gigs

Boy Pablo: Button Factory by Aaron Corr

I headed to catch Boy Pablo for GoldenPlec on a Bank Holiday Sunday befoer Halloween. I planned to stay for just the three songs as I was tired but the songs were short, catchy and with their penchant to throwing a few pop hits in between to get the crowd going further, I figured I should stay. It was a fun gig and I was surprised by the fandom already on display. I’d never heard of the guy a week previous.

Click here for full gallery.

April Photos by Aaron Corr

Dua Lipa

Dua Lipa

I have been a little slow to update the blog in the last few months.  Between moving house and getting settled, while working and covering gigs, life got the better of me.  Time to get back in the habit.  The first April gig I covered was the first of Dua Lipa's two sold out Olympia shows for GoldenPlec.  Although I didn't stay to watch, the first three songs more than showed that she was a heck of a performer.  The photo pit was busy that night but the lights were so good that it made up for all the bumping of cameras in the pit.  For the first time in a pit I had someone bash the back of my head with their camera.  

Click here for my full gallery.

Dowry

Dowry

I expected to see more live music on Record Store Day this year but they all began in the late afternoon, the weather was superb and I had a BBQ that needed cooking back home.  As a result I just managed to catch Ena Brenna performing as Dowry in Freebird records.  I'd yet to catch her solo so took this opportunity.  

Lyla Foy

Lyla Foy

The only other April gig I photographed was Mercury Rev for The Thin Air, which saw the band celebrating the anniversary of Deserters Songs.  Support came from Lyla Foy.

Mercury Rev

Mercury Rev

The show was a great performance of stories mixed with stripped back versions of their classics, with a Pavement cover thrown in for good measure.  It felt a little like watching a VH1 songwriters show and was very heartwarming.  The songs sound as beautiful as ever, especially in the intimacy of Whelans.

Full gallery here.

Body & Soul Festival 2017 by Aaron Corr

This festival marked two firsts for me.  My first overnight festival where I'm doing photo coverage, and my first Body & Soul.  I've always wanted to go but it's right in the middle of a holiday blackout with my day job and I hated the idea of ruining the fun by leaving the festival early.  What I've found is I've wasted a few trips there and it's time to make up for it.

GoldenPlec sent me with resident reviewer Bernard and we roadtripped to Ballinlough Castle Estate to be greeted with a quick entry through secutiry and in to the Us & You Eco campsite.  My tent was set up in no time and I was amazed to discover all the relevent bits were still there since I last used it at Electric Picnic and couldn't remember what state it was in.  From there it was straight in to watch some bands, starting with Jafaris in the forest on the Pagoda stage.  I followed up with Talos on the main stage and pretty much kept there for the day, covering Anna Meredith and true headliners of the night, Metronomy.

It's now just over a year since I took some portraits of frontman Joseph Mount, and the release of their fourth album.  At the time he said he wouldn't be touring the album and I was a bit heartbroken.  A year later and a handful of gigs lead into festival season and the band make their return to Ireland.  I can sacrifice a headline show in Dublin to see them again at a festival.  I've only ever caught the band at festivals, since they've rarely played their own shows in Ireland, so this wasn't a bad thing.

They were in flying form and had amazing lights to shoot them on stage.  They segue their first three songs together, the same opening three songs from Summer 08, and as I go to leave I get the nod from our photographer liaison that we have one more tune to shoot.  A cool mistake and one I wasn't going to debate.   This was far better shoot than at Longitude 2015, when they were on a higher stage and where wide angle options were not great.  The Body & Soul stage is a cool one to shoot on, but the little raised bit in the centre does get in the way of a good few wide angle band shots from the weekend.  That gripe aside, it was a great start to a weekend's shooting.

After waiting around for final act of the night, Parcels, the festival organiser came onstage to announce that the band was here but their equipment stuck in Berlin.  They were replaced by Le Cool.  This was disapointing as I was really looking forward to seeing what Parcels were like.  I just stayed for one song as it was time to unburden myself of the camera bag and go enjoy the festival's sights at night.

