I love live music photography, and when I started my journey in this style of photography five years ago, I would never have predicated that I would be photographing the calibre of artists and bands that I get to shoot today. And then have my work published in music magazines and newspapers is a dream come true.
I started out with a bucket list of my music heroes and favourite artists that I hoped to cover one day, and as the years have passed, I have managed to steadily tick off a few, such as LIAM GALLAGHER and many more.
But we are in a very different time right now and one of the casualties of Lockdown is live music, which is fully understandable, but also very sad. Sad for the venues, sad for the artists, sad for concert photographers like myself, sad for music publications and web-sites, and sad for all the fans who love live music please hit the link to help our venues survive this hard time www.saveourvenue.co.uk
Scrolling through hundreds of images of my favourite bands, I had a lightbulb moment.. .How about creating a “Made in Britain” collection?! So that’s what I have been doing in my Lockdown downtime, and the only place to start was with the mighty mighty Liam Gallagher.
CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN w/ Twin Atlantic – M&S Bank Arena Liverpool – November 10th 2019
Catfish Rip it Up in Liverpool!! A sold out M&S Bank Arena for, what I would guess should be considered a hometown show for Catfish and The Bottlemen. No easy feet for any band, but even more impressive when you think that the lads from Catfish have been fairly quiet in the UK lately, or that’s the way it seems, especially compared to a year or two back when you couldn’t seem to turn the radio on with out hearing a Catfish tune.
But before I go any further, I have to say
as much as I like the band and I really do, I’m still not sure why Liverpool is
as near as they seem to come to a hometown gig. A proper home-coming, in my
humble opinion, would be North Wales, specifically Llandudno, as that is where
this band cut their teeth. That is where their fan base started, and it’s not
like there is no venue for them to play. Llandudno has a fantastic seafront
theatre, Venue Cymru, which has recently hosted the likes of Noel Gallagher, Stereophonics,
The Courteeners, Kasabian and more, and over the next month or so the stage
will be graced by the likes of Snow Patrol, Bastille, Paul Weller and Shed
Seven, so come on guys, let’s make this happen.
With that grumble out of the way, the atmosphere in Liverpool arena was electric, but before we got to the main course it was time for a little aperitif in the form of Twin Atlantic, an alt rock band from Glasgow, Scotland. After a dirge of singles receiving airplay, and catapulting them to becoming bonafide rock stars, they have been a bit quiet of late. So quite surprising how well they were received by the Catfish fans. They were definitely not here to make up the numbers; they brought their own swagger to the party and the crowd were with them all the way. Playing songs from across all 5 albums, and a couple of new songs for good measure; beautifully crafted lyrics, edgy guitars, soaring vocals and choruses that everyone just wanted to sing along to. Awesome stuff from an awesome band and a great start to what was already looking like a top night.
Then it was time for Catfish and The
Bottlemen. Helter Skelter, of Beatles fame, blared from the PA and lead singer
Van McCann almost ran on to the stage, and the first thing that struck me is
they look like the real thing; a very cool rock band, tight jeans, fitted
shirts, Chelsea boots, afro’s and long hair and then they launch into one of
the latest singles “Longshot” and you think they really are ‘the real thing’.
Then it’s “Kathleen” and “Pacifier” from their debut album, The Balcony,
quickly followed by “Soundcheck” from their second album, The Ride. Yes they
are the real deal, but don’t get me wrong, they play straight off-the-bat Indie
Rock; solid danceable indie, that takes in part Early Artic Monkeys, some
Kooks, and lots of The Strokes and there is nothing wrong with that. I love
Indie rock and these boys do it f£$king well.
“Twice” “Fallout”, and
“Anything” follow and then its “Sidetrack” from the new
record and now the place is going off, people on shoulders, the crowd belting
back the lyrics to the band. Van McCann rips up the stage, throwing himself
and his guitar around, at times it seemed almost chaotic, huge anthemic
choruses, sonic guitars, and they are so very tight.
Catfish and The Bottlemen put on a blistering, electric live performance tonight and, at times it seemed to be moving at breakneck pace, as the band seemed lost in the music and the show, much like the 13 thousand or so fans that had piled into the Arena. So as the night ends and I walk to my car, it dawns on me that Catfish actually write songs for arenas, and you know what, that’s what they play now, but they should still should do the right thing and play a proper hometown gig
Tonight it’s a sold out M&S Bank Arena
for The Script on the opening night of their huge European Arena tour in
promotion of their new long player, ‘Sunsets & Full Moons’,
Script are big, huge in fact and if you don’t believe me these stats will back
it up, 6 billion streams, 30 million single sales, 10.8 million album sales,
over 12 million monthly Spotify listeners and 1.8 million ticket sales, not bad
for an alt-pop trio from Dublin, Ireland.
So as the lights dim Danny O’Donoghue (vocals, piano, guitar), Mark Sheehan (vocals, guitars) and Glen Power (drums) take to the stage and the massive crowd welcome them like long lost heroes, and they kick the night off with “Something Unreal” and the huge radio hit “Superheroes” setting the tone for the night.
Script will play 20 songs tonight across all there 6 long players, “The
Man Who Cant Be Moved”, “For The First Time”, “Hall Of
Fame”, “Rain”, “Breakeven” and as the night progresses
I start to realize how many off their songs I am familiar with from the radio,
TV adds, television programmes and movies, and they jump genres, alt pop, a
little rock, hip hop and some quite middle of the road pop, but what is also
evident is that they’ve embraced arena status with all the familiar trappings,
from confetti cannons and pyro to computer graphics and extended catwalks, even
taking to delivering a stripped-down mini-set in the seating area amongst the
audience, like being down your local, well….nearly.
even though I like my music a little more indie, a little more edgy a little
more punk and a lot less middle of the road, I do have the ultimate respect for
a band like the Script, yes they can be a little clichéd in parts and even a
little formulaic if you want, but they write hits, big big hits and they put on
a proper live arena show and they are at the top of their game right now, The Script
are an admirable live act emotionally, connecting with their audience.
But with all that said the most important thing out of it all, is that everyone in the M&S Bank Arena, both young and old had a brilliant time and that’s where it all starts and ends as far as I am concerned.
” Everyone in the venue is sweating, the band are sweating and I think even the walls are sweating. If there was a roof I’m sure it would have been ripped off by the end of the set. So as the night comes to the end with pyro’s and encores, I am left to reflect that maybe, just maybe I have seen the start of something very big” To Read The Full Review Hit This Link
“Kelly Jones has an effortless charm that just sucks you in. Add in the size of the venue, mixed with the love from the adoring crowd, a feeling of intimacy between the band and their fans built up over the evening- a very beautiful thing to behold.” To read the full review hit link