Posts Tagged ‘Live Music’

The live music coverage requests continued to roll in for November and again I found myself in Manchester with cameras in hand. This time at the popular Rebellion Bar I was covering the well known American band Nashville Pussy. This was loud, raucous and completely over the top and delivered with a superb passion to such a small venue.

You sometimes see bands simply touring for the sake of touring yet these guys where on fire for the whole evening. Add to this mix a healthy, on stage, diet of Jack Daniels and what could possibly go wrong.

As always my review and selection of images can be found at Down The Front Media. For all things Nashville Pussy related give this a click here – NP

As always a few from the set –

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The next gig on my calendar was a band which I had no knowledge about yet they completely blew me away.

Mostly Autumn are a relatively local band, hailing from the York area and have a somewhat large following. This is testament to their quality as they remain, by choice unsigned and do everything themselves. If you want to see a band that genuinely do it on their own, have a huge following and several albums out then Mostly Autumn are one of those rare bands out there.

The band is several strong and full of multi instrumentalists. The sound is simply sublime and rather than me trying to describe them just pop and listen to them on the likes of Youtube etc.

The Welly stage isn’t the biggest so things were a little cramped for the band yet they nailed the whole night. With no support band, they simply played two large sets, with a short interval between and completely filled the evening with the most wonderful music. This was super prog with angelic voices to boot.

Again my review and all images can be found on the DTFM website – Here

Here are a few images from the night though –

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Next up with this months work was covering the band Riverside for pictures and a write up.

Again, this was for Down The Front Media with the gig being held at the Manchester Academy 2. This venue is around an hour away from home and so nice and easy once you get parked. I say this as it’s on the widely expanded University grounds and so parking anywhere near the building is totally pot luck. The council don’t make things easy for anyone reference parking. It appears to be the blanket, get public transport to the venue, which is of no help to people like me in my situation. Well luck was on my side and as I drove into the University area a vehicle moved off and I plonked my van in the now free space.

The staff were fine with directions and assistance getting my pass and I was soon in the main hall ready to shoot.

Support band Mechanism were on first and excellent. Part of the DTFM policy is that we also cover all support bands were possible. It’s sometimes a close thing with traffic, parking and getting in etc but they are part of the evenings entertainment and should be suitably mentioned in reviews and pictures. It’s also worthwhile that every now and again the support band end up being better than the main act of the evening.

Finally the mighty Polish Prog Band Riverside begin their set and it is truly a light and sound show of considerable proportions. Sadly it is also a smoke fest and so with just three songs to shoot them things are rather difficult. Add to this I’m supposed to be reviewing the set, things take a turn for the worst when the over zealous security people escort us from the room after the third song. They are expecting us to descend all the way down to the foyer, grab another pass, lose our equipment and bags and then come back up two floors to review. I ask what are we supposed to do with our bags and they explain there are lockers in the foyer. Well thats not happening and so the review is completed from what I saw in the first 3 songs.

Catch this fabulous prog band here – Riverside Band

Some of the Riverside Images –

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Beyond parts one and two of October 2018 were the final couple of things that topped the month off.

First up was my first job for Down The Front Media, which was to cover a local, quarterly music event called Rockzilla. I had joined DTFM the month before having been recruited by their head of Photography, who I had shot alongside at a few music events previously.

Rockzilla is a hull based music event showcasing up to four bands. The bands are all of the same rock genre for each individual event, so you can have a prog night, a doom night, a thrash night etc etc so hopefully you get it. Held at O’Rileys in Hull, promoted and organised by the very amiable Shane Outhwaite it still amazes me that certain local critics continue to complain that the Hull Music Scene is dead. Dead it is not, people just need to get out and support venues, other than the big two council carbuncles in town.

Tonight we had Weird Wolf, Phoenician, Xiii and Voodoo Blood all ready to showcase their talents to the small yet appreciative crowd.

The night is a roaring success and there have been others since, which I will pop on here as I catch up with life and jobs in 2019.

A full review of both evenings including complete galleries of images can be found via the DTFM site here – Down The Front Media

Second up was to shoot an old hero of mine from the 80’s Ross The Boss. Guitarist in the mighty Manowar rock / metal band, he is now out touring with his new band. The chance to capture him was too good an offer so off to the Corporation in Sheffield I went. Now the C3 room holds around 100 people max, has a small bar to one side and a smaller stage. Lit by just a couple of alternating lights this is no picnic for a gig photographer, indeed its almost as bad as it can get.

Anyway Ross and his band did the business and I managed a few pics that were publishable. It was interesting that another photographer gave up after just one song and trudged away complaining about lack of light. Why venues won’t, or don’t seem to want to, invest in lighting is beyond me.

