Three awesome days that can only be appreciated with the total lack of sleep that goes with it, as after work there are drinks and after drinks there is… editing of course. Expect some hectic updates on the Hard Rock Calling festival backstage coverage, if I manage to go through the thousands of images before the next gig (crossing fingers for Madonna). But for the time being, The Boss of all who Rock, not a single little pause in over 3 hours of intense performance, huge respect to Mr Springsteen!!
Archive for June, 2009
More of my top list heroes with these two geniuses that are Omar Rodr√≠guez-L√≥pez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala and the whole Mars Volta crew. Ever since I saw At The Drive In years ago the first time, that was a free gig at my ‘local’ in Poitiers (the place was barely big enough for the band itself, that was a totally explosive show!) they became one of my first inspirational act. Mars Volta is a completely different story musicwise but the adrenaline is still there and these two are well crazy on stage. Great to see them play in such a small venue, even if I have to say the sound wasn’t the best but that was fantastic all the same. Oh and Thomas Pridgen is probably the best drummer the world has, gobsmacking!
Ok I know I have already been ranting about lack of light lately but that one wasn’t exception, lol.
Some more ol’ british punks last night at Shepherds Bush Empire with the ‘3-4-1′ tour fronted by The Damned. Well it’s 2-4-1 for me as I miss the first act – Henry Cluney. Then came The Alarm (originally formed as ‘The Toilets’ in 1977) fronted by Mike Peters.
And The Damned invaded the stage and rocked through a long set and encore, Dave Vanian styled like a Tex Avery wolf (or it actually reminded me of Olrik from ‘Blake and Mortimer’ – for those who know about Edgar P. Jacob ). And the Captain as his Sensible self, sporting his own T-shirt, rocking like a fool and being abused by traditional chants from the audience. I only received a few pints on my back – being in the pit during a show from The Damned is at your own risks, hehe.
Originally lined up for a metal night shooting Faith No More in Brixton, it turned out they were not accrediting photographers so I inherited another pretty cool show to go to: the Buzzcocks! Good thing the overground wasn’t on strike and even though it took me a while I was on time at the Forum although I missed John Cooper Clarke opening for this MOJO Honours awards show. Again lucky no beer (or cider) reached my camera when The Fall started their set, a reminiscence from a few years ago when I shot them and someone emptied 2 pints, one by one, on my head as soon as the show started, nice. But what was common to last time was the complete lack of lighting, except the red/blue darkish lighting. Is it me or while camera ISO’s get higher gigs get darker? Grumpy Mark E. Smith was walking around the stage, playing with his musicians’ amps and fiddling with his 2 or 3 mikes, loosing them here and there on his path. Depspite the light that was a pretty good set really, hey I even saw MES smile, when he exchanged a look with his wife Elena, on the synths .
Then The Buzzcocks ran onstage and Steve Diggle never stopped jumping around and striking punk rock poses his Rickenbacker high in the air for a good explosive set.
… and took me ages to get back home.
Some more cult punkrockers tomorrow night, stay tuned!
I forgot to update last week with the latest shots, a mix of genre starting with American pianist Robert Levin, rehearsing for his performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall. It was a bit surreal to be the only other person present in the venue, a bit self conscious about the sound of my shutter.
After enjoying a nice meal on a sunny Southbank terrace (that was like the sunniest day of the year so far) I went for my second assignment, another rehearsal/soundcheck of Paris based Vietnamese singer Huong Thanh with Hong Nguyen on sen luth, zither and percussion, and Xuan Vinh Phuoc on moon lute, nhi and monochord.
Followed by a nice and lazy end of afternoon enjoying the sun on a deck chair in front of the Foyle’s astroturf terrace, brilliant . Next day was for something completely different again: John Barrowman performing at the Royal Albert Hall!
I have a feeling the next few entries will be a bit more, er.. metal. Stay tuned .