Saturday began with photographing Loah.  I've seen her twice live since I did some portraits with her for Plec Picks 2015 but never shot either of those shows.  It was great to capture her, bright and colourful on stage on a sunny day.  Next up was Icelandic band Mammút.  I didn't hang around to watch their show, they didn't really do much for me.  I went to explore the festival and get some people shots around the walled garden.

I returned to the main stage again to photograph Lambchop.  There was nothing interesting to shooting them so I moved on during the second song and didn't stay.  The day was redeemed by La Femme, a French new wave band whose only song I knew was the one featured in the Renault adverts recently.  They put on a great show, swapping instruments, vocals, dancing around the stage, smoking cigarettes and looking quintessentially French.  

The day was further improved by Sleaford Mods arrival. This was the first time I've caught them live and they were cool to photograph, primarily vocalist Jason Williamson's passion in delivering the words on stage.  I always have a laugh at Andrew Fearn just standing around the back smoking, drinking and pressing play on the laptop.  

Bonobo were my last act to shoot on the main stage.  At first I thought it would just be smoke and silhouettes until their vocalist came onstage during the second song and saved the day and the photos.  She was beutifully lit and greatly improved upon what I was getting from the camera beforehand.  The night finished with King Kong Company in the Midnight Circus Tent.  I tried to shoot in this tent earlier but it was just DJs, low lighting and heavy on red lights.  Not helped was the extra addition to the stage at the front which made for a tight squeeze in the centre of the pit, and made it a no go area for photographers according to security.  Shots were limited for movement as a result, and the lighting didn't get a whole lot better, with dry ice and heavy yellows and purples washing everything out on stage.

Sunday was a better day, starting with Æ MAK.  This is my second time photographing them, after their support of Warpaint recently.  I nearly didn't make the set as I packed my tent to drop to the car, leaving my camera gear in Bernard's tent and locked with my coded lock.  When we returned the combination wouldn't work suddenly and we were stuck.  I managed to squeeze my hand in what little could be zipped open, reached his bag and he pulled out his swiss army knife from the front of it.  A zip was removed and we were in.  All was well again.  

Ailbhe Reddy followed Æ MAK's performance and later on I returned for Sinkane.  The big clash of the day came in the form of the two bands I wanted to see most that day.  Austra and The Moonlandingz. Due to band cancellations, the Midnight Circus timetable was given a reshuffle and hence the clash.  I had fifteen minutes between Austra beginning and Moonlandingz taking to their stage.  I was not missing them for the world.  I stayed for half a song for Austra, hence how limited options I had from their set.  I took a few shots and ran.

The Moonlandingz were so good they deserved a set all to themselves when I submitted them to GoldenPlec.  Lias, aka Johnny Rocket arrived on stage cling film wrapped to his mother, walking backwards to his microphone.  From there she escaped and he took off, launching to the front of the stage, stalking the crowd, dribbling beer and pulling all sorts of shapes an poses.  They are such a good band to shoot live, and I love the music and attitude.  Like Fat White Family, they are a different beast live to on record.  Unfortunately Rebecca Lucy Taylor was absent for backing vocals and her duet on The Strangle of Anna, opting to stay at Glastonbury it seems.  

The second to last band I shot that weekend was Hundred Waters.  This was another band that just didn't stir me at all.  I found the singer to seem a little shy, sometimes seeing the cameras and turning around.  It could have been coincidence but to me and a fellow tog is had an air of unconfidence.  Maybe we were wrong.  

The last act of the festival, Birdy Nam Nam, cancelled and the headline slot was given to Mykki Blanco, upgraded from the Midnight Circus tent.  This was of much benefit given that stage's set up.  We were advised that we could shoot the whole show as he loves photographers.  I chose to stick with the usual three songs as it was cold, late and I wanted to get home to bed as I had work in the morning.  Unfortunately bed was to wait as he had a DJ play for half an hour before he came on stage.  When he did arrive he was like whirlwind, boucing around the red light soaked stage, picking up props and roaming the stage.  I left my zoom lens in the bag and kept to my 24-70mm for the whole set.  By the third song he jumped into the crowd and got them to form a circle pit.  This was the best part of the shoot and a great way to end the weekend.

