Sunday, 30 May 2010

New York 2009

I was checking out a photography community I go on and there's a place for people to post photos of the last photos they've taken. There's always some stunning work in there and the last thing thats been posted in there today was someone's photos of New York.

I've written about my trip there last summer on here and I've mentioned that I'm going back. It's coming round pretty quick and I was having a flick through my photos and realised there were a few shots I really liked that. I know I'm going over old ground but it's made a bad couple of days a little better.


If you haven't seen them already then the other New York photos are here.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Rolo Tomassi & Hearts Under Fire

So somehow this week I've ended up at four shows. It's been good a I've had pretty different experiences at all of them.

I found out pretty last minute that Rolo Tomassi were playing at Rough Trade on Thursday night, I raced over there from work to make sure I could get a wristband and it was totally worth it.

Rolo Tomassi really are great live and are like a whirlwind when they play. The thing I loved about seeing them at Rough Trade was the fact that because the stage is quite small it meant that James and Joseph had to play on the floor which just gave them more space to throw themselves about. Before they came on the lighting was quite decent but as they started RT dropped the lights a bit which was a shame. It was a lot different to a normal show as they were taking request for songs to play.

Pretty happy with the photos as a set and I managed to get a kinda cool jump shot as well.

The other Rolo Tomassi photos are here.

Yesterday I went to see Hearts Under Fire at The Garage. I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love this band. They were on first but on quite late time-wise for a support. I got to hang with them for a chunk of time before they went on and had a long chat with Lexi when they were done. It really is impossible not to be smiling and laughing when I'm around those girls. They are probably the band I'd love to tour with the most, I reckon it would be so much fun. A dream would be to tour with them on Warped.

The photos themselves aren't brilliant. There was pretty much no lighting for them other than a faint hint of red and green and the stage it pretty small. The one good thing about the small stage is you can get down the sides.

Needless to say another superb performance.

The photos from the Hearts Under Fire show are here.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Lights - Underbelly

I'm never actually sure whether people are reading this or not but if you are then you've probably read that I've been pretty down and fed up recently. I've been quite frustrated about my photography and situations I've been in.

After the Lights show at The Borderline I felt like I'd screwed up a chance at shooting Lights and I'm never sure if I'll get another. Luckily Lights played a surprise show last night at the Underbelly in Hoxton.

I bought a ticket and got down there and was one of the first people in which meant I could grab a decent spot at the front which meant that I could relax a bit and not stress about how I was going to shoot the show.

I've seen Lights play similar size venues before but this was probably the one that felt the most intimate. It was also really nice that Lights was on first because it meant a lot less waiting around.

I'd never been to this bar/venue before but it was such a nice place, the stage was decorated quite nice and it had quite low key but good lighting. Sometimes it was a bit hit and miss depending on where Lights was standing but I really liked the feel that it gave the photos.

This is probably my favourite set of Lights photos. Thankfully this show and the one (maybe two) I'm going to write about at the weekend have kinda restored my faith a bit in what I'm doing.

The rest of the photos of Lights from this gig are here.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Lights - The Borderline

Lights was over doing her first headlining tour of the UK and she was playing The Borderline. I've seen Lights a number of times now and managed to photograph her on three of those occasions. Unfortunatly I've lost all my original/hi res copies of the photos (except for the ones from Warped) when my hard drive died so I was looking forward to getting some more shots. I met up with a friend beforehand and went for a drink. Someone that works with Lights sorted me out with a photopass as they had photo restrictions. We walked in during the support band which was a surreal experience as it was virtually pitch black except for a video being projected on the back of the stage and the crowd we hitting around loads of white balloons.

The good stuff about the night was that she was superb. She really has a stunning voice and it's really powerfull. Lights has a a really great infectious stage presence and a smile that makes it hard not to enjoy watch her perform. It also really comes out in the music which i've always thought has an extra bounce to it live.

The not so good stuff about the night was I actually had a hard time getting in. I had an email confirming my photopass was fine but when I got there the venue said I wasn't on any list. I managed (through my friend) to get hold of Lights' tour manager who said she had sorted it out and had personnaly seen my name on the list but when I went back the venue still said my name wasn't down. They let me take my camera in but it felt like it was only because I was annoying them that they just gave in. I had actually bought a ticket too which I asked the door people if I could put someones name down to collect it which they said was fine but again, they claimed they didn't have her name down. It actually put quite a downer on the night for me. I also struggled to get a decent place in the crowd and it was hard to shoot Lights round her keyboard set up and I gave up in the end because I was just getting frustrated. My problems and frustrations were overshadowed by Lights being awesome.

Lights is playing a surprise show tomorrow so hopefully that will go a lot better that last night.

The rest of the photos from the night are here.

