Tuesday, 31 March 2015

The Answer, Bad Touch & The Picture Books & VIP Aftershow, Islington Academy, London, 26th March 2015

Careful, it's a long one… My second shoot for Dalle.

This is was always going to be a special gig. The Islington Academy was buzzing from the moment German duo The Picture Books opened the night with their heady mix of raspy blues and caveman-like drumming and a good dollop of hair, sweat, hair and more sweat! Black Keys and White Stripes they are not, and thank f**k for that too.

The stage was set then, for Bad Touch to sweep us away with their swirling guitars and southern tinged vocals in a swagger similar to that of The Black Crowes. It's been a good two years since I last saw them, opening for The Quireboys and while they were an impressive band then, all members of the band have since matured an already commanding stage presence.

Having seen The Answer well and truly rock The Thekla two days before in Bristol, I knew the band were firing on all cylinders - but with an rapturous  capacity crowd in attendance (including a 14 strong Hen Do!) the boys took it to another giddy level in Islington. A special guest appearance from Lynne Jackaman on 'Nowhere Freeway' made for an exceptional surprise in a set showcasing some of the songs off their NUMBER ONE album "Raise A Little Hell,' with long awaited airings of "Demon Eyes" and "Evil Man,' and I came close to feeling almost like I was amongst a Belfast crowd with the non stop 'choir'.

After a quick cool down, it was off to next door to the Academy 2 for the VIP aftershow party.
Broken Chords kicked things off, with a front man who gurned and strutted about the tiny stage like Wilko Johnson on go faster juice.

Then it was time for a stripped down acoustic set from The Answer. I've always loved the acoustic versions of the songs they have released, but hearing it live in such an intimate setting is another thing entirely. Again it was a mix of new songs and favourites such as Preachin' but it was newbie "Gone Too Long" that really stood out with emotion for me. A sublime end to a truly rocking night.

The Picture Books:

Bad Touch:

The Answer:

VIP Aftershow Party - Broken Chords

The Answer's Acoustic set :

Friday, 20 March 2015

Europe, Black Star Riders & The Amorettes - O2 Academy Bristol, 16th March 2015

Expectations have been high for this tour since it was first announced last year - and it didn't disappoint. This was my first gig shooting for the photo agency, Dalle. 

I shot Scottish band The Amorettes way back in 2010 in a tiny club in Bathgate, and have followed their rise since, but this had been the first time since then that I've seen the power trio in action and it was great seeing them work a big stage and get the whole audience whipped up in excitement. 

Black Star Riders tore the venue up, quite literally with the three guitars of Ricky Warwick, Damon Johnson and the legendary Scott Gorham, with a set sprinkled with Thin Lizzy classics as well as airing tracks from their new album, 'Killer Instinct.' A tough act to follow, surely? 

If there was any preconception that Europe were still the 80's poodle haired pomp act, it was well and truly smashed as they launched into the opening track to their new album, War of Kings. Frontman Joey Tempest gave us a masterclass in stage presence, oozing charisma to raise the atmosphere to bordering on orgasmic elation, along with the heavy metal laden riffs from John Norum. Truly a stunning gig all round. 

Click any image to start a slideshow....