2018… what a year!!
I’ve chosen my favourite photos of the year, mostly for what they mean to me rather than their “photographic prowess” so to speak. It’s been a funny old year in my personal life but one constant thing that has been a positive throughout (apart from the wife family and friends, obviously) is live music. Whether it’s a local band playing to a bunch of mates or a field of thousands I have had an absolute ball at these events
Top 15 photos
These are in no particular order as I really can’t do that when there are so many different aspects sizes and genres to each one.
Groundculture – Think Tank Newcastle. This was the ep launch night and was absolute carnage! The lads have gone strength to strength since this getting great support slots and reviews. I love this image as it sums up the madness of the night
Elrow – Live from Times Square Newcastle. I was really out of my comfort zone going along to this as I don’t really know the dance scene at all. This was a huge outdoor event and I had a blast once there despite the weather! Interactive event with dancers, stilt walkers etc huge production with stuff happening right through the day whilst DJs kept the throng dancing away in the rain.
The Stranglers/Therapy? O2 Academy Newcastle. An absolutely fantastic double bill, I couldn’t have been happier shooting this!
Dave Hillyards Rocksteady 7 – Think Tank Newcastle. This was one of those gigs that was always going to be good but surpassed expectations! The combination of Slackers Sax man Hillyard and the gravelly desert rock vocal of Sean Wheeler came together so well to bring a night of summery ska and dancehall vibes to the toon
Kaiser Chiefs and Vintage Trouble – Hardwick Live. Possibly my biggest outdoor event this year I love these two images Kaiser Chiefs frontman Ricky Wilson totally telegraphed the jump having stood on the drum kit a good verse and a half everyone in the pit kinda stood poised waiting but I think some may have got bored as I was expecting the jump shot in everyone’s reviews but didn’t see any! Even Tees Life website nicked it for their online feature haha! Vintage Trouble of course always deliver live and make for great photos but I love this one of Ty over the lip of the stage staring straight down the lens.
Mastersystem – The Cluny Newcastle. The tragic loss of Scott this year affected so many of my friends it was difficult to even finish editing the photos for a while. I chose this one as it summed up that night of joy and laughter at one of the years best gigs (and album releases).
Random Hand – Think Tank Newcastle. Random Hand were kind of adopted by Newcastle a long time ago their brand of ska punk was welcomed by all of us who loved that scene. After a bit of a hiatus, it was fantastic to get them back to their second home and finally get a shot of Robin flying which wasn’t just a passing foot or backside
Little Steven – Whitley Bay Playhouse. Legend Steve Van Zandt brought a 14 piece band to the theatre and smashed out a massive set of soul blues rock mixing covers and original material giving the seaside venue a feel of a night at something like the Apollo in Harlem at its height !
Sam Fender – Think Tank, Hit The North Festival – Sam was the surprise guest opener of the HTN festival and you could see then that this lad is going to be absolutely huge! The venue was packed at midday for him and he killed it! Arena level shows won’t be that far away from the way this year has gone for him.
Benjamin Booker – Boiler Shop Newcastle. Opening up for soul legend Mavis Staples Ben was fantastic. His mix of gospel, soul and punk made for one of my albums of 2017 and seeing him again live made it even better.
The Wildhearts – O2 Academy Newcastle. I love this shot of Ginger it captures all of his enthusiasm in what he does and loves! Got some lovely feedback from him and the band about my photos from this gig too
Coheed and Cambria – O2 Academy Newcastle. I’ve chosen this one as it’s one of those “you just never know” shots! I very nearly deleted it on first glance then tinkered a bit with the edit and thought it looked ok. I posted it and got some of the best comments I’ve ever had.
Dan Reed Network – Riverside Newcastle. I love black and White I think it can bring out detail that can sometimes be missed in colour – this one in particular the raw emotion in Dan just didn’t have the same effect in its original version
Arcane Roots – Think Tank Newcastle. This was the bands farewell tour and for me a full circle with the band as I first saw them in this same venue 5 years ago. This shot is of the last notes of the last song they’ll ever perform there and the image just resonated with me
Alice In Chains – Leeds O2 Academy. My first ever “waiver“ concert where I had to sign a contract to take photos and have them approved. Had to shoot from the crowd half way back and I was already nervous as hell about trying to get shots of one of my favourite bands of the last few decades! Did ok though and the management approved 35 out of 45 photos submitted so I took that as a big win!
The Month Of May – possibly the maddest month of the year I shot 45 bands ( or thereabouts ) Even I called myself an idiot that month haha But still had a mint time and would do it again.
Here’s to 2019 bringing more opportunities to continue this crazy hobby and hopefully getting better at both photographing and writing as I go
Merry Xmas everyone and a happy healthy clicky new year.