Hello everyone, hope you all had a good Christmas and looking forward to the new year. Once again I do apologise for the lack of blog activity over the last couple months but there have been a number of changes that have been happening in my life, most of it good and some not so good but I have also been plugging away taking photos of gigs around Perth whenever I can and it has been another good year which did include two festivals, all shot for The AU Review.
So anyway enough rambling on and let’s get into it and present my favourite moments of 2015:
10. Future Music Festival
It seems everytime I get to photograph a festival up at Joondalup Arena, it never returns the year after, it was the case with the Soundwave Festival in Perth the year before and now with Future Music Festival, it seems the days of the big travelling music festivals have now gone.
Anyway the day itself started off well but as we headed into the evening slots problems started to emerge as bad weather in Sydney and in Perth caused flight delays for some of the artists on the bill which forced delays and changes meaning everyone had to juggle their timetables to catch the festival acts they wanted to see.
My festival highlight was getting to photograph UK electronic dance act The Prodigy, I’d remember first hearing these guys in high school when they dropped their singe Breathe and they did play that song when I was photograph them so that made my day. Other highlights on the day included Kiesza, Darude, Knife Party and Hilltop Hoods.
9. Death Cab for Cutie
These guys were here in Australia for the Splendour in the Grass festival over on the east coast and I managed to catch their festival sideshow in Perth at Metro City. Some parts of their lighting setup were a bit tricky which meant trying to capture a good shot was sometimes a hit and miss but I’d managed to get a good collection photos that I was happy with.
I was amazed how solid these guys were live and they pretty much put on a pretty good show however I had to leave this show early as I did have an early start the next day.
8. Gang of Youths
A note to any young rock band who wants to make an impact and have some attitude along the way, go and see Gang of Youths! Seriously one of my favourite shows of 2015 and in moments very challenging as this show had no barrier at the front of the stage which meant I had a mosh pit to contend with as I was stuck in one position for the main set, but that was ok as you could feel energy coming from the stage and you could tell each band member were putting 100% into it. While being one spot for the main set limited my range on what type of shots I could get, all I need to do is try and get the best shot I could get from the night and as you can see I think achieved that.
7. The Love Junkies
I remember first catching these guys in a semi final on the Next Big Thing band comp back in 2010 at the Civic Hotel, while they bowed out the comp that night, I made a mental note to myself that if these guys can keep it going and put some really good songs together, they will make some waves in the local scene. Well 5 years later they’re still around and they now one of the bigger bands in the Perth music scene.
This time they were playing at the Rosemount hotel and they had a barrier which made my job a bit easier as their shows can get very rowdy. The lighting on the night good enough to get some decent shots and with the barrier in play I was able to move around to get different angles of the band.
6. Western Australian Music Festival Showcase
I always try to make an effort and check out the Western Australian Music Festival which happens in November every year, while the format of the festival has changed over the years personally I think the festival is doing better now than what it was a couple of years ago. This occasion I went to the festival’s heavy metal showcase which was at the Amplifier Bar and featured Silent Knight, Ragdoll and a battle death metal band (yes apparently there is such a genre) called Wrath of Fenrir.
The one thing about photographing metal shows, is that you do get value for money and sometimes you get the over the top ridiculous set which you can’t help but laugh at certain points, mind you though you don’t laugh too much you may find yourselves at the mercy of a few diehard fans. The lighting for Silent Knight’s set was perfect and these guys do give you the perfect set to photograph as band members interact with each other on stage and they give it 100% and the photos I got from their set on the night showed that.
Perth rock band Jebediah were celebrating their 20th anniversary in 2015 and for 3 nights in June they were playing 3 shows to mark this big occasion. I went to the show on the 26th June at the Astor Theatre which is one of my favourite venues in Perth, to photograph.
For most of the night it was a trip down memory lane as the band pretty much played most of their back catalog as well as some more recent material and they had a video screen so in the middle of the show they played some videos of the band growing up to what they are now.
However as fun as the show was, the same couldn’t be said for my 24-70mm lens as it suffered some damaged as it was accidently dropped on the floor, so for most of the main set I was shooting with my 70-200mm lens but that was ok as I’d managed to get some nicely lit photos of the band onstage and as I’ve said before, the Astor is one of good places in the Perth music scene where you can actually get some decent photos as they have a pretty decent lighting setup.
One of my favourite bands going around Australia at the moment are Sleepmakeswaves from Sydney, every time I’ve seen these guys play at various venues around Perth I’ve always managed to have my camera alongside me. Seeing these guys live onstage is amazing experience as the music they play takes you on a musical journey where you can do nothing but get caught up in it all.
The best part of it there are no vocals in their songs, so you pretty much get 4 dudes rocking out stage which always make good rock photos however that also depends on the lighting at that moment as if you can capture the right moment where the lighting is perfect, then you will get a pretty decent shot. The lighting on this ocassion was a bit and miss but at the moments where the lighting on stage was close to perfect I’d managed to get some great shots of the band rocking out onstage and next time they’re in Perth go and see them you will be suprised how good they are!
If you said the word Kingswood in Australia, the first thought would be an iconic Australian motor vehicle made by the car company Holden, but in recent years that name also references a group of 4 guys from Melbourne who play rock music and do it very well. On the back of the release of their full length album Microscopic Wars these guys were playing at Club Capitol in March with the support of local indie rockers Tired Lion.
First of all my headspace wasn’t good going into this show because at work we had a big day moving into our new office and with I’ve never experienced a office move before, so lets just say I didn’t cope well, but I hoped I would put that stress behind me and try to have some fun and when Kingswood hit the stage, I was amazed how good these guys are live. You could feel the energy from stage and these guys do have pretty good songs as well and with Capitol packed out on the night, its safe to say everyone who went to that show left with big smiles on their faces.
2. Groovin The Moo Festival
I never thought that I would be back in Bunbury for another instalment of this festival, but the guys at The AU Review asked me if I was keen to do another one and I gladly accepted. As I mentioned in my last blog post back in May, it was nice day all around, everyone was chilled out and enjoying themselves which made taking social photos alot easier and the lineup featured Wolfmother, Charli XCX, You Me at Six, Peaches and Hilltop Hoods.
My favourite photo of the day was shot during You Me at Six’s set, the band had incredible energy on stage and singer Josh Franceschi gave me some great opportunites during their set to photograph him in various poses and the one you see here is my favourite photo from the day.
Whenever you get photograph a big band playing in a big arena show, the brief for photographers is pretty much the first 2/3 songs of the main band and then you have to leave the show itself as you not allowed to stay.
It was like that with The Rolling Stones last year when I’d photographed them at Perth Arena and I’ve experienced this with Leonard Cohen and Nickelback (yes I did photograph Niclelback back in 2012) as well in previous years.
So when UK rock legends Blur were playing a Splendour in the Grass sideshow at Perth Arena in July this year, I’d thought it would be the same deal, however a nice surprise was awaiting me as I was collecting my photo pass at the box office, I was also given a ticket as well which meant I was able to stay back after the first 3 songs and watch the rest of show which was something I will always remember,
The first 3 songs of Blur’s set was nothing short of amazing, singer Damon Albarn was like a kid bouncing around the stage singing away, throwing bottles of water to lucky punters at the front (however for some crew and some photographers avoiding that was a challenege in itself) and even getting up close and personal with some of them as well and getting shots of singers closely interacting the audience always makes good photos. The band themselves were having fun onstage and the stage itself had great lighting which made my job alot easier. One of my favourite photo from the show is this one of Damon singing away into the night, I’d knew straight away it was one of the photos I was going to use and after the editing process was completed I was happy how that photo turned out.