British music

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.

London Grammar: Olympia Theatre by Aaron Corr

This is my second time photographing London Grammar live, this time for The Thin Air.  My first experience shooting the band was in the Academy and midway through the second song their tour manager came out to tell photographers to stop moving in the pit.  From that point on we had to stand still where we were, which left me at the far side, away from singer Hannah Reid.  This was unfortunate, and the lighting was tricky at that show.

This time in the Olympia they were more prepared and had tape along the ground in which no one, not even security were to pass.  It wasn't the worst restriction I've had placed on me at a show, the only downside was that the right side was crap to shoot from.  Hannah had her back turned or was obscured by the keyboards & synths for the most part.  When Dominic moved to the drums he was that bit too obscured, a bit more reach would have done the trick to catch a better photo but the line was right there to stop me.  The results of the show were nice and the edit after was one of the quickest to go through since light was near consistent, which is always a bonus.  This turned out to be a nice tour to shoot.

December Gigs by Aaron Corr

Super Furry Animals

Super Furry Animals

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

Teenage Fanclub

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.

Guns 'n Roses Slane Press Launch

Guns 'n Roses Slane Press Launch

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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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.  

Sive

Sive

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.

Rosborough

Rosborough

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.  

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