Archive for March, 2006

B.B. King and Gary Moore

Thursday, March 30th, 2006

Busy busy busy, I had the pleasure of photographing the B.B. King farewell tour with Gary Moore this evening at Sheffield Arena.
Gary Moore is a good guitarist, but I felt that him and his band would have been more at home playing in a pub. He doesn’t quite seem to have the charisma to fill an arena and his band remind me of musicians who play the pub circuit in Blackpool with quiet desperation. He does pull some grimaces during his solos though!
B.B. King though, wow! That man is a showman. He had the arena eating out of his hand and his guitar solos moved me to tears. Gary Moore tries to show how great he is, B.B. King just is great. Amazing spirit.

Sigur Ros

Tuesday, March 28th, 2006

I didn’t know anything about this band other than the fact they were from Iceland and were supposed to have inspired Coldplay. The support band consisted of a string quartet playing the kind of minimalism that was popular in classical music circles about twenty years ago… slowly evolving harmonies that changed every four beats, with extra minimalist textures over the top provided by extra percussion and a laptop. Not particularly demanding music, but it was intriguing to see a sold-out Manchester Apollo audience really appreciate something that I would expect to see in a traditionally classical environment.
After Sigur Ros had been playing for a while, I realised that the support band also played with the main band, alongside a brass band. The band sang in Icelandic. There weren’t so much songs as large-scale textures with falsetto overtones. The guitarist played with a violin bow… obviously this brings Jimmy Page to mind but it worked really well here with the brass band and string quartet. This band seem to have cultural aspirations!
They weren’t a visual band, and they didn’t use a lot of lighting. In fact most of my camera settings were 1/5s to 1/20s at F2.8 at 200mm. Wow, the Anti-Shake on my Minolta 7D really came in handy with this gig.
There were quite a few other photographers at this gig, including one really arrogant pushy **** who literally elbowed me out of the way to get at the front of the queue to get into the pit. I never get stressed about this, as there is usually plenty of room and I like to keep moving about anyway. What an idiot.

Beverley Knight

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006

Not at all impressed tonight, I had a commission to shoot Beverley at a secret gig in Leeds but when I got there I was told that I wasn’t allowed to take any photos. I’m assuming this is because of her official photographer who was running around like a headless chicken, protecting his patch. I can’t believe how many other photographers turned up. I think the promoter had invited loads of photographers to photograph all the z-list celebrities who turned up to watch the gig… while not being allowed to shoot the artist. I left quickly. What a waste of time.
This can happen from time to time with over-zealous tour managers, it happened before when I went to Sheffield to take photos of Judas Priest. The PR manager had arranged a pass with the band manager but not the tour manager. Argh, the music business!
This is why I always try to get the contact details for the tour manager now before each gig.

The Sugars

Sunday, March 19th, 2006

I was asked to cover the launch party for The Sugars’ new single at The Faversham for The Leeds Guide magazine… I haven’t been there in years since I was a student at Leeds Uni over 15 years ago!
Leeds students are still a bunch of posers… it looked like serious business looking cool for most people who were there. Give me a rock crowd any day, much more down to earth.
Jedi Wyatt the drummer was absolutely lovely, and a fantastically spirited and energetic drummer giving the band some substance and heart.
I have to say that it wasn’t really my crowd so I left after a few songs. Great lighting at the Faversham though!