Tag: Gig Photography

Arcade Fire Deliver Everything Now At Wembley Arena

Arcade Fire end the second night of their Wembley Arena run with a traditional New Orleans-style second line parade. Joined by that city’s Preservation Hall Jazz Band, they perform David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel while making their way through the crowd. As with everything tonight, the experience is vividly captured on camera and projected onto the four giant screens above each side of the stage. But what’s most striking about this footage isn’t how immediate it feels, it’s the joy it captures. The audience aren’t just singing along and taking pictures. Some are outright grinning, others are clearly overwhelmed, most...

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The Fratellis Have A Sweet Time @ Kentish Town Forum

The Fratellis have been a band I’ve always admired. They seem to have released album after album and I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every one of those songs. Their upbeat tempo can get you out of a rut and leave you feeling in a great mood. Whistle For The Choir was the chosen song for the first dance at my wedding. Fortunately my love for the Scottish trio lasted longer than my marriage! It was great to get the chance to catch them perform live again. I last saw them over ten years ago at the now demolished...

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The Guitar God Robin Trower Plays Hometown Show @ Islington Assembly Hall

As London braved snowmageddon and getting anywhere was a case of determination and luck, a living legend, Robin Trower, was headlining a sold-out gig at Islington Assembly Hall. Despite the weather, or should I say, transport conditions, the fans came out in their masses and filled up the venue to capacity. Some diehards even waited outside in the cold for any last minute ticket returns. The Sari Schorr Trio opened the night for Robin. The American singer-songwriter was accompanied by the exceptional blues guitarist Ash Wilson and Hammond organ wizard Bob Fridzema, who’s known from his previous work with...

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The Bad Flowers, Jared James Nichols & Stone Broken Prove Rock Is Alive And Well

Just days after Muse frontman Matt Bellamy announced the death of rock ’n’ roll, and guitars in general, three bands playing Islington Assembly Hall prove how wrong he is. Midlands hard rock trio The Bad Flowers are first to take the stage. The band, who recently released their first studio album Starting Gun, have already grabbed the attention of Planet Rock, scoring a nomination for The Rocks 2018 Awards in the Best New Band category. A sold-out headline show at Islington Assembly Hall will soon be a reality for these talented men. For the moment they’re first on the...

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Kashena Sampson Showcase Provides American Sun On A Winter’s Night

Kashena Sampson, a new singer-songwriter from Nashville, made her London debut with an inspiring performance at Hackney’s Paper Dress Vintage. Despite the cold winter night, Americana lovers found their way to one of the city’s more unusual venues. Located above (and part of) a clothing shop, Paper Dress Vintage is one of those places you wouldn’t expect live music to be played. Yet it is, and the fully packed club proves there are times when first impressions couldn’t be more wrong. On the night of the Americana Music Association UK (AMA-UK) Conference Music Showcase, the venue becomes a home for...

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Dirty Sister Stir Up Water Rats

Showcase nights that throw together different groups of musicians spanning a mix of styles are always fun to go along to, opening your ears to a range of talent. And so tonight we bounced from the rocking tones of Doctor Da Vinci to the growling screams of metalers Rank Outsiders and onto the delicate, dulcet tones of solo keyboardist/vocalist Conrad before bouncing London duo Dirty Sister grace the Water Rats’ stage. The indistinguishable tones of a Bouzouki, a Greek stringed instrument for the uninitiated, kick off the duo’s set, the instrument’s imposing form and intricate detailing ensuring Tom Bridle...

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Photo Story Frank Turner @ Tunbridge Wells Forum

The Forum at Tunbridge Wells has an enviable reputation for booking the next big thing before it’s the next big thing.  This has resulted in it surviving far longer than most small venues. Being able to get a slot to play there is seen as an endorsement and a possibly a predictor of things to come. Now in its 25th year of operation a few names have been invited back to celebrate this success and to promote grass roots venues and talent. Frank Turner first played here years ago as a member of Million Dead before embarking on a...

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Sari Schorr Rising Star Of Blues-Rock Firmament @ Half Moon Putney

Some bands are lucky enough to have time to rehearse before they gig whilst others might just have to rely on what they have in there head and hearts. Sari Schorr & The Engine Room certainly fall into the second category. The band only got together few days before the tour kicked off in Half Moon Putney. This is the blues after all and you don’t rehearse the blues! The group, now powered by phenomenal Ash Wilson on lead guitar, keyboard/organ player Bob Fridzema, known from an earlier collaboration with King King and Joanne Shaw Taylor, Mat Beable on...

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King King Let Love In At Shepherd’s Bush Empire

“I love what I do,” King King front man Alan Nimmo told me a few months ago, “and I want the audience to love it with me.” The clearly thrilled singer and guitarist achieves exactly that at the band’s biggest London headline show to date. As soon as the quartet hit the Shepherd’s Bush Empire stage to the strains of Free’s All Right Now, Nimmo starts sharing the love. With the broad grin of a gregarious host, his fists raised in excitement, he welcomes the punters with a cheery “Happy new year” before even playing a single note. That...

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JW Jones Raises The Temperature @ London’s Borderline

JW Jones is an award-winning Canadian blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has released eight studio albums, performed in 19 countries, toured four continents, and played with legends like Buddy Guy, Canned Heat, and Red Hot Chili Peppers phenomenon Chad Smith. This winter he brought his flying Gibson to the UK to promote his latest studio album, High Temperature. The tour came to London’s Borderline last weekend for what was, in my opinion, one of the best gigs of the year. Starting with Wham, a crazy jam from the current album, Jones set the tone for the evening, a night of...