A pic of each band from Rockzilla –

Voodoo Blood – Voodoo Blood

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Xiii – Xiii

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Phoenician – Phoenician

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WeirdWolf – WeirdWolf

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And one from Ross The Boss –

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Firstly a polite notice – All images are subject to copyright and no permissions are given, in any capacity for any media, for usage beyond this blog. Please contact Cecil Paul Studio’s for commercial usage rights and pricing structures.

My final band of the day was to be the Graham Bonnet Band. Whilst there was still The Quireboys, plus headliners, Skid Row to come I had seen both of those bands recently and photographed them both too. Add to this the thought of the early rise in the morning for a whole day of gymnastics photography and that extra time in bed won over shooting those two final acts.

I did hear that both were superb and indeed some of the images I saw, portrayed excellent sets by both. 25 years ago I could burn the candle at both ends on a regular basis. These days common sense steps in when it comes to driving long distances at either end of a days work.

Anyway Graham Bonnet and his band put on a spectacular show and graced us with some classic hits mixed with some more modern opuses he has been involved in. No issues with the voice and time seems to have been kind.

So as he finished his set I was away to the van and on my way home for a cuppa, quick shower and bed. 6am the next morning felt like I had barely got to bed and my alarm had gone off. Later that day I was glad I’d made the decision to leave early as the old tired eyes set in.

All in all a fab weekend at a festival I would wholly recommend. Organised by rockers, run by volunteer rock lovers and a fabulous atmosphere too. Long may it continue.

Find what he’s up to here – Graham Bonnet Band

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Firstly a polite notice – All images are subject to copyright and no permissions are given, in any capacity for any media, for usage beyond this blog. Please contact Cecil Paul Studio’s for commercial usage rights and pricing structures.

Next up were a band that I had yet to see. I had seen their lead singer, Blaze, in his Iron Maiden stint, though had never managed to catch Wolfsbane on tour over the many years they had been regularly active.

The set was monstrous and the band were just on it from the word go. Blaze is the consummate frontman and really doesn’t care who he upsets whilst on stage. Meet him off stage and you chat with a most humble and kind chap who even gives you two minutes whilst he’s tying up his stage boots.

It’s been great to hear that they are continuing as a band and have some live dates pencilled in. Blaze of course also has a solid solo career too which has spawned some quality material over the last few years.

If they play near you I’d certainly recommend them.

See what they are up to here – Wolfsbane

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Firstly a polite notice – All images are subject to copyright and no permissions are given, in any capacity for any media, for usage beyond this blog. Please contact Cecil Paul Studio’s for commercial usage rights and pricing structures.

I missed the Massive Wagons set owing to commitments with Chrome Molly, though arrived back at the side of the stage just as the band were finishing. Not to be outdone I grabbed this one image at the very end of their set.

Oddly, people who have seen this image think its superb and whilst I’m happy with capturing the scissor kick, IMO the image would be far better had I been square on to the stage.

That’s one short entry lol.

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Firstly a polite notice – All images are subject to copyright and no permissions are given, in any capacity for any media, for usage beyond this blog. Please contact Cecil Paul Studio’s for commercial usage rights and pricing structures.

So Stonedeaf was also my first main festival as a photographer. As Chrome Molly were my reason for being there and, also being a fan of the band, gave this a nice buzz for me.

Now being a band photographer has an added advantage to the other photographers at any gig as you get to shoot the entire set, whilst they only get three songs to capture their images. If you ever wonder why some artists seem to produce exclusive live photographic images its because they save particular poses or stunts purely for their in house team or chosen photographer.

Chrome Molly had no such intentions of selective imagery and gave the same 100%, as did all the bands on the day, from the first bars of the first song. I was just lucky in having that additional time to pick out images and clearly the back stage / pre set preparations. The whole thing was over in a heartbeat and we were soon backstage, with a cold one or two, discussing the set.

This isn’t a review, though I continued to capture things for them until they finally went on their way. At this point I was lucky enough to have been given an all access pass so decided to shoot a few other bands too.

Chrome Molly are –

Steve Hawkins, John Foottit, Andy Barrott, Nic Wastell & Greg Ellis.

Find them here – Chrome Molly

Pics –

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I first had the pleasure of meeting this band when Wayward Sons supported them earlier in 2017. I managed to shoot them at both York & Nottingham, on that particular tour, where both performances were absolutely on point and delivered with true professionalism. Our paths crossed again at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London with them supporting Steel Panther.

Whilst it was a shortened support set this time the band managed to steam roll through a selection of songs to which the crowd warmed. I had noticed in Ireland that the typical Panther fan was not going to be the biggest fan of the support acts on the tour, yet both supports gave 100% and won a good percentage of the crowd over.

