Gary Numan: Olympia Theatre by Aaron Corr

My initial thoughts of shooting Gary Numan would be that he would have many a pose and would make for a cool picture.  I didn't factor his heavy use of smoke and strobes on stage when I headed to the Olympia for The Thin Air.  This made things quite tricky, particularly given how much Gary moves around on stage.  He doesn't stop, and when he does the microphone obscures most of his face as you try catch a break between the flickers of light.  Add to this some dark green lights during one of the three songs covered.  

I had my second camera (Canon 7d) on me with a 70-200mm, as usual for an Olympia Show, but this was rarely used for close ups because of his constant movement.  I think there is only one shot I bothered with when it came to editing which you can see below.  Even at that, it is slightly overexposed.  He was still worth shooting, just a tricky subject to photograph.

Sigrid: The Academy by Aaron Corr

Sigrid is a star on the rise, so I made sure to get to her show to catch her on the smaller stage for GoldenPlec before she ends up playing bigger, and less intimate shows.  I only stayed for the three songs I shot so I can't really comment on the gig itself, but you can read all about it here.  I did have a giggle at the set list noting when to talk to the crowd, and what to say.  The crowd were going crazy for her on the night and I don't think the smile once left her face while I was taking photos.

Paul Draper: Workmans Club by Aaron Corr

I was a big fan of Mansun back in the day, still am.  Attack of the Grey Lantern was an album I came around to a couple of months after its release, and then Six blew me away and remains one of my favourite albums ever.  A desert island disc for me.  I had seen what turned out to be the band’s last ever gig, in Dublin in 2002.  It was a half-hearted run through ten songs, half older, half new, and guarantee of no encore.  I missed seeing them in their hey-day as a live band because they never came to Ireland properly.  Paul Draper’s eventual return as a solo artist was good to see and a date in Workmans Club where he was to play solo material, followed by a second set of Attack of the Grey Lantern in full was a must see.

The gig was packed, very sweaty and had loads of singing along from the crowd, even throughout the solo material.  I shot the show for MCD and came out nearly having to wipe sweat off the lens, it was that hot in the venue.  The lights were consistent and not too dim compared to the usual Workmans standards.  The constant promises to return to play Six in full had me leaving even happier than I would have been having just watched the gig itself.  Roll on Paul’s next visit here.  He can no doubt get a bigger venue next time around too. 

Wild Beasts: Olympia Theatre by Aaron Corr

It was sad to see Wild Beasts call it a day, but boy did they bow out with an amazing show and set list.  The gig was split into two sets, either of which would make any Wild Beasts fan happy if they were to experience it at a festival.  This is the third time I’ve caught them live since the release of Boy King, the first was just for a few songs at NOS Alive in Lisbon, before I legged away to see The Kills (I think).  When I saw them play at Indiependance before the Manic Street Preachers, I had a weird feeling as the crowd thinned and never filled up the tent for their blistering set.  It then came as not a complete surprise when they announced their impending split.  While I can’t say low crowd numbers like this at certain shows would be the reason, it did play on my mind.

As they bowed out with three final UK and Ireland shows they played through most albums equally, their first album perhaps getting the raw deal.  I never felt a lull in either set, and the emotion and adoration in the theatre was high and incredible.  You could see how chuffed the band were on stage and couldn’t help but think “maybe they will change their minds”.  With a show like this, they ended their career on a complete high.

From a shooting perspective I presumed it would be very dark, barely usable silhouette shots from dark blues/purples and pinks/reds like I’ve experienced at their shows in the past, but to my surprise they were pretty well lit for at least a song or two.  The deep blues did arrive but it didn’t completely make things tricky for the shoot. 

Franz Ferdinand: Olympia Theatre by Aaron Corr

Franz Ferdinand have a knack for playing Sunday night shows in Dublin.  The last time they played a few years ago I had just returned from a heavy stag weekend in Sligo and was a little worse for wear.  I was in better shape on this February night for The Thin Air and was looking forward to catching Fontaines D.C.  for the second time.  Alex Kapranos later remarked on stage how Hurricane Laughter was one of his favourite tunes of recent times.

 Fontaines D.C.

Fontaines D.C.

I had mixed feelings about how Franz were going to play out.  The singles were ok but I hadn’t kept going back to them like singles of old.  Any album b-sides I heard or saw performed live on TV or web were not hitting the spot either.  Somehow it all clicked at this gig and I was won over and digging the newly rejuvenated Franz Ferdinand.  I've already my tickets in hand to go see them again with the Killers this Summer.

It was still not the most brilliantly lit show I’ve ever shot, much like their last show in the Olympia, but it still was enough to get some cool shots of Alex jumping.  They have a cool backdrop that was never well lit at the same time as the band.  The third song, Evil Eye was complete darkness except for the background, with Kapranos’s constant movement on stage it made it not even worthy of a god silhouette shot.  So pretty much all the best results from this set are from the first two songs. 

