Griever Live Gallery @ Cavern Club, Exeter

I was sent to photograph a metalcore band called Griever on behalf of RAMzine magazine at their gig in Exeter. As my live review is being posted over on their website, I though I’d take the time to share a few of my favourite images from the gig and a few photos from the promo shoot I organised before the show.

Above are the live images of Griever, which I edited in a slightly different way to what I usually do. For the black and white images I used much darker tones within them, the shadows and blacks are a low lower to create that dark moody look.

The band were inspired by Loathe and Lotus Eaters style of photography for the coloured images. They asked me to focus the colours around a blue palette, so thats what I did. I used Lightrooms white balance to create a cold blue tone to the photos and experimented with the split toning mode a little when a bit extra blue was needed.

I am immensely proud of the promo images above. I used a speedlight attached to a boom arm to create the lighting, which has just made the photos what they are. If the lighting was straight on the photos wouldn’t have been as good as they are.

The band have the perfect gothic, grunge look to suit the location. The harsh textures in the wall and the grittiness of the background suit the style of the guys perfectly.

Griever are going on tour this October, so I’d suggest you go and check them out if they play near you as they’ve some truly fantastic guys and a brilliant band.

Top 5 bands at Burn It Down Festival 2019

I was asked back to photograph the second instalment of Burn It Down Festival in Torquay. Last years event Was brilliant. I got the chance to photograph bands like Mallory Knox, Dream State and Arcane Roots.

The line-up this year had some fantastic bands like Basement, Loathe, Haggard Cat, Black Peaks, Dream State loads of which I’ve had the pleasure of photographing before and a few new bands for me to photograph.

The event had three stages across three venues. The Signature Stage which was at The Apple & Parrot. The The main stage was the Jägermeister Stage which was at The Foundry.

I photographed over 15 bands over the day, varying from rock to hardcore to emo.

My top 5 favourite bands at Burn It Down are -

  • Black Peaks

  • Dream State

  • Mother Vulture

  • Haggard Cat

  • RXPTRS

After what can only be described as a highly successful second year for the South West festival, I am really looking forward to seeing what this festival had in store for the coming years.

Crooked Little Sons headline show at the Junction

On Friday 30th August, a punk rock band called Crooked Little Sons took over the Junction in Plymouth for their headline show.

With support from Disgraceland, The Electric Shakes and Jim Pope the night was set to be a good one!

Jim Pope opened the night with an acoustic punk set to warm the crowd up. His songs went from upbeat, melodic pop punk vibes to a slower tone with songs to pull at your heart strings. The set was varied and perfectly suited the tone of the night. Jim plays all over the county so if he’s in your local area, do yourself a favour and go and support him and his music!

The Electric Shakes and a 3 piece rock band from Dorset who’s sound can be summed up as noisy garage rock n roll. The band bought their high energy attitude to the stage and the crowd weren’t disappointed. The songs were catchy, loud and fast ; everything you want from a punk show! With moments of comedy gold in between songs, this band really know how to work a crowd.

The main support were a band called Disgraceland who are a 3 piece punk band from Devon. I’ve had the pleasure of working with this band a few times before and they never fail to put on an incredible show. The band are hectic and fantastic to watch. They bring their unapologetic political punk sound to the stage shining light on important messages about our society and their opinion on the current political climate.

Download their EP for free here!!!

Crooked Little Sons are a punk rock band who I’ve photographed countless times before and not once have the band failed to perform on top form. The band have a fantastic sound, which merges punk, rockabilly and rock n roll to form their unique style. Frontman Josh is one of my personal favourite musicians to photograph as he doesn’t hold back during his performances. The band have recently released their new single which they’re now in the process of touring.

See them live here!!!

Burn It Down Festival Preview!

Burn It Down Festival in Torquay, is the perfect closing event for the festival season this year. The day festival takes place over 3 venues in the quaint seaside town, The Foundry, The Apple & Parrot and The Attic. This is my second year photographing the festival so I’m hyped to be back again. The line-up is stacked with a wide variety of bands to feast your ears on. Below are a few of the acts that I’ve had the pleasure of photographing before and a few new ones to check out!

