Archive for the 'Music Photography' Category

Kendal Called (Updated)

OK so this really is a quick post on the fly as I have gotta dash out, but if I don’t make a start on it I wont get round it! I will flesh it out with some words tomorrow. The long and short of it is as I reported a while back that I got invited to shoot for Kendal Calling festival off the back of the organisers seeing some of my generic festival photos from last years event.

**UPDATED**

Well I went, I saw I shot! There were definitely some great bands on show and the festival overall was a massive improvement on last year, with many more and certainly cleaner toliets to boot! I have a feeling that it will grow in to something special over the next few years and if the organisers can hang on to the current site, Lowther Deer Park, although not strictly in Kendal I think I shall look forward to this event for many more years to come. Having a press pass this year and standard photo policy of first three songs and no flash definitelty made me concentrate my effort and I am pleased with the images I captured.

Highlights for me this year would have to be The Streets, Skinner and co turned in a top performance and were a delight to shoot, unlike a lot of dull rock bands he was keen to come to the front of the stage and throw some shapes. The same could be said for Ash, who have aged well andand turned a great headline set on the Sunday evening, like Skinner they worked the stage and got the crowed amped up during an an energetic set, most notably the bassist, who having few lines to sing worked the amp and his portion of the stage like a true rock legend!

Essential festival wear, even I sprung for wellies this year not wanting to get caught and a I was glad I did, after heavy rain on the Friday evening and further showers on the following morning the lush green grass of Lowther Deer Park quickly turned to red clay mud!

Last years stand out performance by far for me was DJ Yoda’s genre defying mash up mix, throwing together the likes of the Antiques Roadshow theme, The Simpsons, assorted drum and bass and quite ironically at the time Jay Z and Wonderwall back to back, it all sounds wrong but it worked, believe me. Well this years cool crown definitely went Mr. Beardy Man, this guy is a beat boxing legend. Accompanied by a guitarist he managed to pull of Misirlou (from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack), Outta Space (Prodigy), Superstylin (Groove Armada) and Feeling Good (Nina Simone) amongst countless other amazing feats of lip, breathing and vocal control.

Craig Charles rounded stuff off late on the Sunday evening / Monday morning with a pounding funk and soul DJ set, I was a bit bemused to see him on the line up but apparently he has a radioshow on 6 music and boy he didnt disappoint a rammed tent of tired and muddy festival folk.

Special mention should go to Andy and Kevin who we met up with on more than one occaision in the photo-pit. Often when you meet other photographers, of a certain standard at events like this there is the potential, lets face for them to be completely stuck up their own A**ES! But these guys were two of the nicest pro togs I have met to date, check out their work if you get a second.

To see more pictures from the festival simply click on any of the shots and that will take you to the whole set on Flickr, featuring Ash, The Streets, The Zoutons, Idlewild, Goldie Looking Chain, Nine Black Alps, Sunshine Underground, Beardy Man, Cornershop, The Rumble Strips, The Kabeedies, Craig Charles (DJ Set),
Howard Marks and lots more.

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There’s More, There’s More…

Bugsy PT2

Ok Ok so that was technically Jimmy Cricket not Bugs Bunny, I can imagine him saying it anyways I didgress on with the update…

The tail end of May saw me attend a a launch for a new Vodka Mixer from Schweppes, the interesting “Russhcian” – it does actually taste quite pleasant, yes I drank quite a few between grabbing people shots and taking incidentals at Ithaca Sushi Restuarant in Manchester. This rather plush venue offers the photographer some unique opportunities to capture great shots and interesting angles, I was facinated by the sparkly wallpaper and stairwell, that looked like some kind of nuclear spaceship engine bay, it also changes colours…

Schweppes Russchian Launch

Finishing things of in May, although chronologically slightly out of order, was a gig from Fulham based rapper Example, whos “We Didnt Invent The Remix” was introduced to me a year or so ago and made me laugh like an idiot. He had taken current and well known pop-songs and riffed over the top of them to humorous and devistating effect. Sadly not much of this material was on display as he went for newer more mainstream, yet still amusing up-beat material to stir the young croud who had gathered to see him. Mad me feel like a grand dad actually and you needed a wrist band to buy a drink at the bar to prove you were 18+ – I had a coke just to be on the safe side! ;-)

Moving into June, mid June in-fact, we headed way out west to Borth on the Welsh coast. A friend of a friend owns a house there that litterally opens onto the beach, albeit a stoney one (until the tide is out) we couldnt have asked for a nicer setting to get away from the smoke. Wont go mental with the pictures as there are a few good-uns and there were more than enough local features to exploit at night too!!

