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.
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.
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.