I haven’t been able to photograph much, if anything recently due to recovering from a broken wrist but I ventured out to see Machine Gun Kelly [MGK] on his Diablo Tour at Birmingham’s O2 Institute. Here’s a small selection of what I managed to capture.
Here’s a small collection of photographs of Shawn Mendes performing at The Arena Birmingham
It’s the first night of the second leg of this tour and we were off to the Fox & Newt in Leeds. Once we arrived parking was an issue so we were having to be vigilant on making sure we wasn’t ticketed and it wasn’t too long before someone shouted “Ticket Guy” lucky enough they skipped passed our van and got someone else.
Whilst the guys were finishing off sound check I headed out to get some food with an old school friend who I hadn’t seen in eight years.
(EIGHT YEARS! don’t time fly) before returning to get back on my photo duties.
Leeds ended up being an eventful night for once reason or another and will defiantly be remember.
FOX & NEWT, LEEDS
THE VAULT, LEICESTER
The following day we drove from Liverpool to Leicester to perform at The Vault. Now this was my first time in this venue and quirky is defiantly a word that could be used for this venue; it was right up my street.
Leicester personally for me ended up being the best show of tour, the audience were super into it and it pushed the boys to give it there all that little bit more; the room was buzzing off the energy. Once the show was over loads of people stayed behind to chat and have photos before all piling into the nightclub event they had on and what a throw back that was with some classic tunes from the 90’s, early 00’s.
Which then inspire the music on the way to our hotel. “PARTY IN THE VAN” even Ben P was lucky enough to get a dance off Booth. (I’m sure you’ve seen the videos on Instagram stories)
THE BLACK HEART, LONDON
Now our hotel was only about a 1hr and half drive away from London so we got there early and loaded in so we could spend the afternoon around Camden. Whilst going around the markets someone tried to rob something out of Georges bag, lucky they didn’t get anything as Bradley caught them trying too.
We spent a good proportion of time walking around trying to decided what food to try, a good percentage ended up getting Chinese; which ended up just being super greasy noodles and most of it went in the bin. I wasn’t feeling great that day so once back at the venue I took up residency on the venue floor sprawled out eating chips from Burger King.
The show went well evening though we were cutting it close to curfew. Now that’s it the end of tour and end of an era with the band but be ready, be excited for the new music and ventures that are too come
The last time I seen Pop Evil was about three, maybe four years ago when they supported 3 Doors Down at the O2 Academy Birmingham. That was my first time seeing Pop Evil and still to this day I remember the energy the band had that night and their interactions with the kids at the show; I even recall Leigh getting one of the kids up on stage and getting him to sit next to Hayley’s Drum kit while they played a track before returning him to the barrier to his parents. I can honestly say I’ve seen no other band be that interactive with such young fans at their shows so I was looking forward to the next two days.
O2 ACADEMY 3, BIRMINGHAM
I arrived at the o2 Academy Birmingham for about 3:30pm as the band was setting up ready to sound check. I met with Shelby and he introduced me to Davey and Nick as I set up my lighting in their dressing room. I was later introduced to the rest of the band before doing a couple of individual portraits and some BTS shots in the dressing room. I was amazed by how quick Matt could solve a Rubix cube no matter how much I mixed it up he solved it in minutes; now if that was me I’d be there for hours trying to figure that thing out. As I headed out to Front Of House (FOH) I could feel the heat! That room already was so warm and sweaty but then again what do you expect from a sold out show! The night went well and considering the restrictions of shooting (mainly room to move about) I was happy with the results I managed to get.
O2 ACADEMY, ISLINGTON
The next day I caught the train down to London arriving for near three o’clock in the afternoon, I made my way to Islington then found a cafe to refuel in and do a few more edits from the night before. I headed to the venue for about 4:30 then hung out backstage till Leigh had finished with his interviews then we headed out around the surrounding area to capture some shots before heading back to the venue to shoot a couple more.