Pretty much no one knows this but since last summer I've kept an old US Dollar in my wallet. It's helped keep me sane as I see it pretty much every day and it reminds me (obviously) of America and New York specificly. Reminds me no matter how shit I feel that it hasn't and won't always be like that. Recently I've been feeling worse and worse and the Dollar has started to lose it's effect. I just hope it starts working when I come back from there in July.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Eyes Set To Kill - The Underworld

The kind people from/involved with Eyes Set To Kill sorted me out with a pass to see them support I Am Ghost at The Underworld. I've really wanted to see them for a while and am hoping to catch them on Warped this summer when I go.

This was obviously my fourth show at The Underworld recently and I felt like I really struggled with this show.

The lighting was pretty shit and it was too busy at times to be able to get into the crowd to shoot from the front. Both the singers from Lower Than Atlantis and Eyes Set To Kill played guitar as well so were in the centre of the stage and I found it hard getting decent shots of them. It was a combination of the limitations of my set up mixed with trying to get decent angles around other band members.

I've also been really tired and quite stressed out and as much as I wanted to see ESTK and Confide. I don't think I was in the right frame of mind. It was just one of those days. I left before the headliners I Am Ghost but really enjoyed the three support bands.

These photos definitely aren't my finest hour and I wish I could have got some better photos. I think I need a break from shooting at The Underworld.

Lower Than Atlantis


Eyes Set To Kill

The Lower Than Atlantis photos are here

The Confide photos are here.

The rest of the Eyes Set To Kill photos are here.

I worry a lot about slipping back into how I was for most of last year and am trying hard to keep my head above water. I'm feeling like my work is getting a bit stale and boring and I want to photograph something new but I don't really know what. I think I may try and do some more London street photography and I need to start writing stuff down and getting things planned for my book idea. I'm not sure whether to leave working on the photos till after New York or start it before.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Blessed By A Broken Heart - The Underworld

I don't know why but virtually every show I want to shoot at the moment is at The Underworld at the moment. My third recent trip there was for Blessed By A Broken Heart. I saw them last time they were over but it's taken me some time to appreciate them and enjoy how fun they are if you don't take them too seriously.

I had a pass for the show but as it wasn't rammed I decided to shoot the bands partly from the side and partly from the front in the crowd.

The lighting was average for the support bands and I hadn't heard the first two bands but shot a few pictures anyway. The main support was Lovehatehero and I was quite looking forward to seeing them and they were good. Really energetic and one of the drummer and guitarists seemed to have a lot of fun posing for shots.

As BBABH came on stage it got absolutely flooded with smoke as they were using lasers which made it pretty hard to shoot well. It's hard to use flash because everything comes out quite hazy but it's even worse to shoot without. As well as shooting from the front of the stage I shot from both side stages as well which I don't often do there trying to cover all the members of the band. They put on a good show but it got crazier and crazier as it went on as the stage kept getting invaded by the crowd and during the last song I ended up helping rescue a keyboard and stand before it got lost to the crowd.

I had a lot of fun during this show and it was pretty laid back and stress free which is always a positive.

My fourth show at The Underworld will be seeing Eyes Set To Kill and Confide supporting IAMGHOST.

The Morning After

The First


Blessed By A Broken Heart

The Morning After / The First photos are here.

Lovehate here photos can be seen here.

The BBABH photos are here.

I forgot to mention in the last update about the TRC show that someone was sick on my camera bag at some point during the gig. It was pretty fucking rank. Cheers to whoever that was.

I also passed up on some regular with webzine which I might go more into in another blog. Another gig I shot this week was Third Eye Blind but the photos should be used on Bring The Noise but I'll wait till they are up before writing about the gig and posting photos.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

TRC - The Underworld

I went to another show this week at The Underworld in Camden and guess what... I got a pass (despite them saying there's no such thing at the IWABO show). Went to see Deez Nuts play and I want to thank Miles/TRC for sorting out my pass.

I decided not to shoot the first couple of bands as they weren't 100% my cup of tea but the first band of the night I shot was TRC. I've heard a lot about this band, seen them getting a lot of press recently and seen a lot of photos from other photographers. I was really intrigued to see what they were actually like live. They had no front lighting so the stage was insanely dark except for the back lighting and it made it quite a challenge to shoot. I struggled to get the right exposure a lot of time as I kept finding people in the shots were either too dark at the front of them but way over exposed from the back. I used flash a bit more than I normally would, especially using it with my 50mm lens which I normally never do. Having 6 band members on the stage makes picking out people to photograph harder. Mixed feelings about how the photos came out but hopefully they'll like them.

The crowd were pretty crazy throughout the night which meant shooting from the side of stage for the whole night. Its good because it means I can get decent drummer shots but unless people come close it's not always easy to get shots of band members on the far side of the stage.

