Most of my gig photography has been in local venues, usually small sweaty bars in the greater Belfast area. In stark contrast to this I stumbled upon a free gig in the more picturesque and exotic location of the Singapore Esplanade Theatre on the Bay. Performing in the Jazz in July concerts were Philippine jazz and funk band Conscious & The Goodness. The band were happy for me to walk around shooting during the sunny afternoon soundcheck and then I was back for the post-sunset evening gig. Quite the difference from death metal night at the Goat’s Toe pub in Bangor.
and once darkness fell…
All shot on digital – the occasion, lighting and Singapore colour too risky to lose the moment for B&W film – Canon 6D with 50mm and 70-300mm lenses
A few years back I did the first photo shoot of a death metal band, Lock Horns – and they became the subject of this first blog post.
In June 2018, they released their first album Molon Labe – spotify link – and launched it at a home town gig in Bangor, Co Down. The band were sounding and looking magnificent with a great set showcasing much of the album.
I used the usual Canon full frame digital with various prime lenses – I brought the Olympus OM20 with Tri-X with an idea to shoot on film. But mingling with a metal audience doesn’t lend itself to manual focussing and careful metering, so digital it was.
Note to self – for future gigs, don’t forget the ear plugs.
Sometimes shooting a gig, especially in a small venue with manky lighting and a lot of shouty drunk people half your age can get you questioning your photography. Then occasionally there’s a band who just hit the spot, visually and musically you’d want to photograph them again and again. Paper Dogs are a 4 piece from Belfast with a very accesible hard rock/funky/bluesy sound with bit of Hendrix, Jeff Healy, Thin Lizzy and many more.
The band are led from the front by lead guitarist and vocalist, Chris Rooney. Looking like a young John Power from Cast (to these old eyes anyway), he’s a dynamic presence and a performer with a bit of class.
The rest of the band, while not as dynamic visually, perform as an exceptionally tight unit. And with a style that looks effortless, they’re easy to photograph – lighting not withstanding. The following shot of drummer Kris Young broke the no-flash rule – it was that or nothing as he was out of range of all the stage lighting
The band’s EP, “The Lost Art of Conversation” is on Spotify – definitely worth a listen and there are some more shots on The Flickr.
Kit: Canon 5D, 50mm, 28mm and 85mm lenses
Lightroom, Color Efex and Silver Efex Pro.
(and a Speedlite 450 EXii….)