I then bumped into Hayley in the hallway and mentioned to her the day before that if I brought one of my drum sticks would she be able to sign it for me; as I collect drum sticks. So luckily enough I remember to pack one in my bag and Hayley signed it for me. This meant a lot to me as when I started to have drum lessons when I was about 16, there wasn’t any (not that I can think of) female drummers in Main Stream music apart from Cindy Blackman. The drummers I looked up too were Travis Barker (Blink182), Zac Farro (Paramore) and Aaron Gillespie (Underøath). So fast forward a few years its great to see so many amazing female’s behind the kit and I just feel so lucky that i’ve got to work closely and shoot Hayley herself and recently Kortney Grinwis (Chapel). Its amazing to see so many females coming forward now in what was a male dominated sector and it makes me want to start my lessons again and really learn about drums to eventually get behind a kit one day.
I then headed back to the dressing room where I left my equipment to prep what I needed for the show and then headed straight up the stairs, pretty quickly as I forgot show time was earlier then the previous night. I headed out to FOH to start the night off, there was plenty of running around from FOH, Onstage and too the balcony above but as you know heat rises so the floor was pretty slippery up top and there were a few near slides across the floor but luckily I managed to stay on my feet.
The two days I spent with Pop Evil was an amazing experience and I’d like to thank them and their crew for being welcoming. Thank you to Hayley for your kind words about my photography it honestly meant a lot to hear that and to Leigh for sharing your knowledge and insight. Im grateful to you all and your team.
A few weeks ago I was tagged in a post on FROM INSIDE’s Facebook page; It stated they needed a tour photographer at short notice, after applying and a stressful few hours of reorganising things I was going on MY FIRST TOUR (I was a little excited).
That night I didn’t sleep well as I was “flapping” what I needed to pack and what equipment to take with me on the road, luckily for me my pick up wasn’t till 1/2pm so I did managed to get a quick nap in before loading up into the Van.
Now it was time to drive from Birmingham to Southhampton for the first show. We were slightly behind on time but we made it, loaded in and set up and was ready to rock within a few hours of being at the venue.
Also this was my first time seeing FROM INSIDE live and hearing their music so knowing how they moved on stage to each track, how the audience responded to each track I was going to have to learn very quickly in order to get the shots.
THE PIPELINE, BRIGHTON
The next day we drove from Southampton to Brighton; Unfortunately it was Brighton’s Tattoo Convention and the weather was beautiful so every Tom, Dick and Harry was out and the traffic was horrendous. Once loaded into the venue we all went off around the town to explore; Now the last time I visited Brighton was in 2016 to see Ruby Rose do a DJ set which she cancelled on the day (Insert sad face here) but I’ve always loved Brighton so I was super happy to be back. We visited the Brighton Pier to try and do some photos but it was too busy and decided we’d go back later on to do a photoshoot when less people were around.
We took a trip to The Royal Pavilion to do a shoot outside of there instead and found out it was built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV.
The venue was situated above a bar and it was packed and in-between change overs people were having to go outside for a breather because it was getting hot up in there. After the show we then had a two hour drive to Reading to the place where we were staying for the night and I couldn’t wait to get some sleep after an eventful day.
FUEL CLUB, CARDIFF
The next day after having a beautiful lunch cooked for us by Sarah we headed to Cardiff. To my excitement when we arrived the venue was a five minute walk around the corner from the Rugby ground that England VS Wales played the day before so I felt like a five year old at Christmas. (Yes, i’m a huge rugby fan).
Now by the time we arrived and loaded in we were all starving and luckily for us there was a Wetherspoons right next door. 80% of us ordered food from there and that in itself was a bad idea, we all pretty much felt sick after eating but as far as I’m aware no one threw up; we all just felt terrible.
The gig went really well with people stood down the front head banging along and just immersing themselves in the music.
(Side Note: Weatherspoons do you call it “Spoons” or “Weathers”)
THE PEER HAT, MANCHESTER
We stayed over in Liverpool the night before so we only had a short journey to Manchester for the final night of the Tour. We arrived at the Peer Hat, sound checked then hung out with friends and family while the other bands played. As a lot of the bands Family and friends had travelled to Manchester to see the show as this was the nearest “Home Town” show.
While the band hung out before the show I went off to meet fellow photographer Samantha Guess and got myself pretty much “kicked out” of Starbucks; No I didn’t do anything wrong!!! The member of staff just decided to direct what she was saying solely at me “telling me she was closing up and I needed to leave” so everyone else could have stayed she didn’t tell them. (Laughs)
Again the show ended on a high with loads of support from everyone that came to watch; many stayed around once the show had finished to grab “selfies” with the band and converse with them.