The second to last band were The Ghost Inside they had the best lighting of the night. The singer covered the stage really well and they were pretty easy to shoot. Was quite impressed with them and their set as a whole.

The lighting went a bit shit for Deez Nuts and I don't think things really clicked for me while they were on and think it shows in the photos.


The Ghost Inside

Deez Nuts

The other TRC photos are here.

The Ghost Inside photos can be seen here.

The Deez Nuts photos are here.

Things are still a bit weird at the moment and I think I'm going to turn down an oppertunity I've been offered as I just don't think it's right for me and what I'm doing at the moment. I'm happy doing things the way I am at the moment and don't really want to comprimise that, especially as doors seem to be opening up as it is.

I've decided I want to produce/publish a burlesque photography booked based around London. I really think I can do it, it's going to take a lot of planning and work and I'm not expecting things to happen over night but fingers crossed I can pull this off. I really feel like I need to do something and especially do something constructive. I would love to try and get something sorted by next years London Burlesque Week.

Monday, 10 May 2010


Normally when I'm sorting out a pass I email the people I need to well in advance and email several times to confirm everything in the lead up but I completely forgot to email and sort my pass out officially for Sunday's IWRESTLEDABEARONCE gig. Thankfully the guy who answered my very last minute emails and sorted it out for me. On my way up to Camden I also forgot the Northern Line on the Tube wasn't working so had to go a longer way round. I really had this feeling that the night was on a knife edge and that something was going to go wrong.

If there's a gig I desperately want to go to then I buy tickets first and sort out a pass later, this way if anything goes wrong I don't miss out. Got to the venue and found my name wasn't down on the guestlist so I had no pass. I went downstairs and spoke to IWRESTLEDABEARONCE's merch guy who tried to sort it out and the people on the door told him that The Underwold don't do photopasses. I've had loads of passes for The Underworld before but every now and again they seem to deny all knowledge about this. The venue at the time wasn't too packed so I just grabbed a place at the front.

First band on were Dead and Divine who were pretty good, the singer had 'home sick' across his knuckles and I tried to get a decent shot of them but couldn't. It made me think a lot about knuckle tattoos and how I'd like to do a project on them.

IWRESTLEDABEARONCE were on second and they were AMAZING. They have so much energy and just kill it live every time but this was the best I've seen them. Kyrsta was a lot more talkative and engaging with the crowd. She also had me laughing a lot at the things she was saying. I'm quite gutted that they join the Warped Tour about 2 dates after I go this summer.

As I was only there for IWABO, when they finished I moved up to the balcony bit at the side and watched a bit of the main band The Chariot before leaving. I shot a few photos from there and quite like how they came out.

I really need to write about all the things I'd like to shoot and projects I'd love to work on. They are all rattling round in my head and feel like I need to get them down before I forget them. Might try and do that over the next few days.

The Chariot

Dead and Devine


The IWRESTLEDABEARONCE photos are here.

The other photos of Dead and Devine and The Chariot are here.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Riot Girls - Facedown

Last time I was at Facedown after the band has performed they had the M.O.B girls performing but this time they had the Riot Girls instead.

The Riot Girls are about the fourth alternative dance troupe I've seen perform and I have to say they were pretty damn good. They were a lot more performance based than a lot of the other acts like this which was great, they were more like a circus/horror/burlesque act than just a dance troupe. They did about 5 routines, one after the other each involving different members of the group.

I really enjoyed shooting these girls and am really happy with the shots. Thankfully unlike normal, I didn't get covered in water or any other liquid being thrown about!

I'd love to do more backstage shots with a group like this.

More of the Riot Girls photos are here.

Daisy Dares You - Facedown

After a close friend suggested with hit up Facedown at the Scala for a night out I noticed that Daisy Dares You were performing. I've seen her in the press a fair bit recently and was intrigued to see what she was like. Trying to sort out a photopass last minute can be quite tricky but with the help of the people that run Facedown as well as Daisy Dares You's record label, I got it sorted pretty easily.

I always feel very exposed in clubs and extremely self concious so taking photos breaks that up a bit.

Daisy Dares You were a lot different and a lot better than I imagined, some bands don't put a great deal into their performance and fill inbetween songs quite a lot but Daisy herself was all over the stage and very energetic. The band just got on a played the songs (and played hard).

I've talked about this venue before and I don't think I'm repeating myself too much but I like the Scala, it's got some really good strong lights and the front of the stage is always lit really well. Towards the back can be a bit to hazy and smokey but I can't really complain. The other thing I like is the low stage, it means you can get a more level/straight on angle which you normally can't get as you are normally just angled up at the performer. It makes facial shots a lot easier.

I'd definitely like to photograph Daisy Dares You again before she gets too big (ruling me out of being able to get passes).

The rest of the Diasy Dares You photos are here.