Whilst there the weather was extremly kind as you will see from the above shot of Ynyslas dunes, we spent a whole day chilling and playing boule here and can highly recomend it, IF you happen to be in the Aberystwyth area. The Sunsets back at Borth where we were staying were pretty epic too as you will see below, as always if you click on any of the shots it will take you to a whole load more on Flickr.

Wouldn’t be right if I didnt include some night photography, so have a butchers at these…

Whilst there I also had a dable at some more stop-motion video, best attempt to date, what do you reckon…?

Finally before I finish off this lil section best show you some lil strobism experiments I made whilst we were there; now normally whenever Gideon and I get our cameras out amongst friends, its not always audible but I am sure there is a little collective groaning, however add a few flash guns, some remote triggers and the tiniest bit of alcohol and it produces great results…

Bye for now ;-)

What That Wabbit Said…

Bugsy Low Res

Yes I’ve had a bit of a rest from the blog recently but then I have been extremely busy recently and I find blogging is one of those things that once you stop its hard to get back into and the procrastination is (sadly) high on my list of personality traits :-(

So here’s a little update of what I have been doing…

Way back in May (God is it that long since I last meant to blog, see how easy it is to let it slip!) I shot the launch of Jessie Rose trips debut single “Forever & a Day” and as always they didnt disappoint in style and musical ability, tipped for big things I hope they make it as they are deffinitely a cut above some of the duller clone bands doing the Manchester music scene at the moment. They were ably supported by Zarif, who has recently supported Beyonce and appeared on MTV. To see more pictures from the night click on the picture above.

Later on in marvelous May, I was invited by the lovely folks at  Vice Magazine to shoot their Stag and Dagger Festival, co-sponsored by Firetrap up in Leeds. This one dayer spread over several 5 venues in the student district of the town was great fun if a lil hectic and needing a chaffeur for the day I dragged along friend, music reviewer and record label dude Ben Savage. Once we had worked that the running order was badly worded on the programme and starting at mid-day and we had 5 hours to kill, we nipped over to a mates flat and chilled for a bit before the bands commenced. On show were, strangly mainly American and (I think) 1 Canadian band, those we got to see were; Wintersleep, Abe Vigoda, Crystal Antlers & White Denim.  Not given a real brief by Vice, I shot the bands (as most in my possition would have) and got a few incidentals, however looking again at other event coverage their togs tend to go mainly for crowd, people shots and humor rather than concentrating on whats going on on-stage, hence the tag-line on their website featuring my shots “Sweaty front men seem to be order of the day” – made me chuckle after the realisation dawned on me I had sort of broken some sort of Vice photographer code of practice ;-)

2 days later, another yearly date worth checking on the Manchester calendar rolled around, tired and a lil photo-ed out we were at Eurocultured. Another great mini festival, that see’s New Wakefield and Great Marlborough Streets  shut off to cars and turned into a multi staged event with bands, DJ’s, Street art, food stalls and all manner of other little delights. To be fair I was to tired and busy having fun to bother taking many shots but highlights included Broken £nglish & Riot Jazz, Mark XTC (Old School Hip-Hop) DJ Set on the Space Terrace and a mention must go to a band from Poland (I think) who were somewhat disturbing but hilarious, Dick 4 Dick! Singing in very basic English about being uber-gay and all manner of other things, dressed in leather and daubed in face-paint.

To Be Continued (I’m off out for a pint ;-)

Ballooning In Kendal!

Us At Kendal

Not literally you understand but at last years festival I learnt a new word; to “Balloon” is to be overly excitable and giddy, whirling around uncontrollably. Its derived from the motion that those people shaped balloons create on garage forecourts…

Anyway that was the “in word” in our festival camp and one friend said of late “I saw you ballooning on the Kendal Calling Site”  low and behold there was me, my girlfriend and a friend Mayur captured at last years event. I vaguely remember being snapped, glad to say naturally I had my own camera round my neck and I even managed to crack a smile, not being a natural in-front of the camera as previous self portraits will testify.

Anyway I shall be returning to this years festival and on the strength of last years pictures, which I took just for my own documentation, they have very kindly offered me a photopass for this year (get-in) so I am looking forward to the event with even more excitment; no doubt nearer the time I shall be “Ballooning” big-time!

Mutineers – Deaf Institute 17/04/09

Mutineers - Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Not shot any gigs in what seems like an age, I enjoy live music photography but it can get quite dull. These days I only tend to bother when the band is someone I know and like or I am being paid to be there ;-)

But as it happened I had heard good things about the venue and the band was someone I more than liked, it was my good mates the Mutineers. Have shot them many times before and various members in previous bands, so although I knew what to expect I knew the music wouldn’t mindlessly wash over me.

Mutineers - Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Quite a tight, short set was enjoyed by all present and I managed to capture yet more great images of one of my favorite up and coming bands. Watch this space: Mutineers

Mutineers - Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Surely the worlds largest disco ball, hangs from the sealing of the music hall.

Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

If you’ve not been to the Deaf Institute yet, you should, its an amazing old building with bars in the basement, ground floor and a live music venue on the first. The back of the old music hall is complete with old wooden seats that rise back into an auditorium.

Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Behind the bar is the venues very on wall of sound, something which instantly caught my eye, the whole wall is literally crammed with speakers.

Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Successful, Sexy & Surreal Weekend (PT2)…

Divided Attention Shoot

So Saturday came and went and Sunday was underway, got myself up nice and early made sure all the kit was packed for todays photo shenanigans which was a full days location shoot with local Tameside band Divided Attention. After being picked up by Gillian, who was to be my assistant for the day, we headed off to meet the band.

Divided Attention Photoshoot

The brief for the shoot was fairly lose “just make us look cool” sort of thing but after initial discussions and some ideas I had suggested after our first meeting, they picked a reservior dogs style theme for the first location, hence the suits. After find a suitable spot and a few lighting adjustments I started snapping away.

Getting back to the car to get the guys to change out of suits we spotted an over zelous car park attentendant who seemed to be loitering about with intent (to dish out tickets) so we made a decision to move onto the next location: Castlefield.

Lots of scope for shooting down here and FREE parking (wahey). The lads got changed whilst Gill & myself had a coffee and more importantly for me a smoke; I hadnt had one so far that morning as I had stupidly left my lighter at home – doh.

Divided Attention Shoot Divided Attention Shoot

After a few shots in Castlefield, which has much to offer in the way of great spots for shooting, we made the short trip to a nearby canalside location, which used to be an old factory and is now covered in graffiti. This makes a great backdrop for shots and the place is pretty much destroyed now. I love it and will definitely be shooting there again, as previously I have only visited to take pictures of the graffiti.

Divided Attention Shoot

Divided Attention Shoot

After a short break in preceedings, we all met up at Dovestones Reservoir, which is over the other side of Ashton. This location has endless possibilities for either a model or band style shoot. The water, woods and surrounding rocky outcropped hills, make an epic backdrop and was in stark contrast to elsewhere we had shot earlier on in the day.

Unfortunately this is where Gill had to leave us, so there are no more behind the scenes shots to fill the space around my waffle, but will update as soon as I have some finished shots from the shoot.

All Pictures: Courtesy of Gillian Greenwood 2009.

“Watch Out All You Bitches, Theres a Guy Down Here With a Camera & He’s Taking Pictures…”

Riot Jazz 1st BirthdayRiot Jazz 1st Birthday

Mental is probably how I would describe last Thursday nights exploits! Got a shout from Chris (aka Nocturne) that one of his favorite hip hop acts “Foreign Beggars” were making the trip up from the big smoke to entertain Manchester. Having checked out the line up, not only did I find out that the event was hosted by the remarkable “Riot Jazz Brass Band” but also local MC’s “Broke N £english” would be attending, needless to say I quickly said HELL YEAH!

So we arrived on the evening just before 10pm, yes 10pm mega late door for midweek. We were first on the que and didnt get any beef off security about the rucksacks filled with camera gear (which was nice) and does happen occaisionally. So couple of beers later we were listening to Rich Reason spin some very nice tune-age which varried this way and that between hip hop, eclectro, house, latino and even reggae – with Beenie Man’s “Who Am I” a particular crowd pleaser!

The ApplesThe Apples

The Apples

Onto the live music, setting up first were “The Apples” – didnt know what to expect, never heard them, or indeed heard of them, so was interested to see what would happen. As it turned out they were VERY VERY good and consisted of 4 brass instrument players, 2 DJ’s and one very techincally gifted jazz style drummer; beating out amazing rhythms that wouldnt be lost on a Drum & Bass 12 inch! Highlight of there set was without doubt the final climatic tune, a cover version of Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name” As if that wasn’t epic enough they broke it down and scratched in several cuts, including The Beastie Boy’s “Root Down” and ODB’s “Shimmy Ya” this all gave way to a reprise of the Rage track! Tres Bon indeed!

Broke N £nglish

Hot on their heels (after some confusion about who was on next) were local hip hop outfit Broke N £english. The duo fairly well known on the local scene, from doing festivals and dates like this night, also didnt disappoint! Spitting ryhmes from both old and new material, highlights included new track “Too Close” which went down well with a rowdy crowd who were bouncing, pushing  and surging about the dance floor. A section of very amusing freestyles then ensued with few escaping a verbal box around the ears, including a dude with a ginger afro, some scallies who looked like a local version of Eminem and other assorted characters. Even yours truely got rhymed (but mine was rather neat)…

“Watch Out All You Bitches, Theres a Guy Down Here With a Camera & He’s Taking Pictures”

to be continued…


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