The Experimental - Apple & Parrot 12.00

The Experimental - Apple & Parrot 12.00

Crooked Little Sons - Apple & Parrot 12.35

Crooked Little Sons - Apple & Parrot 12.35

Puppy - Foundry 17.00

Puppy - Foundry 17.00

Holding Absence - Foundry 18.00

Holding Absence - Foundry 18.00

Hypophora - Apple & Parrot 18.30

Hypophora - Apple & Parrot 18.30

Black Orchid Empire - Apple & Parrot 19.30

Black Orchid Empire - Apple & Parrot 19.30

Dream State - Foundry 20.00

Dream State - Foundry 20.00

Black Peaks - Foundry 21.00

Black Peaks - Foundry 21.00

Haggard Cat - Apple & Parrot 21.30

Haggard Cat - Apple & Parrot 21.30

New bands that I’ll be checking out - Pitcher, Phoxjaw, Loathe (who I’ve seen live twice but I’m yet to photograph them), The City Is Ours, Borders, Mother Vultures and RXPTRS.

Festival Info -

Facebook event page - Burn It Down Festival

BUY TICKETS HERE!!!

Photographing Coheed & Cambria at ArcTanGent 2019

For the second year running I had the privilege of attending ArcTanGent festival. Looking at the stacked line-up, I knew this year would be a good one at that. Headlining the Arc stage (main stage for those who don’t know) on the first night were the mighty Coheed and Cambria.

Claudio Sanchez opening the show

As a long time fan of the band I was extremely excited to be able to photograph them as the band are on my bucket list of bands to photograph. The set had some insane lighting which I was able to utilise to the best of my abilities to get some pretty unique imagery. The stage lighting created some gorgeous silhouettes and shadows in the 3 images below.

For the images above I decided to edit them in such a way to highlight the intense silhouettes the stage lighting created. I used a mixture of self made presets on Lightroom to create a moodier look to the images but still keeping the colours bright in the coloured images, keeping the highlights bright in the black and white image.

As you can see in the photo above Claudio Sanchez was giving it his all during the performance. It’s one of the best things about being a live music photographer when you’re able to photograph a musician who’s passion comes through your lens, emotion like this just makes for better images and helps to tell more of a story.

For all the images on this post I used my Canon 5D Mark iii with either my 24-70mm 2.8 lens or my 70-200mm 2.8 lens. The low aperture enabled me to capture the colours well as it let in all the available light during the show. During post I kept the vibrancy bumped up to really saturate the colours in the images above as I didn’t want to lose any of them during editing. I always aim for my photos to look as true to the actual show as possible.

My favourite photo of the bands set

I wanted to get an image to highlight Claudios hair and show movement during their set. The photo above does both of these things. The highlights draw attention to his hair and the high shutter speed has captured the movement and kept the image sharp. The photo above is easily my favourite of their entire set as I love the attention to detail within it. The photo is minimal in its appearance but still keeps a high level of sharpness and detail when you really look into it. This images makes me super proud.

Bloodywood Review and Gallery @ The Lanes, Bristol 24.07.19

On Wednesday the 24th of July, 2019 the furiously heavy Bloodywood took to the stage at The Lanes in Bristol. This was the bands first ever UK performance and rightly so, the gig was a sell out!

The Lanes is a truly unique venue which is situated in a retro styled bowling alley, which upon arrival didn't seem the place where a metal show would go down but I was proved otherwise the second the show started.

Sarthak Of Bloodywood

The band announced that this was their first ever time in the UK and their first ever tour! This was fantastic to see how an internet phenomenon take the world on with their important message behind them. I felt very honoured to be apart of this brilliant show and I was seriously looking forward to shooting them live.

The venue was packed, every single person who bought a ticket was in the room and the floor above, jumping around, moshing and singing their hearts out. The vocalist went into the crowd and was welcomed by a surge of singing, sweaty fans around him. The band quoted "we thought we'd be playing to about 10 people each night" so I couldn't imagine the emotions going through them during this gig.

The band mix traditional Indian folk instruments with what can only be described as thunderous choruses to create a fantastically unique and honest sound. Bloodywood took the time to talk about important issues surrounding mental health which they've incorporated into some of their most popular songs, something the crowd were definitely loving to be a part of, myself included. The fact that this is the bands first ever tour and first ever time playing our country and they absolutely nailed it seriously excites me to see where this band will project themselves in the near future.

Bloodywood @ The Lanes, Bristol

Teddy Rocks Festival - Saturday 4.05.19

After a busy first day at Teddy Rocks Festival, I was thoroughly looking forward to day two. The weather was stunning, there was shooting to be done and fun to be had.

Starting off on the Vocalzone stage photographing the chaotic Raiders UK, the vocalist entered himself into the crowd for a part of the show, which is something I loved capturing and being part of.