So I've talked about the bands a bit, now it's time to show off the people, the festival goers and music lovers.  It's a great festival for people to dress up and not give a damn.  I didn't realise there was so much going on around the site to encourage this, secret parties, raves, masked balls and wine parties.  I didn't see the half of it.  Maybe next year.

March In Photos by Aaron Corr

March was one of the busiest months I’ve had in quite a while.  Make hay while the sun shines and while the music is good.  I started with Hamilton Laithauser (minus Rostam, ex-Vampire Weekend, who he had made his new album with) in Workmans Club.  I’d seen the Walkmen a few times before but I never realized how tall he was, it took me by surprise as he came out and towered over the small stage in Workos.  It was an hour set and was brilliant from start to finish.  I’ve always loved his voice in The Walkmen, and his solo songs were a lot more personable, and laced with a bit more story, given a humorous background preceding them.  I made sure to get a vinyl signed by him after the show as he drank a pint of Guinness.

Full gallery here.

Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats were on town before St Paddy's Day to play the Jameson Bow Street Sessions in the Academy for competition winners.  The night before they played a private acoustic gig, streamed live on YouTube and other sites, in the newly refurbished distillery.  GoldenPlec had the chance to interview him and have some behind the scenes photos taken.  I had asked if this brief opportunity would afford me the chance to take a proper portrait but it was just to be for BTS shots, so I left additional flash gear at home and shot with the natural light in the room.  

He was a cool and charming guy.  It was nice to mingle with him and the band after the show.  I had won a Jameson prize last year which still was reaping me benefits this year, so as a result of that I was on the list to go see him do his proper show the next night.  They were fantastic, full of enthusiasm and great stage presence from everyone on stage.

Full gallery here.

When I saw that Rick Astley had sold out the Olympia and that the job was for the taking at GoldenPlec I knew I should do it for the craic.  It’s become a funny talking point in chats with friends since, everyone asks “well, how was the tune live?” but unfortunately I opted not to stay since I had 8 gigs to shoot in 2 weeks and many of the others were gigs I would be staying for the full show.  I did hear one hit song of his in my three song shoot so I was happy with that.

It was a busy photo pit.  Light wise he was very well lit, as you would hope and expect.  The frustrating part is that the rest of the stage can’t be accounted for in many shots otherwise I’d risk over-exposing his face.  Rick was the man of the evening so the camera settings had to be dictated by how he was lit, therefore the rest is underexposed.  He moved around a lot, making sure to cover all sides of the crowd.  Once I’d many a nice shot set up he’d move on quite fast.  Still, it was a fun one to shoot and it’s good to see him enjoying it so long after his initial fame.

Full gallery here.

Ride came to the Olympia Theatre the night after Rick.  I've never, ever listened to them, but I decided to do it given the hullabaloo about them reforming and talk from folk online being very excited for them at previous festivals I'd been to.  It was a busy photo pit again that night, many of whom were big fans of the band.  As the pictures prove, there was lots of purple and blue lights (a pain to post process when over-saturated).  Again, because I had a busy weekend ahead of me I decided not to stay on for more of the gig.  The time it can take to edit would mean I'd be behind before the weekend begins if I don't crack on and begin that night.  

Full gallery here.

On the Friday of the week was the big gig for me.  The Moonlandingz.  They brought Goat Girl along for the tour with them.  I had just missed the opening set by Vulpynes, who were chosen by the band when they put out a call for female bands to apply to support on the tour.  

I was looking forward to The Moonlandingz show since it was announced.  Fat White Family played Whelans the year before and it was one of, if not, my gig of year.  It was mayhem, it was a gig that stands out from everything else and this was my hopes for Lias Saoudi's other project, and I was not disappointed.  They opened with three of their biggest songs, the type that you would have expected nearer the end of any other band's show.  Immediately the crowd was going nuts for them.  From a shooting perspective (I didn't shoot the FWF gig) it seemed a bit easier of a shoot than the Fat White's show but it was still mayhem and a mad experience at the front of the crowd, with no photo pit, and battling against the current as everyone moshed.  The lights were consistent, the only time I'd change settings was when Lias jumped into the crowd.    

