Tag Archives: The Heartbreaks

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

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

The Heartbreaks, The Lexington 5th November 2014

The pointy end of the year is almost upon us, which means that, as always, there are a shedload of gigs occurring in November. I didn’t get around to buying The Heartbreaks tickets when they were released as there were so many other gigs going on around the same time, and I’d pretty much seen these guys every time they had toured London.  After much thought on the morning of the gig I decided that I would most surely regret it if I didn’t go along, so tickets were bought and I started to get really, really excited.

Of course after the gig I thought that, had I known how brilliant they were going to be, I WOULD have regretted not going.  The Lexington didn’t feel packed to the rafters up the front, but that’s probably because of your standard ‘Lexington bottleneck’ at the stairs, whereby everyone is too English and too polite to move further into the crowd and therefore stand awkwardly in front of the bar, getting in the way.  We were right up the front so no problems with dancing like a maniac, and everyone was just lovely – singing, laughing, dancing and having a great time.

Call of the night came from a guy standing behind us who shouted “Lovely ol’ job!”.  It was indeed.  The crowd down the front managed to pull out some choreographed dancing during Absolved, and some people were having SUCH a good time that Matthew had to comment on it at one stage – females screaming and all sorts!

I know I say this every time, but it’s shocking that these guys aren’t more well known in the UK.  They have released one of the best albums of 2014 (if not THE best), and I still spin their debut album every few weeks.  They’re all so bloody lovely as well, no airs and graces, humble and very witty.  If I could recommend any band from this year (or the last three years even) that you should listen to right now it’s these guys.  Do yourself a favour 🙂

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

The Crookes, Dingwalls 29 April 2014

For some reason I forgot to post this and it has been in draft for the last month!  So cast your mind back to late April…

I’m in two minds about Camden’s Dingwalls, after one crappy experience on my first venture there (Tribes – horrible crowd, oversold, no chance of getting a drink at ridiculously packed yet understaffed bar etc.) and one brilliant experience following that (The Heartbreaks – amazing crowd, great space for photos in various spots around the venue, brilliant lighting and meeting the band afterwards). It could have gone either way with The Crookes earlier in the week but luckily it fell mostly into the latter category.

Difficult getting a decent shot of the guys from from front of stage as there were two rows of teenage girls forming a rigid barricade that none could pass through – their fans are staunch! I released myself from the throng after a couple of songs to discover that it wasn’t too busy from the side, and the lovely sound guy let me pop through the barrier to get closer to the stage. Nice one.

As I said, the lighting at Dingwalls is pretty decent, so no need for flash. I don’t know why I bothered to bring it really! I used ye olde faithful 24-70mm f/2.8 for the whole gig. Had my 50mm in the bag but didn’t bother using it. HANGING to pick up a 70-200mm f/2.8 in the coming weeks. My time will come, save save save…

Pics of the evening below, 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Heartbreaks/Dexters at Old Queen’s Head, 7th February 2013

Who doesn’t like a free gig?  And when The Heartbreaks are involved there’s no way in the world you’re NOT going to drag yourself out of the house and go up to Old Queen’s Head in the pouring rain to see ‘Morecambe’s finest’ for the third time.  Great line up for a free gig, Dexters having recently had their single ‘Recover’ played on the build-up to the England v Brazil game (tune) and gaining quite a strong following, as well as Plantman who I’d not heard of before but have decided I’ll need to check them out after catching their set in between loo breaks and trips to the bar.  Interesting crowd at the gig, get the feeling over half of them were there just because it was their local pub.

Dexters were great, would go see them again and actually PAY for it next time.  They had a few die-hard fans at the front taking photos and singing along.  Managed to get a seat at one of the corner booths for the main event though, which was a bonus because I had a perfect view of the stage.  Didn’t need to use the 75-300 lens as I was so close anyway, even the 50mm was a bit too close.  Being that close I wasn’t able to snap a picture of all of them together, especially because Joseph was sitting off to the right with his drums, away from the rest of the guys.  The shots I did manage though turned out clear and bright, all thanks to the brilliant lighting at the venue.  If only more pubs could have lighting like this!  The Heartbreaks kicked it all off with a new track, then pulled out the hits, one after the other after the other.  Not much crowd interaction, but I don’t think everyone was there because of the Heartbreaks to be honest.  Free gigs, who knows what kind of punters will turn up?  Another brilliant performance, although next time I see them fingers crossed there will be new album tracks to sing along to.  Extremely pleased with my photos, the joys of being right up the front!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

The Heartbreaks, Dingwalls 1 November 2012

Have to say, I had been looking forward to this gig for ages.  Last time I saw The Heartbreaks was at The Social for Merc Live and while they were fantastic, they seemed like they had to hold back due to the tiny stage.  Dingwalls isn’t the biggest of stages, and I’ve had a lousy gig experience there before (Tribes – oversold, hideous crowd and an hour line up for drinks), but I had faith this time would be different.  It would also be the first proper spin of my new(ish) 50mm f/1.8 lens, bought specifically for gigs like this one.  Even though the moving parts sound a bit plastic-y and it feels too light to do any kind of decent shooting, it was superb.  Might have to save up for the 50mm f/1.4 now…

Anyway, we were surprised to find Sissy & the Blisters were supporting – first rate band, but dissimilar in sound to The Heartbreaks, a lot darker and more rocky.  Surprisingly, I’ve seen these guys more times than any other band since I’ve lived in London… not that I’m complaining!  We rocked up just after they begun their set and the modest crowd milling around didn’t seem too interested.  Big claps at the end though, and I thought they were ace.

Time for the main event, and a gaggle of (mostly teenage) girls had filled up the front area, point-and-shoots at the ready.  As a vertically-challenged (non-professional) photographer it makes a pleasant change being at a gig where most of the patrons are shorter than you!  We managed some great viewpoints throughout the gig so I snapped away like a woman possessed.  The show itself was high energy, fun and loud, and the boys were ever the professionals, playing the majority of their Fun Times album and dropping in a few new tracks.  We were in front of Chris (‘Deaks’) for the most part, then moved around to the upper level near the gents for a different viewpoint.  Matthew loves his wistful middle-distance-look poses, so he was a gem of a subject.  The guys look like they enjoyed themselves, and the crowd certainly did.

After dancing up a storm and imbibing a few Brother’s Cider (uh oh) the gig came to an end we meandered around the venue, bumping into a friend.  Said friend introduced us to Theo Hutchcraft from Hurts who was wandering around having his photo taken with fans (a genuinely lovely guy).  After we were all kicked out of the venue a group of us went down the road to The Hawley Arms and ended up chatting to/buying shots for some of the Heartbreaks boys. Accidentally called their guitarist ‘Deaks’ instead of Ryan (and I call myself a fan…), and managed to wake up the next morning without a clue as to what I had spoken to them all about.  Not sure if that’s good or bad advertising for Brother’s Cider?!

Gig of the year, done.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
JACK MONROE

COOKING ON A BOOTSTRAP & MORE

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 artist / Illustrator

My Manchester, By Cheryl x

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

Steve Kilmister

Photography from @steviekil