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January Photos by Aaron Corr

 Temple Bar TradFest 2018

Temple Bar TradFest 2018

January was quiet and busy all at once.  How can this be?  Firstly, I was preparing for a big move from my apartment to a house I'd bought with my girlfriend, so there was a lot of stress, dealing with the banks and getting prepared for a move at any given date.  For this reason I tried to keep my diary clear enough.  I did take up one job, helping out with shooting TradFest for the festival.  It ran from a Wednesday to Sunday over the end of the month, and required a lot of running back and forth between venues and churches around the city to cover the required acts.  

 Wallis Bird in Whelans.

Wallis Bird in Whelans.

Big Country in St. Patrick's Cathedral.

 The 4 of Us in Whelans.

The 4 of Us in Whelans.

 Maria Doyle Kennedy in St Werburgh's Church.

Maria Doyle Kennedy in St Werburgh's Church.

 The Oh Hellos in Whelans.

The Oh Hellos in Whelans.

 Ciara Sidine in St. Werburgh's Church.

Ciara Sidine in St. Werburgh's Church.

 Ailbhe Reddy in St. Werburgh's Church.

Ailbhe Reddy in St. Werburgh's Church.

 Rosborough upstairs in Whelans.

Rosborough upstairs in Whelans.

On the Saturday night of TradFest I squeezed in a non-TradFest show upstairs in Whelans to see Rosborough Dublin headline debut.  Since I shot him for Plec Picks in the last month and had only seen him perform acoustically, it was a good chance to catch his live show proper, and he was brilliant.  Given I'd my camera gear with me I felt it was only right that I snapped a few shots.

 Pale Waves in The Grand Social.

Pale Waves in The Grand Social.

I finished off January with Pale Waves in The Grand Social.  They are, pardon the pun, making big waves in the UK and supported The 1975 across the USA so it I figured it would be great to catch them on the rise in such a small venue.  Unfortunately the night before my car was burgled and subsequently written off that day by my insurance, so my mood was not as chirpy as some of their songs.  I used to occassion to have a pint or two to drown my sorrows.

Rosborough: Plec Picks 2018 by Aaron Corr

The GoldenPlec Plec Picks shoot with Rosborough was a last minute addition to my schedule of shoots.  The Derry man was in town to play the Paul McLoone Christmas show in the Workmans Club with Bitch Falcon and Otherkin.  The shoot would have to happen in or around the venue between soundchecks.  I was used to this happening with the GoldenPlec gigs that used to run every month in there, but the need to make the shoot not look the same as all the portrait shoots that has happened there is the tricky part.

I arrived to meet Glenn and set up my usual equipment, Canon 430 EXII Flash on a tripod lit through a soft-box.  I got him to stand and I took some portraits where I’d darken the background so that it is not visible.  There was some reflection of the flash in the doors that I removed or muted in photoshop.  We took some wider shots that takes in the main bar room of Workmans before I made things a little more portable to take photos on the stairway.

I used a portable soft-box, held in my left hand and tested this for a few shots while Glenn sat on the stairs.  I wanted to get a look with the yellow and red steps adding some muted colour to the shots.  We finished up with the same set up on the landing between the ground and first floor.  The look of there has changed since I took Orla Gartland’s portait there so I didn’t feel like I was retreading old turf by shooting there. 

I've seen Rosborough twice now, once acoustic, and the past weekend electric with his drummer.  His voice is incredible, and he really has the potential to have an amazing career.  If you get a chance to catch him live, do it.

Click to read the feature, click here to see my gallery.

Vulpynes: Plec Picks 2018 by Aaron Corr

Vulpynes were the first band I shot for GoldenPlec's Plec Picks for 2018.  Maeve & Kaz hit upon the idea of using the Light House cinema in Smithfield as an interior for some of the shoot.  It was December, it was freezing and the options can be tricky.  We got the go ahead from the manager, and a time for when it wouldn’t be too busy in the halls while screenings were in progress.  The trick to this part of the shoot was balancing the ambient light with the strobe.  I wanted to get these wide shots, but the strobe sometimes would overpower the fairy lights.  While there was no one breathing down our necks to hurry it up, I knew we had to keep things ticking along and not take the piss, so I got to a point where the lighting felt like a happy medium.   

I took some solo snaps of each of the girls, leaving the strobe alone for these shots since being this close to the fairy lights wasn't working to balance the two.

We ventured out to the cold and had a look towards a pub that we hoped to use.  It was busy for a Monday so we nixed that idea.  We moved up towards the Old Woolen Mills area to see what the square there was like.  We shot a few portraits on staircase, I used my portable soft-box for this part of the shoot.

We moved on to a location I'd long had in mind to use.  It was just around the corner from where I live in Dublin 7 and was a corner of a traffic junction, previously a wall with posters on it, and now it's a section of a rustic garden.  I like finding places in the city centre that look like you are somewhere completely different.  I set up the strobe on a tripod with the soft-box and we took within five minutes to take some photos as traffic passed us by.  Maeve and Kaz were great to hang out with and I'm grateful for them to participate in some of the colder shots on the night.  

Click to read the feature, and here for my gallery.