Lias, or Johnny Rocket as he is known in this venture, was wrapped in cling film, with a roll of kitchen paper tucked inside, smeared with oil/Vaseline and black painted eyebrows.  He writhed around on stage, jumped into the crowd, crawled around the stage and clung to Rebecca Lucy Taylor during their duet on the Strangle of Anna.  It was a spectacle and another gig the likes of which you rarely see these days.  If you've not seen them yet, then what are you waiting for?  Go!!

Full gallery here.

I had the desire to shoot Austra again in the Button Factory but I hadn't got around to sorting it out versus just going as a punter.  The day before the show I got asked to cover it for The Thin Air so the stars aligned perfectly.  I love this band and Katie Stelmanis' voice.  Exhausted from The Moonlandingz show and the late night that followed, and armed with a fractured finger from the night, I again faced no photo pit and a squeeze through the crowd to shoot the band.  I unfortunately missed the support from Pixx, which looked like a great set to shoot.

Full gallery here.

The Sunday of the weekend left no rest for the wicked but at least a more chilled affair to shoot.  Warpaint in Vicar Street with support from Æ MAK.  I'd yet to see them live, so when I saw their name last minute as support I legged it from my apartment to the venue to be there on time.  The duo who front the band danced their way in sync through each song and provided some cool shots in the process.  

I last shot Warpaint from the aisles of the National Concert Hall last year, so now I got to get up close to shoot from the pit (finally a pit this weekend!!) for The Thin Air.  The lighting conditions were not as ideal as the last time, heavy, low lit blues, purples and smoke drenched the stage.  The harsh colours washed over most of the shots that it made editing another nightmare to get through.  The band had some fairy lights draped over potted plants behind them, which would have made a nice background, however this had limited effect in the results.  The band were great and wound down my weekend perfectly over a pint, watching from the balcony.  

Before I had time to get too settled on the couch after work on a Monday evening I had to get back out there and cover the Car Seat Headrest gig in The Academy.  Traams were the support and played a blinder.  The three song shoot was a lengthy one due to how long their songs went.  I ended up with far more photos than I typically do for a support act, mainly because they were cool to shoot.  I far prefer these results to the headliner's shots.

Car Seat Headrest came on to a dimly lit, and more smoke filled stage than what had preceded them and kicked straight into it.  The guitarist was the most interesting band member to shoot on stage but he was in a shadow a lot of the time.  It wasn't too bad a shoot overall but I don't think anything really pops out for me.  As the gig drew on and I took to the balcony to watch, they kept breaking strings and having to swap guitars and re-string where they could.  It still made for a good gig.

Full gallery here.

After a day's rest from shooting I got back to it for Stormzy in the Olympia Theatre.  I had no idea what to expect since he had not toured in six months and this was his first show back in action.  The crowd was very young and chanting ahead of him taking to the stage.  Annie MAc was in the balcony to watch the show.  The anticipation was huge.  

As he took to the stage and kicked into it, he would stride across the stage in the dark, dim reds and blues barely lighting him.  It was panic stations in the photo pit.  Thank god for the few minutes he took to chat to the crowd in between the second and third song.  This was where we could snap away while he was lit.  The third song thankfully had better lighting and provided some further shots of him in action.  Overall it was not the easiest of shoots and I did think I came out with nothing to show from it.

Full gallery here.

The final gig of March was going to be a belter of show.  Run the Jewels with support by The Gaslamp Killer, once again in the Olympia Theatre.  It was hard to judge when the three song shoot would be over, I shot and left within five minutes.  Although he was cool to shoot, there is still not much variety in shooting a DJ.

Run the Jewels were epic.  It sold out in no time and the venue was buzzing.  Killer Mike and El-P were brilliant to shoot, they barely stop moving on stage but at least when one passes you by, the other isn't far away.  The lights were definitely not of the Stormzy variety which was a relief.  The pit was busy with photographers once more, but this time the band had a videographer shooting with a unit to steady the camera, which proved another obstacle to avoid.