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The Pretty Reckless Run Wild At Brixton Academy

The stage is what makes or breaks a band. There are no do-overs, no overdubs, no ProTools to iron out those imperfections. It’s just you, your songs, and (especially if you’re an opening band) an audience to win over. The Pretty Reckless, who’ve been doing this since 2009, know the score, especially when they’re playing to fans as rabid as Stone Sour’s. So, no time for ballads like You and House On The Hill. Instead, the 50-minute opening set is packed with a succession of their heaviest songs, each performed with a matter of life or death intensity rarely...

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Bad Touch Feel Good At Islington Academy

All bands, if they’re around long enough, reach that point where youthful urgency overlaps with experience. Bad Touch are now in that zone. Currently on their first UK headline tour (“eight years in the making,” as frontman Stevie Westwood puts it), the group have two full-length studio albums and two EPs of material, the skills gained from supporting big names like The Kentucky Headhunters around the country, and the lessons learnt from playing hundreds of shows. But, almost a decade in, they’ve lost none of the unbridled passion and dynamism of their early days as a bar band in...

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Samantha Fish Gets The Voodoo Working At Borderline

Some artists, like AC/DC, specialise in familiarity. Others, like Kate Bush, Bjork, and now Samantha Fish, specialise in surprise. The singer-songwriter-guitarist has been looking beyond her blues base to incorporate elements like Americana, ‘50s rock ‘n roll, vintage R&B, and retro soul into her sound. At this point in her career, all that’s guaranteed are her powerful vocals, expressive guitar playing, and emotional authenticity. “You should always get outside of the box,” she explains. “Challenging yourself is how you grow.” As if to prove her point, this year the Kansas City native’s released not just Chills & Fever (reinterpreting...

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Royal Blood Have It All Figured Out At Alexandra Palace

Following At The Drive-In takes balls, especially when the Texas quintet finish their 45-minute assault with a rendition of One Armed Scissor that’s the sonic equivalent of a napalm attack. But Brighton-based Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher certainly aren’t lacking in confidence. And rightly so. In the five years since forming Royal Blood the duo have taken their crunching blues riffs and titanic choruses from open-mic nights in Worthington to headlining London’s Alexandra Palace three nights in a row. It’s been a rapid rise, certainly, but gradual enough for the singer-bassist and drummer to scale up their production and...

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Joanne Shaw Taylor Beats The Blues At Royal Festival Hall

Joanne Shaw Taylor is suffering from a cold. But, other than her drinking hot water and honey (not gin, she promises) between songs and an added hint of huskiness to her voice, you wouldn’t know. The singer and guitarist is all energy and smiles as she (sometimes quite literally) bounds through a set that stretches all the way from her 2009 debut White Sugar to last year’s Wild. Three songs from the current release (the swinging Dyin’ To Know, aptly titled all-out rocker Nothing To Lose, and the touching No Reason To Stay) kick off the show, before she...

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Maren Morris Lights Up The Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Country Music’s latest rising star Maren Morris brought her Nashville sound to London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire last night, the third date on a six-show UK and Ireland tour following on from her appearance at London’s O2 Arena in March as part of the 2017 edition of C2C, the UK’s Country to Country music festival which is growing year on year as demand for Country acts both from the U.S. and home-grown continues to rise. The night opened with Morris’ fiancé, Country songwriter-turned-singer Ryan Hurd, playing the Shepherd’s Bush Empire a few of his own tunes including the massive You...

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Steve Hill, One-Man Band Casts A Spell At Academy Islington

Being an opening act is always tricky. You never know what to expect or how many people will turn up early in the hope of some good music. And then there are venues like O2 Academy Islington, where I’ve seen great opening bands playing to an almost empty room. So if challenges are your kind of thing, top of the list would be a one-man band opening for rock veterans Wishbone Ash. But young Canadian one-man blues-rock machine Steve Hill is totally up for the challenge. Far from the mainstream, Hill does things his own way and, in a world where...

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Promise Realised: Lukas Nelson And The Promise Of The Real

Country music has come a long way, there are now as many variants and classifications into sub groups as there are for rock and roll.  The music crosses over into all other musical genres.  The prevailing image of country as ‘Big Hat’ corporate stadium bands who sing about Christian values, driving your truck and falling in love with a demure ‘good girl’ or a gun toting Daisy Duke wearing ‘bad girl’ has fallen away leaving room for a resurgence of American folk music, storytelling, and crossover. This is process that started in the early ‘60s and hit a kind...

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Placebo Bring 20 Years To Brixton

When Placebo appeared on the music scene some 21 years ago, their rise wasn’t overnight. But by the time they released the fifth single from their self-titled debut – Nancy Boy – they were peaking in the top five of the UK singles charts. Not bad for a group of unassuming lads led by the 5’6” tall androgynous frontman Brian Molko. They went on to have an instantly recognisable sound and were quickly noticed both by the general public and those in the industry, such David Bowie, who took them under his wing and even contributed vocals to 1999...

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St. Vincent Dazzles Her Masseduction At Brixton

The proceedings tonight at London’s famous Brixton Academy kick off with a screening of The Birthday Party, a directorial debut for Annie Clark, better known as musician extraordinaire St. Vincent. The film is part of female-driven horror anthology feature XX which was released earlier this year and adds co-writing to Clark’s résumé alongside Roxanne Benjamin. St. Vincent has been making waves the music world over, first hitting the scene as part of choral rocksters The Polyphonic Spree and going on to become a part of eclectic indie-folk man Sufjan Stevens’ band. But it was her solo debut Marry Me...

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Upcoming Festivals

  1. Live @ Leeds 2018

    May 5
  2. Bearded Theory Spring Gathering

    May 24 - May 27
  3. Catfish & The Bottlemen @ All Points East

    June 1
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    June 1 - August 2
  5. Festival Of Voice Cardiff

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