Super Furry Animals made their long awaited return to Dublin to play Fuzzy Logic and Radiator in full in the Olympia Theatre. They've been sorely missed and seeing them back on the stage was one of the brightest musical moments of a dark 2016. I was covering it for The Thin Air.They came on to a smoky stage in their white laboratory jumpsuits and blasted into God! Show Me Magic. From the pit we had some elements to battle, the smoke, the low lights and harsh lights and how they reflected off the jumpsuits. Fuzzy Birds brought with it some deep blues on stage. The one element that was hardest to catch was when they'd hold up a sign for "Side One" or "Applause" as they'd never light the stage in between songs, along with the animal stage props to the right hand side by Bunf. With a brighter stage it would have been great to have caught all elements of their show better.
The rules for the show were a little different in that photographers could shoot the last two songs as well as the first three. This meant we got to catch the band in their Yeti outfits. The lights still didn't get any better but there was flashes of house lights on stage as the band wrapped up The Man Don't Give a Fuck. These moments were my favourite in trying to capture the band at their most fun. Great gig, great albums, great band.
Teenage Fanclub turned out to be my final gig of the year. I had my name in the hat for Red Hot Chili Peppers in the 3Arena but I took my name out the day before after deciding to see Rogue One for a second time in IMAX 3D. The following day they cancelled their Dublin dates so it was never going to be.
The last time I saw them was in Dolans on their Greatest Hits tour, and I felt really young in the crowd then. It wasn't that feeling this time around unfortunately but the band haven't lost anything over the years, especially their harmonies. The lights were pretty consistent and the band well lit which made for an easy shoot. The tighter Academy pit with five photographers getting in and around each other was the only obstacle, however there were some late comers who didn't make the first two as the band were on that little bit earlier than listed. There's no amazing shots in the set but for the most part it was a well lit, easy shooting experience.
I did my first press launch for a major gig announcement. The rumour mill was big that this would be Guns 'n Roses, would it be Croke Park, would it be Slane? Maybe it was something completely different. Either way I knew it would be big so I put my hand up to attend for GoldenPlec and see what came of it. The GnR hunch was right and a few of us there were giddy at the thoughts of a band member being there in secret to announce it and give us an amazing photo opp but it wasn't to be. Lord Henry Mountcharles offspring were there to announce it an pose for the photos. There was a lot of media there and experts at pushing people aside and shouting for them to look their way. It was a bit of a cattle mart and a little outside my comfort zone but still worth doing.
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