Inglorious have one major factor that sets them apart from many other metal bands and that is Nathan James the lead singer. He possesses a set of vocal cords and lungs of which many singers would wish to have. Listen to one of their albums, or indeed them all, then hear them live and then you will appreciate what he has to offer. The rest of the band are also good solid musicians and also a sound bunch of fellas to boot. From the dual guitars of Andreas Eriksson & Drew Lowe to the solid rhythm of Phil Beaver and boundless energy of Colin Parkinson the whole Inglorious machine, grabs you by the scruff of the neck and shakes every last ounce of energy from you throughout their set. If you’ve not seen them or own an album I would heartily recommend them.

Photography wise this was easy, though I didn’t stay in the pit for the full three song allocation. Just grabbed a few of each band member and waited for the image below to drop into place. The lighting was generous, as it had been for Wayward Sons, so settings were easy and uncomplicated. I didn’t even exceed 100 images opposed to the usual mad rattling of the shutter in an attempt to get that all important set of worthwhile printable or publishable images. Once I had the image I was looking for I was out of there for a nice cold bottle of water, before simply packing up and coming home. I never even stayed in the hall to watch Panther, as having seen them twice I knew there was nothing different to be had other than a few altered jokes or one liners. Personally I’d prefer less of the joking about and more of the music being played, though I guess its this format that has got them to where they are now, so who am I to suggest change lol.

Image is Nathan James.

Check Inglorious out HERE

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January saw me given the unique opportunity to shoot the band, Steel Panther, in both Dublin and Belfast in January. Wayward Sons were supporting and I’d had the nod that I could cover these dates. Lets face it, I was never going to say no, so organised my travel and accommodation accordingly.

The week before the dates all hell broke lose with the weather and Britain was covered in several feet of snow from top to bottom. Usually I would have looked at the options for this and was it absolutely necessary to travel yet this weather was not going to stop me getting there. A 4am start saw me tip toe for five hours up to the port of Cairnryan in Scotland for my lunchtime ferry to Belfast. When I finally got there it was nice just to not have to grip the steering wheel in an almost constant effort to keep the van on the roads up there. The roads were appalling, travel warnings advised all but essential travel yet I found myself trundling along with hundreds of other motorists, respecting the weather and driving safely. Yes there were the odd idiots out there and one in particular ended up on his roof not several hundred meters in front of me after ludicrously overtaking two side by side articulated lorries by travelling into the uncleared third lane. What happened next is obvious to most and luckily he never touched anyone else with his pirouetting and rolling. Idiot!!

Not my first time in Ireland, though a first for covering gigs. To be fair they both went well, considering they were warm up gigs for the main UK Steel Panther Tour which started the following week. Dublin was small, almost embarrassingly small, for a band of Panthers following yet they roared through their set from start to finish with total professionalism. If you know Steel Panther you will also know that last sentence is a little tongue in cheek. Totally tongue in cheek, the dirty jokes were rife as was the mocking of not only themselves but the crowd throughout the entire set. It was all soaked up by the crowd in the spirit of how it should be and the vibe from the crowd as they left was totally positive.

Wayward sons also gave a 100% performance. They stomped through a half hour of what now seemed to be more crowd aware songs from the album. The album having been out 6 months now is obviously gaining some traction and there were plenty singing along. Nobody would ever have guessed that the lead singer was as green as a goblin having suffered with a rough crossing from Blighty. Add to this a missing keyboard player, owing to a family bereavement, you would not have guessed with the positive response from the crowd.

Belfast, the following night, was almost identical to Dublin for the SP lads, in fact almost too identical for my liking. I’ll not go into how things may or may not be done, by some, these days which certainly made me think. Sadly the more I heard SP on the tour the more they made me start watching certain aspects of the performance, for repetition, rather than just enjoying the fun of it. They are a great bunch of blokes on and off stage so I will leave it at that. Wayward Sons had recovered from the green sea monster and simply powered through their strict half hour set.

The evening was slightly marred by the extremely punctual curfew at 10pm. Steel Panther had barely finished their main set when it was announced that the show was over. Some bemused punters were wondering what was going on, is it part of the show etc? No it was all legit as the Limelight subsequently turns into a nightclub. Thus not an hour after the show had finished there were DJ’s setting up on stage as flight cases were being removed from the building. Steel Panther thus finished on Community Property and not the planned Party All Day, as per the setlist, which is shown below.

Thankfully I had just a short walk to my hotel before a 6am rise to catch my return ferry back to Blighty. A smile which was accompanied by a spring in my step over a job well done. This all before I’d even seen the images taken on a laptop screen.

For all things Steel Panther

Steel Panther live. Images from Dublin & Belfast.

Michael Starr

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Satchel

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Lexxi Foxx

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Stix Zadinia

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Belfast Limelight.

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Setlists.

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