Gav Wyatt selects his highlights of 2018!
2018… What a year! I joined Blank Slate right at the end of 2017, accepted into something which was a personal stepping up in levels for myself. I’d previously cut my gig photography teeth working with the local charity Oxjam across the Northeast covering small gigs and the festival they hold in October, but Blank Slate was an opportunity to move up a gear and I wasn’t going to say no!
Top gig photos of 2018
My end of year review mostly focuses on the images I’ve captured from the gigs I’ve attended, I didn’t move into the world of reviews until right at the end of the year with Sumo Cyco and whilst I’ve only managed to actually get to eight gigs but it feels like so much more, so lets begin.
Don Broco – 19th February – Northumbria University
My first introduction into ‘the pit’, and what an introduction! me and four other photographers clambering over each other for position all trying to capture the best angle. I was nervous if I’m honest, to begin with but once the band came on stage you can’t help but to fall in love with your position and Enjoy the show. The band themselves played to a young crowd with an energetic frontman filled with a dazzling light show which included everything the crowd came to see them for.
Belly – 14th June – Whitley Bay Playhouse
90’s indie band Belly visited the northeast and played in front of a sell out crowd at the Whitley Bay Playhouse, another first for me for venues. A good crowd, Mostly middle-aged saw belly perform music from the 90’s, you could feel the sense of nostalgia in the air and the band performed a well-rehearsed set which you could tell they had done a thousand times before interacting well with the crowd.
There was a small hiccup when Tanya dDonellystopped the show with an issue with her monitor which she thought she’d fixed only to stop everything a further two times until she knew it was perfect, I liked that touch and the crowd gave her and the band all the patience they needed to get it right to continue.
Pussy Riot – 21st August – Newcastle Riverside
Pussy Riot, famous for all the right or wrong reasons, depending on your opinion, arrived in Newcastle just after performing at the Edinburgh Fringe. I didn’t know what to expect with this but what the crowd got was a wonderful piece of performance art centred around the performance drawn from band founder Maria Alyokhina’s memoir; Riot Days, about her imprisonment in the Gulag following a protest action in 2012 in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.
Rudimental – 19th October – Newcastle O2 Academy
A band that’s been together now for eight years brought their drum and bass act to the Newcastle Academy, a step up in size for venues for me, if I’m completely honest I thought I had struggled with this one photography wise however the band were as good as they’d sound in your living room and the crowd loved them, they got everything they came to see.
Glasvegas – 24th October – Boiler Shop
The Boiler Shop! A stunning venue. Filled with a two-tone light show and the haunting melodies of Glasvegas on the 10th anniversary of their debut album ‘Glasvegas’. The band were sublime
Soul ll Soul – 4th November – Sage Gateshead
Soul ll soul arrived in Gateshead to perform for the thirty-year anniversary tour, thirty years on from Back to Life and the band still sounded just as good. A night for many to reminisce on where they were thirty years ago with the crowd mostly dancing along, finishing the set with Back to Life.
Jon Hopkins – 18th November – Boiler Shop
Without question my gig of the year, I had been introduced to Hopkins earlier in the year by a good friend and I was blown away with what I heard. So when I heard that he would be making his way into Newcastle for a Gig I had to go and I was not disappointed accompanied by a stunning display of visuals projected onto the screen behind Hopkins his heavy bass and electronic synths echoed and permeated through the boiler shop crowd. If you haven’t seen the review on Blank slate then check it out because no amount of what I say will ever match it.
Sumo Cyco – 3rd December – Newcastle University
Finishing the year with the Canadian Punk metal band Sumo Cyco, My first review of the year, and having never had the chance to see this band perform all I can say is that I’d jump at the chance to see them again, Skye Sweetnam leading the line of the four-piece band that were providing support for the headliners CKY, a perfect finish to a great year being able to work with some great people!