Here’s a lovely little thing to get in the post – a personalised plectrum. Thanks, Chez.
For anyone interested, next little pub gig is a while off, Friday November 9th at the Shepherd’s Hut in Eton Wick. Or the very next night, Saturday 10th November at the Old Ticket Hall in Windsor. Read more
Sometimes photos are begging for a tagline. The important thing to know about the photo below is that off to the left stands Dave. I feel the expressions on Chez and my face need an explanatory caption. Just what is Dave up to?
.. insert caption here ..
The Shinfield Parish Jubilee Bash
It’s not easy, getting a decent photo as a band, if all you’re doing is having fun in your spare time. A pro would be a bit of an indulgence, but getting the right shot takes too much time to do casually. So it was good when guitarist Dave turns out to know photographer Mike Croshaw.
Mike’s only just getting started with photography, and is still at the dedicated amateur stage. Which means we get to be a test exercise for him. That gets us some nice cheap shots! I’m rather fond of the composite above, stretching across the entire stage.
A nice little bit portrait work on his site, too. It’s cool to see someone really diving into something new. But enough of him, here’s a little selection of the pics he kindly took of my lot:
Almost all of us
Dave and Chez
The Shinfield Parish Jubilee Bash
My favourite artist at Glastonbury. Forget the Pyramid stage and the Gorillaz, there was a great little party going on at the West Holts world music stage – with much more interesting messages in the music.
Nneka is entirely new to me. Nigerian born, now lives in Germany, and making some great political hip-hop influenced music. I’d namecheck Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu to get a vague feel, but actually listening is the better idea of course. The tracks that really works for me (Heartbeat) has a definite flavour from Eminem’s Lose Yourself in the intro, but even when I noticed that it didn’t distract from a great vocal performance. She has great stage presence. She puts power into the potentially simplistic and trite line “do you feel my heartbreaking” – no wilting flower, here.
It’s not easy getting across messages of corruption and national suffering, at a personal level on a big stage. The photo above doesn’t quite manage to capture the mixture of frustration, pain and anger at corrupt politicians, for instance, that she conveyed so well. It was a last minute performance, as well, she was filling in a slot after Femi Kuti was shifted up to cover Mos Def, whose grandmother had sadly died that day.
I went on to buy her To And Fro 3-CD collection from Amazon – a good value buy for us old fogies still buying CDs.
Her MySpace page has some great content. Check out the YouTube clip of HeartBeat, live on the Letterman show in the US. The performance is actually pretty stilted to what I saw live – I’m guessing their first national US performance was a pretty high pressure affair for them. And yet it’s still pretty damned good. I love her voice.
It’s a shame they don’t have a clip of the bass player doing a tribal chant of some kind (forgive my ignorance). Got a photo of him towards the end below. That guy had some presence. Put me in mind of the Maori haka.
Two Door Cinema Club were the band that kicked off the music at Glastonbury for me, on the Thursday afternoon. I was dragged along to see Boy George of all artists the night before, which was actually quite a fun flashback to the 80s, but not exactly what I’m hoping for at a rock festival.
I did see the band on before them at the Queens Head, who were good enough but nothing special. Alex, Kevin and Sam brought waay more energy to the stage, and indeed a fair crowd. Since the gig, I’ve been hearing their Come Back Homeconstantly on Xfm. Maybe they had just escaped my attention. Hence the title, Glastonbury Revelations. Can’t keep up with the kids these days, no doubt I well behind the times, so these are the bands that were great new discoveries for me.
As befits their name, their music videos are quite good to. On the video for Come Back Home, I’m particularly fond of the transition using masks and a split screen at around 0:54. Check it out at http://www.myspace.com/twodoorcinemaclub.
Happy Anniversary, Glastonbury
Volunteering for Shelter at Glastonbury was a lot of fun. Hard on the feet and earned one quite impressive blister, but the crowd was incredibly friendly and chatty and the eight hour shifts didn’t seem that long at all. Although it’s been a long time since I’ve done shift work – I’d forgotten how the final minutes really drag out if you’re not busy. Bar staff of the world, I salute you. Read more
Melody Gardot is a wonderful new discovery to me. Laid back, smooth-to-the-point-of-seductive jazz. The vast majority of her repertoire is apparently her own material, and its definitely of a more jazz vein than, say, Norah Jones who I’ve noticed she’s compared to in a few online reviews. I was very glad to have read about this artist – by turns intimate, sad, and sexy, in the wonderful Union Chapel venue, it was a great way to spend an evening.
Excellent gig! Even allowing for bias in favour of a band from my beloved Glasgow, this was top banana. Not much dead time, only enough talking (rather than playing) to be friendly, good lighting and visuals without going OTT, and of course cracking tunes. Art rock with a hint of dance, pumping and pulsing beats with the occasional timeout to leave some dramatic space before getting back to rocking out. They’re naturals live.
Not much in the way of moshing for me at this one, though, as I tried to get some good shots. I set up camp towards the rear of the hall where I could have space to avoid knocks. I don’t normally stay that far back but I think it paid off. Click on the link below to see full post including gallery.
Chalky’s a friend of mine at work .. this is his rather wonderful nine-piece soul band at The Old Ticket Hall in Windsor. The female singer, Sissy, was on guest vocals for the evening – fantastic, full bodied voice.
No Shame is a fun, down-to-earth covers band in Glasgow I used to play drums for. Extremely entertaining, and very tight after ten years of playing together. I drove up to Glasgow “for one night only” to celebrate their 10th anniversary gig, chipping in on a few songs on either keys or guitar. Used the “Afri-Can Guitar” I picked up in Cape Town, made out of a 5L Castrol can. That plays really well, with a fantastic neck, but had a hugely bassy sound – need to work on the EQ for that before I use it live again.
I also brought along my new Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens, specifically bought for live band photography. Really pleased with my first experiments, although learnt an important lesson: set the camera to focus on the centre spot, rather than picking for itself from a choice of nine. There’s no time to be arsing about with the automatic focus when you’re trying to catch live moments. Photos in the full post after the jump.