’s always the times when you least expect something awesome to happen…

As I was only taking photos for myself I just popped my 50mm f/1.8 on my camera as it’s light and easy to throw in my bag.  I should use it more often really as it’s a lifesaver in low light conditions, which The Lexington can be at times.  So, SO glad I bought the camera with me!

Pics below for your entertainment, enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Life/The Heartbreaks/We Are Scientists, March 2014

Busy week last week with a couple of really decent gigs (amongst day job duties).  Sometimes I wonder how I got so lucky to be able to do this so often!  Going from small venues like The Garage upstairs, to next day shooting at O2 Shepherd’s Bush, and being able to photograph some of my favourite artists is just the best.

Wednesday night saw me popping along to shoot Life at The Garage upstairs for Shout 4 Music.  I stupidly left my phone at home on charge (well done Jen) but luckily managed to find The Garage as it was right on top of Highbury & Islington station.  Don’t get me wrong I’d been there before, but that doesn’t mean anything – all venues look the same in the dark!  Was really looking forward to seeing Life as I’d been a fan of theirs since they were The Neat a couple years ago and had seen them a few times in that guise.  So much energy and brilliant playing, it’s a shame this wasn’t their own headline gig!  Horrendous red lighting and the guys moving around a lot proved a challenge but managed to come away with some decent shots.  Keep your eyes on these guys, one of the better ‘new’ bands around at the moment.

Then Thursday night I was shooting The Heartbreaks at O2 Shepherd’s Bush for London in Stereo.  I LOVE The Heartbreaks.  Not sure if you are aware of that already (probably…).  Not just from a music point of view but they’re also just so easy to shoot – they look great, they pose (unintentionally) wickedly and they always look like they’re enjoying themselves.  Pity there weren’t more people at the O2 at that time of evening to see them.  Managed to say a quick hello to the boys in the stairwell after their set and luckily got to stay for the other two acts – Superfood and We Are Scientists.  Took some worthy shots of both bands, but Keith and Chris are just so charismatic that taking a bad photo of WAS was virtually impossible – apart from the constant jumping around resulting in blurry shots!  Stuck around for the required three songs and had a giggle at some of their banter.  Funny guys.

Met yet another photographer (Jeff Moh) who I recognised while I was at the gig, but only after I got chatting to him about leaving cameras in the back room and he told me his name.  Cool guy, LOTS of stories to tell as he’s been in the business for quite a while now.  Will no doubt bump into him again soon.  I used my 24-70mm 2.8 for all the O2 Shepherd’s Bush shots, and a combination of that and my 50mm 1.8 for the Life photos.  That 24-70mm 2.8 is just the cat’s PJs.  I am truly in love!  Wondering why I didn’t buy it sooner really.

Shots below, enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Radkey, The Black Heart, 17 October 2013

I had the pleasure of seeing American band Radkey in tiny Black Heart in Camden last week.  Luckily I perched up the front for a few minutes before they came on so that I could get a decent spot to take photos at.  Radkey are fairly new to me – I only just heard their stuff about two weeks ago and bought tickets for the gig on a bit of a whim.  Glad I did though, awesome stuff.  Loads of people at the sold out gig singing along and getting all sweaty by the end of it.  Managed a quick photo with singer/guitarist Dee at the end of the night – they seem like lovely lads.  Go see them at The Macbeth with Polterghost on Halloween if you can!

Loads of gigs coming up, some taking photos (Holograms, Loom), some just watching (Arctic Monkeys, Parquet Courts) – it’s going to be a busy few weeks…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Loom, The Black Heart, 4 September 2013

Loom upstairs in The Black Heart‘s tiny gig room… wow.  I’d not seen Loom live before, and was asked to go along and take photos on the first night of their Black Heart residency on Wednesday.

Being warned by Linn at Little Indie Blogs to ‘not stand too close to the front of the stage’ made me wonder what I was letting myself in for.  Very surprised no blood was spilled by the end of the gig – bodies flying everywhere, the crowd crashing onto the stage, front man Tarik screaming in people’s faces.

AWESOME.  All of it!

If you get a chance to see them on any of the other nights that they’re playing at The Black Heart I strongly suggest you do.  Different support bands each time, although Polterghost and Bloody Knees were both very worthy of seeing.

I used my new Canon 17-55 f/2.8 and to be honest I wasn’t hugely impressed with the results.  Might just be me not having practiced with it much, or knowing how to deal with ugly red lighting at smaller gigs!  Using the Speedlite for the first two bands just wasn’t working well either, although for Loom it seemed to look better.  Not sure, more playing around needed I think.

Photos below, enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Cool Britannia, Fiddler’s Elbow 19 July 2013

I have been reliably informed that Cool Britannia last Friday night will be the last one ‘for a while’, which is a shame.  I’ll miss heading up to Fiddler’s Elbow at the end of most months to take photos of new bands and have a drink with the always welcoming ‘#CBfamily’.  But needs must and if they do return in a few months/years I’ll be back with bells on!  Enough of the sad stuff, the last CB was a good ‘un.  Four bands I’d not seen before which is always a bonus – Stone Thieves, Shelta, King Zoots and Stellify, all fantastic bands.  Was great to have a stripped back set from Shelta in the middle of the evening, although the urge to turn around and throttle kids in the crowd who were chatting throughout was overwhelming.  So disrespectful.  It was obvious that they were there for one of the other bands, but at least go sit down somewhere else and have a chat, don’t do it in the audience.  PET HATE!

Managed quite a few good pics at Cool Britannia this time though, which I’m rather proud of.  I have recently been asked to take photos for another blog at gigs around London, which I’m sure will keep me busy while Cool Britannia is cooling off.  Expect to see an increased amount of blog activity in the coming weeks – if I can keep up!  I shot a lot of the pics at Cool Britannia in black and white as I’m not a fan of the coloured lighting they use at Fiddler’s, and B&W always looks nice and moody anyway.  I used my Canon 1000D with my 50mm 1.8 for most of the gig.  Looking to upgrade my camera soon… watch this space!

Pictures below, enjoy.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,
COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP

by Jack Monroe, bestselling author of 'A Girl Called Jack'

Portfolio

Beth Kirkbride | 18 | UK: If you frequently feel as if you have too many words inside your head then YOU too may be suffering from being a writer. To register your creative interest, make your own blog today! T&Cs apply, always read the small print.

Fortune Favors the Brave

A journey of self learning and growth

Another Kind Of Mind

A Work In Progress

Nuisance Club

A Britpop party. First Friday of every month at the Buffalo Bar, Highbury Corner

giggage

photographing gig action in and around London town

Live Music Photography Blog

Live Music Photography

Abi Dainton

Photography

Seldom Seen Kid

Digital culture and communications

The Dog's B'logs

Just another WordPress.com site

Rock Britain

Independent Outlook On British Music

Steven Horry

Comics writer and artist / Illustrator

My Manchester, By Cheryl x

The things I love about Manchester, including some personal ramblings x

Steve Kilmister

Photography from @steviekil