Over to the main stage for Black Orchid Empire, not photographed before and I wanted to shoot them as they’re playing Burn It Down Festival in Torquay. After this performance, I’m looking forward to photographing them again later this season as they did a killer job.

Next up were Norwich based indie punk band Youth Killed It. I love the photo of this band before they went on stage, moments like this are fantastic, some of my favourite photographs to take are from behind the scenes, in a place the fans don’t see and what happens behind closed doors. They put on a great show and did the festival proud.

Wolf Jaw were one of the bands my publication had asked me to photograph, not one I’d have picked out myself but I thoroughly enjoyed capturing the emotions and expressions during the set as their bassist was infectiously happy.

Back on the main stage Press To Meco bring a delightfully lighter note to the mid afternoon slot at the festival. After previously photographing them at Burn It Down Festival 2018, it was awesome to see them take to a bigger stage and may I say, make it their own.

I’ve recently had the chance to photograph the Virginmarys during their recent UK tour. This band never fail to explode onto the stage with such power. Their drummer can’t be contained by his kit, or even feel the need to sit down during the set, I also had a quick chance to get some before shots just before they went on stage, which we all loved the result of.

The Dirty Youth are a true and honest modern rock n roll band, serving up huge tunes that filled up the area. This band know how to own a stage and know how to perform to an impressively high standard.

As expected the crowd went absolutely nuts at The Bottom Line, with it being the organiser of the festivals pop punk band. The earliest supporters of the festival would be seen throughout this crowd showing their support for the not only the cause, but the band too.

Sinful Maggie are a extremely unique blend of punk rock and folk, with great mixture of guitar riffs and jaunty sounding accordion. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing Sinful Maggie before in my local venue and it was awesome to see them rock out on a larger stage.

Stone Broken were the perfect band to have on whilst the sun was setting over Teddy Rocks Festival. They had soft rock vibes which charmed the crowd and the whole band put on an outstanding show headlining the VocalZone stage.

Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons are a classic rock band that I’ve managed to shoot at my local venue, so as a tog it was very exciting getting to photograph them on a stage about 10x the size. They rose to the challenge of filling the stage with their immense presence and made a brilliant main support band.

When I saw that the Saturday headliner was The Darkness I knew I’d be in for a treat, first ever pyro show, alongside The Darkness stage presence being sheer Rock Stars. There is something to this way of being on stage, over the top and living the lifestyle, say what you like for Justin Hawkins but he knows how to give a performance.

Across the weekend, Teddy Rocks smashed through all previous years by raising over a 100k for the fantastic cause behind the truly brilliant festival.


Teddy Rocks Festival - Friday 3.05.19

Festival number two of the season was the fantastic Teddy Rocks Festival. As a tog I love photographing charity based festivals and events. Below is how the festival started -

Teddy Rocks Festival started with a small gig in 2011 to raise money for Teddy20, a children's cancer charity founded by Tom Newton and his family after he lost his 10 year old brother Ted to a very rare bone cancer.

The gig was put on by Tom's friends and family in the restaurant of The Greyhound pub in Blandford and raised £400. This was used to fund the very first Teddy Rocks event at The Corn Exchange in 2012, which raised £2,500. Teddy Rocks Story

This was my first time attending Teddy Rocks Festival, I found that as a complete newbie, I instantly felt comfortable and at ease locating my way around the site.

All the members of staff were brilliantly helpful and happy to answer any questions or queries I had.

I got accredited to the festival via the Mike James Rock Show who I worked along side during Teddy Rocks, photographing the bands playing live which they later interviewed. I also helped contribute to their Instagram accounts during the weekend, by adding to their stories with photos from the pit.

I had such a brilliant time shooting day one at Teddy Rocks. The music on offer varied an awful lot from the unique sound of The Lounge Kittens to the brutally metalcore that is Our Hollow Our Home.

From stage to stage the lighting and sound was fabulous and fitted in with the artist playing. Day one at Teddy Rocks was a marvellous experience all in all.

PS. I also got my first ever jump shot!!!

