Posts Tagged ‘Music’

December started on a positive note and with my biggest shoot to date. I was off to the Manchester Arena with passes to shoot and review a favourite band of mine, Nightwish.

Regardless of band changes the group have continued to appeal with their excellent fusion of rock and opera style lyrics. I have to fully admit to being a little giddy at the thought of shooting them live. Once through the thorough bag & ID checks I found myself  waiting to be allowed into the pit.

The first three songs were a no go for the togs, owing to the amount of pyro being used. Safety is paramount and I asked why we could not have been offered the opportunity to shoot from the sound desk to capture the spectacle. The blanket blame of security was used and I was in no mood to rub anyone up the wrong way so patiently waited. One tog however took things further and argued the “Security” point which, as I expected, simply ended up with him leaving the venue with immediate effect and driving home ……… allegedly to Scotland. Not sure of the publication he was there for but you have to respect those that work there and the information and rules they are asked to work too.

Regardless of how silly and ineffective some rules can be at times, I am old enough and worldly enough to know when to keep quiet. Keep quiet I did.

Our three song limit in the pit was more than adequate and the band also helped those of us there with some nice posing. Nightwish are no three minute song producers and thus composition and settings are better quality, thus benefitting publications and the band alike. Pictures aside, the sound of 12,000 people behind you cheering at the end of each song is a real spine tingler. Just as you focus on your chosen band member hoping for an end of song pose this wall of sound simply ploughs its way through your body.

All too soon I am back at the side of the pit and packing up my gear. I’m happy with the opportunities given and a quick check of images tells me there are some nice images. At this point the real downer hit home. I had a pass to review the concert too and thus asked for access to the seating point allocated for me. I was told that I had to take my gear out first and thus I politely asked where I could securely leave this roughly £12k of gear. “It has to go back to your vehicle and then we let you back in to the venue” was the reply. There were only five of us there and we all gave the same look, the same answer and were all soon on our way home.

Many venues will give you an allocated room or area to store gear for this additional reviewing task. At smaller venues some allow you to continue shooting, whilst you are taking notes etc of the gig. I fully understand the MEN Arena’s plight here, owing to the previous horrendous event that happened there, though having been through a two stage security check this is where a blanket policy fails. This is where being the bands own photographer, should they have one, is a huge advantage and something to aspire to on this scale.

As always my review and publicised images can be found at Down The Front Media and a full set of images can be found on my website at Cecil Paul Studio’s.

A few of my favourites –

 

More gig photography that week though almost back local, well Sheffield, at the Corporation for German band The New Roses. In the medium room, at this three room venue, the band are showcasing the One More For The Road album.

The album is solid and so is tonights set. A packed room of punters soak up the music and atmosphere alike. This is a band making waves within the current scene and they appear to have the ability to go far. As always Lady Luck will need to play her part for global domination.

As always my review of the evening, along with a full set of images can be seen on the Down The Front Media. The entire set of images, including the support band, The Brink, can be found here at my website Cecil Paul Studios.

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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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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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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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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.

The all new Stonedeaf Festival.

Edit – The Stonedeaf Festival is now currently known as the Stonedead Festival. After the success of the 2019 event someone claimed copyright on the Stonedeaf name etc.

Held at Newark Showground, this one day rock festival has emerged owing to the beliefs that all too many festivals have now become just corporate monsters. I’m inclined to agree that the good old one day, one stage festival worked well and indeed allowed you to enjoy everything on offer. Whereas some current festivals can have multiple stages, with multiple bands playing at once, the whole Stonedeaf ethos was one stage with one band playing. It’s horrible being at a festival and having to choose which band to miss, when stage times clash. To then find that the small tent, housing that chosen band band, is at capacity is even more demoralising not only to your brain but your wallet.

So this new one day, one stage festival kicks off with quite a statement by showcasing a band effectively chosen by the public. Any band can put their name forward for this opening slot, with just a few minimum requirements set by the organisers. From several rounds of online voting the final few bands are then scrutinised by the organisers and a winner is chosen.

The first band onstage and winners of the public vote were Newcastle rockers Fallen Mafia. Led by. almost powerful female vocalist, they certainly had the passion, musical skills and presence to win over the fledgling crowd. Not only did they win fans, via an excellent set, they also have the accolade of being the first ever band to play at Stonedeaf.

Although there for Chrome Molly, we had driven round to the stage and I grabbed a few images of the Fallen Mafia set, whilst the lads met up with the stage manager and others involved with the stage production.

Fallen Mafia are –

Hannah Neil – Vocals
Chris Johnson – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Stephen Hope – Guitar
Jack Martin – Bass
Adas Cowan – Drums

Find them here – Fallen Mafia

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May was a slightly quieter month, than usual, though it also became one which would see my live concert photography coverage expand.

Things started with Chrome Molly at the Yardbirds in Grimsby. Chosen to be one of the initial bands to play at the newly created Stonedeaf Festival in Newark they embarked on a small Uk tour. Knowing how promotion works I offered to cover the Yardbirds event and subsequently splash some images about, thus creating a buzz for both the band and festival alike.

The Yardbirds is a lovely little venue that caters for all kinds of rock and always has something going on. Whilst the stage is small, compact and has limited lighting, the sound is superb and to be fair thats what counts.

I took a healthy amount of images, thus giving the band plenty to choose from and link Stonedeaf into them also. This benefits me as the photographer with image circulation, the band with exposure and the festival with additional online tags. Things worked out well with this though I will discuss on a future post.

The second main job of the month was ironically also in Grimsby. I was asked to take a specific set of images with regards to specific apparatus, which again was to be used for promotional purposes. This was done as requested, the client extremely happy with the results, though as of typing this post I have not been paid and thus the images not used. It still bemuses me why people go to such lengths and then claim poverty etc.

Anyway a couple of pics –

Chrome Molly at the Yardbirds

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And the cover image for Grimsby Gymnastics.

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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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