Tag Archives: Shoreditch

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 Twang, Village Underground 13th February 2014

Ahhh The Twang.  I can’t say I’m their biggest fan, and I would only know a few of their songs if I was really pushed to think about it.  But nevertheless, I applied to take photos of them at Village Underground earlier in the week and found myself heading along.  I’ll be honest with you, I was worried about getting a plastic pint of piss thrown at the back of my head whilst in the pit, or being yelled at, or slipping over someone’s vomit… but none of that happened, and I had one of the best times shooting at a gig that I’ve probably ever had.

The crowd were so incredibly into it!  Yes, there were some very drunk people, but they were all just so happy and singing along and cheers-ing each other throughout.  At one point Phil Etheridge had a proper go at a security guard who had angrily pushed his way through the crowd to pull a guy down who was sitting on another guys shoulders.  “He wasn’t doing anything wrong mate, he was just having a good time.  If you’re going to do shit like that all night then everyone’s going to have a boring time of it”.  Ouch!

Great night, great fun band and took some great shots.  Would take photos of them again in a heartbeat.  Village Underground has shot to the top of my favourite venues to shoot at list, lovely high ceilings, brilliant lighting and awesome exposed brickwork.  More please!  Keep an eye out for the pics on Shout 4 Music, but a few are below for your enjoyment.  Cheers 🙂


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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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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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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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