I leave a busy March to have a quiet April.  It's been a busy month with personal stuff and I'm planning a big trip with work that I'm morphing into a holiday in which I will be gone for 15 days, my longest trip away ever I'd say.  So with that I may be quiet for a little while but on my return I hope to bombard the blog with pictures from Orlando, Miami and the Bahamas.  Until next time, adios.

Full gallery here.

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.  

July Gigs - Popicalia Returns by Aaron Corr

July was another quiet month for me shooting gigs.  I took a week off work at the start of the month to travel some of the Wild Atlantic Way which I'll blog about in another post, but he rest of the month seemed to just be more festivals.  Festivals I wasn't attending as sad as that is.  One gig I had on my radar to cover for The Thin Air was Popicalia Returns, the 22nd Popicalia gig after an absence of  2 1/2 years, featuring Squarehead, Land Lovers & Ginnels.  I'll not rehash what was said in the review so you can click here to have a read of that.  It was my first time in Bello Bar so I was glad for a change of scenery from my usual haunts.  

Click the any image to see the full gallery.

Non photo related, I ventured over to Leeds to see The Cribs in Leeds Millennium Square.  Danny Payne has great coverage of that gig that I'm very jealous of.  It was an epic gig, with support from local acts plus... Thurston Moore!!  Other gigs I  went to but didn't shoot were Pixies in Iveagh Gardends & Longitude.  I headed along the Sunday to see Christine & the Queens, Kurt Vile and The National.  Christine is someone I have to try photograph when she returns.

Ginnels

Ginnels

Land Lovers

Land Lovers

Squarehead

Squarehead

June Gigs by Aaron Corr

My first gig of June was the beloved hip hop group De La Soul.  The guys were fun to shoot, animated, walking the length and breadth of the stage and giving some good poses for the cameras.  The lights were consistent, the only problem often being when a band member was too close to the front, by the sides of the stage and were in shadow.  The most confusing part was when all the photographers would look at each other in between a song wondering if we had covered the first three songs or not, because everything bled into one another early in the set.  Overall they were a great band to shoot.

My first gig of June was the beloved hip hop group De La Soul.  The guys were fun to shoot, animated, walking the length and breadth of the stage and giving some good poses for the cameras.  The lights were consistent, the only problem often being when a band member was too close to the front, by the sides of the stage and were in shadow.  The most confusing part was when all the photographers would look at each other in between a song wondering if we had covered the first three songs or not, because everything bled into one another early in the set.  Overall they were a great band to shoot.

I had other photo shoots, music and non music related, during the month of June as well as a holiday, I didn't get shooting another gig until the end of the month.  Luckily a fellow photographer was double booked for Sigur Ros in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham so I got to take his spot once it was free.    I tried to make it up in time to shoot James Vincent McMorrow supporting but after a long day shooting in the rain at Hell and Back in Bray, (in which my Canon 6D suffered the effects of the rain and found itself housed in a bag of rice for the next two days) I was left facing a packed Luas with no room to get on, more rain and little time to make it to the venue and register for my pass.  I retreated to home, thankfully only a street away from the Luas stop.  Due to my 6D being out of action all I had on the night was my Canon 7D and having to swap lenses between or mid song, which I've grown out of the habit of doing when I've got two camera bodies at a show.  For Sigur Ros we were granted five songs to shoot, however three of which they would be at the back of the stage behind a screen for most of that time.  My fellow photographers and I stood around in the pit, waiting as they played, wondering was there any shots that could be got from this portion of the shoot but it was a waste of time, not helped by the stage being incredibly high for a smaller scale outdoor show.  This left us with two songs to shoot but thankfully Sigur Ros aren't exactly fast paced with their tunes.  There was just the three members of the band touring and the drummer was obscured for the most part.  As standard, singer  Jónsi was the main focus during the shoot.  Capturing him playing with his bow is a nice change from a standard guitar band and he's very expressive when he sings and made for some great shots.

I had other photo shoots, music and non music related, during the month of June as well as a holiday, I didn't get shooting another gig until the end of the month.  Luckily a fellow photographer was double booked for Sigur Ros in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham so I got to take his spot once it was free.  