Parrotfest XXIII @ The Apple & Parrot, Torquay 21.04.19

Parrotfest is a reoccurring live music event which takes place at The Apple and Parrot venue, in the quaint seaside town of Torquay. I had the pleasure of photographing their 23rd event (I know right?!?! 23 shows!) The events are organised by Matthew Goodyear who is a South West promoter and he works Torquay quite often with events like Burn It Down Festival, happening later on in the season.
The event started of with a 4 piece math rock band called Hops. They opened the event with a perfectly chill but still highly progressive, loud sound. The vocalist had an ethereal like quality to her voice and the musicians were tight from beginning to end, with the technical guitar catching my attention. Their music can be round here - https://www.facebook.com/hopsbandofficial/

Last Hyena are a fully instrumental math rock band from Bristol. They describe themselves as a “three piece instrumental Post Rock Math band. Bristol boys doing proggy math tunes with a big ol' smile FFO Cleft and if Mogwai cheered up a little.” I’d describe the band as (excuse my language) but technical as fuck. I adored the focus on the bassist and the snappy tone to the drum kit. Just when you think you have the beat down, it would magnificently change into something completely different, which kept you hooked throughout the set. You can check out Last Hyena at - https://www.facebook.com/lasthyena/

Third to take the Parrot stage were Torquay based grunge rock band, Deadfly. To me this band have an earlier rock sound, imagine if you squished Foo Fighters and Metallica together then add Deftones-y vocals...then you get Deadfly. With the impressive front vocals, backed up by brash and raw backing screams coming from the bassist, rhythmic guitar and fast paced drums, Deadfly are all in all a brilliant band for anyone who tends to lean on the rockier side of life. Listen to Deadfly here - https://www.facebook.com/deadflyy/

Emily Magpie is a solo musician, who has a mixture of pre recorded parts to her music combined with live vocals and ukulele. She has a mystical quality to her voice and her backing music has a video game like vibe to it (which is brilliant). Think fantasy adventure soundtrack then you get Emily. The music compliments the exquisitely gentle yet powerful vocal range Emily brings to the stage. Check out her music here - https://www.facebook.com/EmilyMagpie1/

The Experimental were next on the event. I’ve photographed this brilliant indie rock band a small handful of times before and I thoroughly enjoy the energy they bring to the stage wherever they play. The frontman showed intense almost manic emotions from during the set which were brilliantly passionate and captivating to watch. Mix this with the unique bass tone (impressive pedal collection by the way) with the tight drumming and the added drummers vocals which compliment the frontman amazingly well, The Experimental are a solid band through and through. Have a listen here - https://www.facebook.com/theexperimental/

With highly emotive and passionate energy and an absolutely solid frontman, Dead Ground came to the stage. The vocals took me back to an early Muse sound. Mix the vocals with very impressive bass playing and quality sounding drum technique, Dead Ground absolutely killed it. Dream like yet intensely heavy and very technically layered band, brilliant. Go give them a listen here - https://www.facebook.com/deadgroundmu/

Next to the stage was Steve Strong who’s a solo musician, who’s music involves highly technical drumming patterns mixed with looped guitar and bass, basically making him one brilliantly math rock, one man band. As soon as Steve started his performance you’re captivated into watching. Steve shows us you don’t need a full band to put on an awesome show. He is bass, drums and guitar all in one person! Fab right?! Nothing is done pre-recorded and it’s all played live. Steve Strong is a multi talented and most importantly modest, down to earth guy who you should definitely go check out! https://www.facebook.com/SteveStrongUK/

Next at Parrotfest were Pattern Pusher, who are a 3 piece indie disco band from Exeter. I would attempt to describe then but they did it perfectly over on their Facebook page, so go check that out! https://www.facebook.com/patternpusher/ The band created a groovy disco vibe to the event, which went well with how much energy they brought to the stage, especially the bassist who could barely stay on it. My favourite thing about Pattern Pusher is how they act with one another on stage, they’re infectiously  smiley and have a strong family quality to the way they act with each other which is very heartwarming to see.

Main support came from Hypophora who are a Cornwall based grunge, math rock, indie band. Upon starting their set, the band announced that Parrotfest would be one of James last shows (drummer). This makes me very interested to see which direction the band go in now with a change to the lineup. There were a few technical difficulties with the guitar but Karum played professionally throughout them and kept the show going. Vocals as always, were very impressive from front woman Katie, and as per usual Lewis had a technically solid sounding bass part throughout the set. I’m really looking forward to the future of Hypophora and see what they evolve into. Go give them a like - https://www.facebook.com/hypophora/

Anavae headlined Parrotfest with a truly unique performance. They entered the stage in a tribal like way and the whole band were unified as one, with almost ritualistic sounding drum beats. The singer showed an insane vocal range. The lighting complemented the band very well throughout the set, and I can honestly say I’ve never seen drumming quite like Anavaes. Go check them out here - https://www.facebook.com/Anavae/