September Photos by Aaron Corr

Pixie Geldof

Pixie Geldof

The Thin Air sent me on my first trip to The Ruby Sessions in Doyles Pub to catch Pixie Geldof play her first Irish show ahead of the release of her debut album.  I had the expectation that it was just a show case for her and that I would be in and out quickly.  Once I was in, and had a spot in the corner of the room, I was quickly surrounded and unable to move from my spot, even to get a drink.  Contrary to expectations, I was going nowhere until it was over.  



The first support was from Sive, who I had shot live and a quick portrait of previously in the Workmans Club on one of their GoldenPlec nights.  She has a great voice and some good melodies, beginning without her guitar and using only an mbira to accompany her.  It was a great way to showcase her voice.   Sitting where I was I initially was worried that taking photos from there would be quite invasive during these quiet performances, but it wasn't too bad, especially given the amount of American tourists who were now sitting between me and the singers.  I kept my snapping to a minimum, firing single shots as opposed to bursts.  There was little variety to get given movement was not an option.



Next up was Derry musician Rosborough, playing his first solo performance as he is normally accompanied by his band.  I found this hard to believe as he has quite a powerful voice and I can't imagine that he has never showcased it in this way before.  

Pixie Geldof

Pixie Geldof

Due to the heat of the venue and the amount of candles lighting the room, I was parched.  There was only a few minutes changeover between acts and I needed to crouch on the 'stage' and leg it to the bar to get something to drink.  On my way back I saw Pixie Geldof making her way to the stage.  I had to near knock her over to rush back to my spot before it was too late.  The rush was in vain as she was the only performer to have additional musicians on stage with her, a pianist and guitarist, and they were still getting set up.

The lighting was the same as the support so there was barely any changes to the camera settings throughout the night.  Again I snapped at a slower pace to not annoy anyone around me, and could listen more intently to the songs.  She has a really nice, soothing voice and easy going tunes.  I'll be curious to hear more from her when her album drops.

Jamie T

Jamie T

The shooting highlight of the month was Jamie T in the Olympia Theatre.  I was shooting on behalf of the promoter, MCD.  Since his return in the last few years he has got bigger and bigger in the UK.  The adoration he had surprised me as I had mostly forgotten all about him from the days when MTV2 existed, at least in the version of MTV2 in the noughties heyday.  Just as surprising was the fandom that existed in Ireland, especially among younger fans in the crowd.  I should note it was an over 14s gig too.  My friends and I wondered how these young fans got so obsessively in to his music.  It was cool to see.

I digress, it was a decent show to shoot but quite frustrating at times.  He was great at coming out to the front of the stage towards the crowd, the problem being the lighting guy would never light up the front or the crowd as he did so.  This left me with many silhouette shots, many of them of no use because you couldn't even see the crowd when trying to get a wider shot.  When he was behind the microphone he was very obscured by it, more so than many other performers.  The backdrop provided and interesting background though, so when you could get a good shot of him, it was cool to incorporate this in when shooting.  

I stayed on for the rest of the show since I was with a friend and I enjoyed how it was much more rockier show than I expected.  However, given I don't know a huge amount of his music, bar the singles and what I had listened to that day, I found it all a little samey after the mid way point.  It was a long show after all, nearer two hours, which can be tough when you don't know the artist.  The crowd lapped it up and were singing most of the lyrics back to him throughout the night.  

Click any image for full gallery.

Weapons of Choice #3 - Meltybrains? by Aaron Corr

I met up with Meltybrains? in Volt studios, where they rehearsed, back in May and interviewed them for my Weapons of Choice feature with GoldenPlec.  I had only caught the band live once prior to then, supporting tUnE-yArDs in Vicar Street and was interested in discovering more about them via the feature.  

This was my first time running a band interview and I was quite daunted given the hyperactive and giddy nature of the band.  I didn't know entirely how I'd write up the piece since I've always interviewed one person at a time and wrote the feature in first person.  When you're transcribing an interview where everyone is talking over each other, and you're trying to remember who is saying what at every given time, you've got your work cut out for you.

The guys were a great laugh, every bit as mad as I expected.  My fellow GoldenPlec colleague Sean Smyth joined me, and took some behind the scenes shots which didn't make their way in to the post once it was all put together.  He caught some fun shots of the laughter had during the interview and some of the rehearsal room antics, keyboard fights and the drums as they got torn apart.  

For the portraits, we left the rehearsal room to shoot outside the studio.  The lads saw my little Toyota Starlet and all wanted to cram in for some shots.  

After that the plan was to get them all in a skip and just do what they felt like doing in front of the camera.  It's great shooting with a band who are open to anything, not afraid of embarrassment, throw their ideas out there and don't hold back.  

To see the rest of the photos click here.



Sleep Thieves by Aaron Corr

What started as a Weapon of Choice feature turned into a full blown interview with the band.  I made the rookie error of handing in a 4,000+ word transcription to my editor without thinking twice about it.  Therefore all the gear talk took a back seat to all the other things we talked about.

A few months before I'd done a feature with Sorcha before and arranged to do this feature with her.  I met up with the band in their rehearsal studio in Dublin city centre and, aware of their tight rehearsal schedule, tried to keep things quick and get out of their way in good time.  I hit record and before I knew it I had 52 minutes recorded with the band.  

The space was tight for using the softball and Tripod but I managed to squeeze it in and get the shots.  Funnily enough this was the same rehearsal room I'd take rehearsal shots of Bitch Falcon the day of the GoldenPlec cover shoot.

I may post the gear details in another blog post but for now here is the main interview feature itself.  Click either picture to see.

Weapons of Choice #1 - New Valley Wolves by Aaron Corr

Here is the first Weapons of Choice feature I created for GoldenPlec.  This was a road test to see how the feature would take shape, both written and for photos.  Follow up features have changed look and layout but for a first go, I was happy with the results.

I had met Jonny from New Valley Wolves when they supported my mates Fox Jaw in The Grand Social.  They were a heavy, loud, distortion fuelled duo that had a sound that should/will be filling rooms far bigger than that night.  This made Jonny a clear front runner to get in touch and talk about guitars, pedals, learning to play and writing.

Click the images to see the feature in full, and for the full set of photos click here.