I tried to make it up in time to shoot James Vincent McMorrow supporting but after a long day shooting in the rain at Hell and Back in Bray, (in which my Canon 6D suffered the effects of the rain and found itself housed in a bag of rice for the next two days) I was left facing a packed Luas with no room to get on, more rain and little time to make it to the venue and register for my pass.  I retreated to home, thankfully only a street away from the Luas stop.  Due to my 6D being out of action all I had on the night was my Canon 7D and having to swap lenses between or mid song, which I've grown out of the habit of doing when I've got two camera bodies at a show.

For Sigur Ros we were granted five songs to shoot, however three of which they would be at the back of the stage behind a screen for most of that time.  My fellow photographers and I stood around in the pit, waiting as they played, wondering was there any shots that could be got from this portion of the shoot but it was a waste of time, not helped by the stage being incredibly high for a smaller scale outdoor show.  This left us with two songs to shoot but thankfully Sigur Ros aren't exactly fast paced with their tunes.  There was just the three members of the band touring and the drummer was obscured for the most part.  As standard, singer Jónsi was the main focus during the shoot.  Capturing him playing with his bow is a nice change from a standard guitar band and he's very expressive when he sings and made for some great shots.

Two nights after Sigur Ros I got to cover another band to cover for another photographer who couldn't make it.  Rain prevented me from going up early again to cover support from Vince Staples.  I just checked my Canon 6D ahead of the show and it was backing working as normal and I was not taking the risk of bringing it out while it was heavily raining, regardless of me using a rain cover.  The band were behind their big units that hold their keyboards, synths, laptops, drum pads etc and given the already high stage, this made for little variety in the style of shots you could get, especially given there is only two band members and no touring guest singers.  They opened with White Noise and I've never experienced a bass volume like it.  The PA were right in front of us across the front of the stage and the vibration from the deep bass caused me to fear the brown note would become a thing of reality at any second.  It was very disorientating and we all looked at each other with similar glances, everyone with a look of "I've never experienced this before".  Ear Plugs did not help the effects it had on the ears either.  By the third song I was bored of shooting the two lads in the band and turned my camera to the very young crowd and tried to get some shots of the front row's enthusiasm or people on shoulders, singing in the crowd.  Though boring to shoot, the results weren't as bad as I thought they would be as I made my way to the show.

Two nights after Sigur Ros I got to cover another band to cover for another photographer who couldn't make it.  Rain prevented me from going up early again to cover support from Vince Staples.  I just checked my Canon 6D ahead of the show and it was backing working as normal and I was not taking the risk of bringing it out while it was heavily raining, regardless of me using a rain cover.

The band were behind their big units that hold their keyboards, synths, laptops, drum pads etc and given the already high stage, this made for little variety in the style of shots you could get, especially given there is only two band members and no touring guest singers.  They opened with White Noise and I've never experienced a bass volume like it.  The PA were right in front of us across the front of the stage and the vibration from the deep bass caused me to fear the brown note would become a thing of reality at any second.  It was very disorientating and we all looked at each other with similar glances, everyone with a look of "I've never experienced this before".  Ear Plugs did not help the effects it had on the ears either.

By the third song I was bored of shooting the two lads in the band and turned my camera to the very young crowd and tried to get some shots of the front row's enthusiasm or people on shoulders, singing in the crowd.  Though boring to shoot, the results weren't as bad as I thought they would be as I made my way to the show.

Bonus:  I mentioned I went on holidays in June, this was to Primavera in Barcelona.  How could I turn down a line up with Radiohead, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala to name but a few.  It was different from the last time I attended two years ago, heavily giving VIP ticket holders easy access to pits in front of the main stages and leaving the rest of us to watch from farther away.  Something I am not used to doing at most festivals as I do like to get a closer look when I can.    I brought my little point and shoot, nothing fancy and snapped what I could.  Radiohead were possibly the highlight of the weekend, delivering an incredible set that had it's fair share of classics while also covering a good portion of the new album.  The audience around where I stood were so respectfully quiet throughout which was a delight, given how much people talked during sets like Brian Wilson during the weekend and pissed me and others off.

