Gig Review – Banks, Koko, 31 March 2014

Banks, Koko, 31 March 2014A lot has been written about the very promising young talent that is Jillian Banks. As far as I could find out, apart from a stint supporting The Weeknd last year, this was one of her very first ever shows over here.

By all accounts, photo passes have been really hard to come by for her shows, and I had the (very small) pit to myself alongside the in house photographer.

The lighting behind her was stunning and very ethereal. The lighting in front of her was, well, lacking. It did however make for interesting silhouettes like this one, along with good opportunities for nice wide shots.

I rarely take in the sound of a performance, which may sound odd, but all my senses are concentrated on the image in front of me. But tonight I did listen, and I was mightily impressed by Banks’ beautiful vocals. I expect she’ll go far, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see her playing much larger venues the next time she’s here.

Gig Review – Steel Panther, Brixton Academy, 26 March 2014

Steel Panther, Brixton Academy, 26 March 2014Steel Panther are one of those bands I will simply not tire of shooting. The energy, the fun, the costumes…plus the fact that behind the ‘show’, these guys are incredibly talented musicians. There just isn’t another band like them and they were on great form tonight.

Having said that, the one let down was the lighting. For some reason, there were no following spots being used, and so much of their show is visual that it was surprising. It meant that when they came up close (so close that on a 14mm lens I still couldn’t fit them all in!) they were in almost complete silhouette.

So it was more of a technical challenge to shoot, although the advantage was that shots like this turned out to be very atmospheric. I look forward to the next time they’re in town!

Gig Review – Foxes, Scala, 3 March 2014

Foxes, Scala, 4 March 2014Even though I’ve been shooting gigs for ten years now, this was only my second trip to the Scala. I didn’t much enjoy my first trip, and in some ways, tonight was little better.

Shooting in small clubs with frankly dismal lighting rigs is a technical challenge that takes a lot of the fun out of shooting gigs. Tonight, Foxes had a massive brightly lit lighting rig behind her, spelling out her name. With some decent front lighting to balance it out, we’d have got wonderful photos. As it was, because only very rarely (as in the shot above) did they bother using the nice big white spot light that they took the time to test before she came on, the best you could hope for was moody, atmospheric shots which push ISOs and shutter speeds to the absolute limit.

Mind you, the show was decent, and although she is a relative unknown, there is a lot of hype around her at present so I’m sure she’ll go far.