PHOTO: SAMANTHA GUESS
Finally I’d just like to say a massive Thank You to FROM INSIDE for taking me out on my first tour and being so welcoming. I had a real fun time out on the road and learnt a lot in those few days and I can’t wait to hit the road with you guys again and watch you all grow as a band.
POUND FOR POUND!
Growing up in the 90’s was all about boy bands from Boyzone, Five,NSYNC, Westlife and many more; but tonight I was going to see one of those bands I heard growing up. I arrived at the Resorts World Arena for the Boyzone Thank You & Goodbye 25th Anniversary Tour and whilst waiting to be escorted down to the arena floor, My camera and Sigma telephoto lens decided to take a jump off the table and smash itself all over the floor. (You know the moments when you see it happening but everything just goes into slow motion and theres nothing you can do about it….yeah that happened)
Luckily my camera was fine but the lens hood shattered and now I have to pay out a minimum of £44 for a piece of plastic (*Cries).
Anyway all that aside here are a small selection of photographs from that evening.
Once out of the cold and inside the venue I quickly discover there was going to be shooting restrictions (I’d never shot in this venue before) as there was no barrier and the room was already half full and it was pretty tight in there already and doors had only just opened, but thankfully the fans were absolutely wonderful and offered me a place as close to the stage as possible for me to capture the evening.
I managed to squeeze myself in-front of the stack of speakers to the left hand side of the stage which was't ideal but sometimes you’ve got to work with the area your in and the restrictions that come with it but due to this factor most of my images that night were solely of Sam and Josh as I couldn’t get myself into a better position or switch lenses to capture Stevie and Linden who were across the other side of the stage and further back (Linden).
Once again I can’t thank enough how kind the fans were to allow me to stand in-front of them, too take their place to capture the shots I needed without me having to ask “excuse me can I stand there for a minute” by far the most friendly and supportive fans I’ve encountered yet! Also Thank you to the lovely employees working the bar upstairs as there wasn’t a cloak room which meant no where to store my coat or my bag containing all the photography equipment and they were kind enough to store it behind the bar in the back room for me to keep it safe till the end of the night.
THE BODEGA, NOTTINGHAM
As previously mentioned in my Chapel and Halflives Blog I attended the Birmingham show at the Academy 3 the following week and The photo pit was full of friends and it was wonderful to catch up with Mac (again), Sarah, Eleanor and Val and just have a laugh in-between sets. Even when we had finished our photo duties for the evening it was great to just hang out, watch The Faim and just enjoyed the performance they were giving.
O2 ACADEMY 3, BIRMINGHAM
The following day I caught the train down to London and nearly went the wrong venue as not only did The Faim sell out their first headline show, they sold out The Garage after a venue change from The Underworld and this is why I very nearly headed to the wrong place.
As the time approached for The Faim to take to the stage the atmosphere in that room was already at a high and I didn’t think it could get any higher but it did! As they all took to the stage there was some sound issues during the first song, technical problems causing the sound to cut in/out, to which the crowd just sang louder while the boys continued to rock and the audience didn’t seem fazed by the issue.
The sound issues where resolved and the rest of the night flowed as it should; It’s hard to describe how it felt in that room that night, the participation from the audience was there without guidance (you could tell a few of these people had been to more then one show), the atmosphere and energy in the room was at an all time high in my opinion compared too the previous two gigs I covered London really raised the bar.
I have so much love and respect for these guys and I don’t think it will be long before they’re playing arenas and I can’t wait to see that happen for them.
THE GARAGE, LONDON
Saints Of The Sinners
When It Comes
Where The River Runs
A Milions Stars
I Can Feel You
Summer Is A Curse
So as previously mentioned in my Blog about Chapel; It’s the 30th January and I’m catching the train up to Nottingham to attending The Faim’s first UK headline tour with support from Chapel and Halflives; But this week in the UK we’re experiencing freezing cold temperatures from the Arctic air current changing direction or something like that. I soon found out that this didn’t stop hundreds of people turning up to Bodega in Nottingham to stand outside in the freezing temperatures to attend the show.