Bonus:

I mentioned I went on holidays in June, this was to Primavera in Barcelona.  How could I turn down a line up with Radiohead, PJ Harvey, LCD Soundsystem, Tame Impala to name but a few.  It was different from the last time I attended two years ago, heavily giving VIP ticket holders easy access to pits in front of the main stages and leaving the rest of us to watch from farther away.  Something I am not used to doing at most festivals as I do like to get a closer look when I can.  

I brought my little point and shoot, nothing fancy and snapped what I could.  Radiohead were possibly the highlight of the weekend, delivering an incredible set that had it's fair share of classics while also covering a good portion of the new album.  The audience around where I stood were so respectfully quiet throughout which was a delight, given how much people talked during sets like Brian Wilson during the weekend and pissed me and others off.

PJ Harvey gave Radiohead a run for their money with her long awaited return.  She is just mesmerizing every time and never one to just phone it in with a retread of how she has hosted a tour before.  Her new album is brilliant and even better live.  Click a photo to view full galleries.  P.S. I'm conscious of the lack of continuity with no watermarks on the Primavera photos but as they are just "fan shots" from the crowd I didn't see the point.  P.P.S. I got to shoot my first portrait shoot of the year with the highest profile act I've got to cover yet.  That will be unveiled in the coming months.  

PJ Harvey gave Radiohead a run for their money with her long awaited return.  She is just mesmerizing every time and never one to just phone it in with a retread of how she has hosted a tour before.  Her new album is brilliant and even better live.

Click a photo to view full galleries.

P.S. I'm conscious of the lack of continuity with no watermarks on the Primavera photos but as they are just "fan shots" from the crowd I didn't see the point.

P.P.S. I got to shoot my first portrait shoot of the year with the highest profile act I've got to cover yet.  That will be unveiled in the coming months.  

December Gigs by Aaron Corr

Wyvern Lingo

Wyvern Lingo

Wyvern Lingo are a band that have escaped me since I’ve heard about them, first from a GoldenPlec colleague while we worked on a video.  They play frequently yet I’ve never managed to catch them so I was delighted to hear they were opening for Marina & the Diamonds in the Academy (the only non Olympia shoot I had all month).  I enjoyed their short set, including a cover of Alt-J’s Left Hand Free.  The lights were the same throughout, purple/blue and no variation.  

Marina & the Diamonds

Marina & the Diamonds

I had looked forward to this show for a while.  Marina Diamandis is someone who always looks like she puts on a great show, wears loads of cool, different, custom-made outfits and has a strong and very loyal fanbase.  While I've never fully warmed to her music I will admit to getting to grips with the songs more on the night and really enjoying the show.  The only shame was not being able to capture the various costume changes to add variety to the mix.  If I had a complaint it would be that it was a little bit of a struggle to get a good shot of her without the microphone in front of her face.  It was a busy photo pit so I had to be mindful of how I got around to try and get shots.

El Vy

El Vy

The Sunday of the El vy gig was a hectic day.  I was back in Clare, staying at my sister's, got woke up by her kids to play, had to go to Limerick to do a band photo shoot for GoldenPlec, go to a children's Christmas party and then get back to Dublin to shoot the El Vy show.  It was well worth it.  they played their full debut album and a cover of Fine Young Cannibals 'She Drives Me Crazy'.  Matt was in flying form and the upgrade from Whelans to Vicar St was very welcome. 

To lights were quite dark for shooting but the spotlights they brought added great effect to the shots.  Matt had a large box splitting the photo pit so he could get in towards the crowd more.  This made getting from one side to the other more difficult, so that when I went from left to right I ended up staying put.

Ash

Ash

The night after my heavy hitting work Christmas party I had the ash gig to shoot.  I was fit for bed but I grinned and bared it and was glad I did.  It was a hit laden set with some new songs in the mix as you'd expect.  Tim Wheeler looks as young as ever and the classics sound every bit as good as when they were released.  I like them as a three piece though I do miss the added extra guitar and backing vocals that Charlotte Hatherley used to provide to fill them out.  It was my last gig of the year to shoot and I only realised that when I was in the pit.