Band of Horses

BNQT: The Button Factory by Aaron Corr

BNQT were originally to play Vicar Street but the show was moved to Button Factory, most likely because unfortunately the word is not very widespread as to who the band actually are.  Comprising predominantly of Midlake, with Fran Healy from Travis, Jason Lytle from Grandaddy ontour, with added recording contributions from Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand & Ben Bridwell from Band of Horses.  On the plus side, this made for a more intimate viewing and listening pleasure for all who were in attendance to see them play a mix of songs from all their respective bands, and some excellent covers of Neil Young, Tom Petty and the Beatles to boot.

I covered the show for The Thin Air.  From a photography standpoint, although the lighting looks good, it primarily required a very high ISO for a lot of the three songs at the start of the show.  Since there are no rules given to shooting shows in this venue I used my camera later in the show as things mixed up a little, and for the final song where it looked like a party on stage.  They were joined by their support, Chris Stills, mid set for a few songs, with him returning for the encore sing-a-long as it was his last show of the tour with the band.  This is a show that may end up on my end of year list.

February In Photos by Aaron Corr

I began February with an Access All Areas for Fangclub's headline show in Whelans for GoldenPlec.  An AAA shoot involves a lot of hanging around while the band loads in, sound checks and hang out backstage.  It's always in the back of my head to keep out of the way as much as possible and give everyone their space to get on with their jobs, and not be in their face too much when it comes to down time backstage.  

I headed in just after the band loaded in and would snap away as they got the stage set up and sound-checked.  The lights on stage were looking impressive and there was a neat backdrop, both of which are rarities to see in a Whelans show.   For backstage shots I tried to use flash as little as possible.  The shot above of Steven and Kev on the couch was one of the only shots I used a flash for pre-gig.

The show itself was heavy on strobes, low lights and harsh red/purple lights.  It was the trickiest part of the shoot funnily enough, given the earlier light tests provided some cool shots.  The lights were now a trickier affair to get the band in the right light at the right time.  I made sure to make my way to the back of the stage to catch Steven crowd surfing during the final song.  I was very tempted to run out to the front of the stage to get a closer shot but as it is a small stage I didn't want to risk being in the way as he was thrust back on to it.  After the gig I finished the AAA with a shot of the three guys ready for some post-gig celebrations.

Sometimes there are gigs you get landed with on the day, the original photographer can't make it for one reason or another so you step in to help out.  Leading up to this show I had thought "Band of Horses would be an alright show to shoot", so luck was on my side courtesy of The Thin Air.  Vicar Street is a 5-10 minute walk from my apartment so I made my way up in good time before the band would take to the stage.  The lights beforehand were great looking but by the time they came on they took a dull turn and the smoke machine was turned on.  This turned it into a tougher shoot than I'd expected it to be but there are some shots that came from this that I'm delighted with, particularly of Ben Bridwell screaming into the microphone while the drummer's hair is swinging in the air behind him.  The first song is where the majority of my shots came from, the other two songs were pretty useless for lighting and a waste to shoot.

The Divine Comedy was a Sunday night gig.  I was in one of those lazy, hungover moods where it felt like a drag to have to go from the couch, walk the cold quays at night and make my way to Bord Gais Energy Theatre to shoot a show.  It was worth it though.  The venue restricts photographers to shoot from the side so the variety of shots is minimal which is a shame.  What made it worthwhile were the two spare seats that were beside me and another photographer as we shot the gig, so we sat down and enjoyed the set after the three song shoot.  I had no notions of staying since it's an all seated show and not something you can just blend into a crowd when done like other shows.  The set provided loads of nostalgic moments with songs I hadn't listened to in years.