Now if you’ve never been The Bodega, downstairs is a bar area and an outside court area decorated with sweeping fairy lights and the gig venue is upstairs. So once I arrived I took a seat in the bar area out of the cold while I waited for Linda from Halflives to meet me for a little portrait session. Now there wasn’t many places to shoot and it wasn’t long before the show was due to started so we used various areas within the venue for a backdrop and thank you image stabilisation because I was worried my images were going to be slightly blurred due to my slight shaking from the cold! (Yes, it was that cold) but i’m happy with the results and thank you to Linda, who was a pleasure to shoot.
THE BODEGA, NOTTINGHAM
The following week was the Birmingham show at the Academy 3. The photo pit was full of friends and it was wonderful to catch up with Mac (again), Sarah, Eleanor and Val and just have a laugh in-between sets.
Also I was looking forward to shooting at the venue because I knew they had a barrier (YASSSS!) As I wasn’t personally happy with the live images I took in Nottingham even though I enjoyed the challenge of it; I just knew i could do better and achieve better images.
O2 ACADEMY 3, BIRMINGHAM
The following day I caught the train down to London and nearly went the wrong venue as there had been a venue upgrade and it slipped my mind for a second but I managed to find The Garage and it was pretty straight forward to get too once I figured out where I was going. I stood outside the venue for a while talking to everyone outside and I met some absolutely lovely people and Thank you for the company and Hot Chocolate it was defiantly needed with how cold it was out there.
THE GARAGE, LONDON
Once inside I prepped my gear and waited for Halflives to take to the stage; I knew tonight I could only shoot the first two songs of their set due to having to head backstage to shoot something else, so the pressure was on to captured what I wanted within those two songs and safe to say I’m more then happy with the results.
Getting shoot and spend time with the individuals on this tour has been a real experience and an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait for our paths to cross again.
It’s the 30th January and I’m catching the train up to Nottingham to attending The Faim’s first UK headline tour with support from Chapel and Halflives; But this week in the UK we’re experiencing freezing cold temperatures from the Arctic air current changing direction or something like that. I soon found out that this didn’t stop hundreds of people turning up to Bodega in Nottingham to stand outside in the freezing temperatures to attend the show.
Once inside the venue I quickly discover there was going to be shooting restrictions (I’d never shot in this venue before) as there was no barrier and the room was already half full and it was pretty tight in there, but thankfully the fans were absolutely wonderful and offered me a place as close to the stage as possible for me to capture the evening.
THE BODEGA, NOTTINGHAM
This was my first time seeing Chapel live and I didn’t know what to expect; I very briefly spoke to Kortney while she was stood side stage as I wanted to check I could shoot onstage for a better shooting point; You can see a small selection of those photos above.
O2 ACADEMY 3, BIRMINGHAM
The following week was the Birmingham show at the Academy 3. The photo pit was full of friends and it was wonderful to catch up and seem them and just have a laugh in-between sets.
The following day I caught the train down to London and nearly went the wrong venue as there had been a venue upgrade and it slipped my mind for a second but I managed to find The Garage. I stood outside for a while talking to everyone outside and I met some absolutely lovely people and Thank you for the company and Hot Chocolate it was defiantly needed with how cold it was out there.
Once inside I prepped my gear and got ready to shoot Halflives before heading backstage to shoot portraits with Chapel and document the backstage experience. Once show time hit I couldn’t believe how alive the place was; I took a quick moment to look out at the crowd as I was crouched down behind Kortney’s drum kit changing lenses; the crowds response and the energy in that room was on another level compared to the previous shows I had attended the bar really had been raised, it was such an energetic show and everyone could feel it.
It was an amazing experience and I’ve gained some very talented and amazing friends along with plenty of memories. I hope the Europe run of the tour goes well and I personally can’t wait to hear new music from them.
I had the privilege to work “AAA” for Amy Shark on her first date of the Love Monster tour; Her team and fellow band members were so welcoming and I’ve never heard an audience so quiet during and in between song changes as they just listened and appreciate the music and performance . Below are a handful of photographs from that evening.