Posts Tagged ‘Brixton Academy’

Phoenix live at the O2 Academy Brixton, February 2014

Phoenix

One of those shows that comes along every so often when everything seems to go right. My first time shooting Phoenix, I had no idea what to expect – then we found out we could shoot the whole show, and then they put a ton of light on the crowd (which was a big part of a brief I was shooting for Academy Music Group as a new project!) I annoyingly had to run rather than shoot the whole show but with the tunes and energy on display I must admit I was a bit gutted to leave so soon. And it’s not very often I say that about bands I don’t already know.

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James live at the O2 Academy Brixton, April 2013

James

For some reason, before the gig I was scanning James’ wikipedia page and much to my abject horror, ‘Sit Down’ was first released in 1989. This made me feel old. I should not have worried. Never fully rewarded with the success they deserved – Chesney Hawkes denied them the No1 chart spot for Sit Down – I always forget just how many great songs they have, and how much they still enjoy performing them. The band as whole might not be the most memorable bunch of rock stars, but in Tim Booth James have a frontman who somehow manages to seem elated performing songs now decades old, and having performed them god only knows how often – and can still perform them as well as ever. If you’ve never seen them, do.

And it seems my freakish run of being happy with my photos continues. Which is nice.

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The Prodigy live at Brixton Academy, December 2012

The Prodigy

Despite a lighting rig fit for a medium size spaceship, one of the hardest gigs I’ve shot in a long time. I don’t think I’ve ever shot the Prodigy inside before – they’re usually playing festivals – so being in a normal size pit while Keith and Maxim leg it around the stage lit pretty sparingly made for a bit of a nightmare. The most consistent light when it did come on was one of those horrible blue/red LED washes, which seem entirely designed to annoy photographers, so I spent half my time running around trying to get someone in focus, and then hoping to catch a strobe.

Hard work but pretty happy with the results – and as for the gig, well, epic would be an understatement. Voodoo People as an opener was just immense, one of the best live tracks I’ve heard in a while, and Breathe third reminded me why a band who might not strike you as being particularly radio-friendly are still huge nearly 20 years after forming.

If you’ve never seen them live, you’re missing out. (more…)

Rizzle Kicks live at the O2 Academy Brixton, November 2012

Rizzle Kicks

Nothing like running into a pit halfway through the first song after a pass screw up. And slightly ‘refreshed’. Grabbed the D3 and a 24-70 and just got stuck into it, with two separate people running all over the stage and lots of blue light from either side going straight into your lens it wasn’t the easiest gig to shoot, but I managed a few frames I’m really happy with. Capture some of the energy but also some of the more thoughtful moments.

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Kasabian live at the O2 Academy Brixton, August 2012

Kasabian

Kasabian

Whatever you may think about Kasabian, you can’t deny that they put on a show. Everything goes into it, they love performing and they’re nice guys. (Being asked “y’alright?” by one of the band while photographing the set casually, mid-song, kindof sums them up) They’ve built up a cracking catalogue of songs over the years and while they might never be the most innovative band, you hear tracks like Stuntman and you can’t really say the poor-mans-Oasis tagline is really justified at all. From Club Foot to Velociraptor, they can write a pop tune like few other British guitar bands.

As for the lighting, well, two spotlights and lots of LED wash – talk about making RAW work for you!

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Incubus perform live at the O2 Academy Brixton, July 2012

Incubus

I was first introduced to Incubus at school – so was slightly apprehensive about how they would be a decade on. They might not be as half-clothed as they used to, but they’ve still got one of the best singers I’ve ever heard and some original tunes – and a lighting engineer I want to buy a beer. Top gig.

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Miike Snow live at the O2 Academy Brixton, May 2012

Miike Snow

All in all a pretty minging gig to shoot – a ton of smoke, naff all light and the first track they all had masks on. Really had to push the ISO to get anything at all, and even then the smoke made everything look like it’d been taken from outside the venue on a misty day….some alright tunes though and at least we got 3 tracks (for what they were worth!)

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Limp Bizkit live at the O2 Academy Brixton, April 2012

Limp Bizkit

Limp Bizkit in the hoooooouse y’all.

Meh.

Apparently my lack of enthusiasm for LB wasn’t good enough for the few hardcore fans on the barrier I got talking to, but they were totally on my side when security threw us out of the pit after 2 songs and my (marginally intoxicated) self decided to take issue with the fact that they’d counted the intro as a song. Not quite sure how that works given the band weren’t even on stage, but jobsworths will do what jobsworths do best I guess.

Still, managed a few decent frames – really pleased with the frame above.

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Foster the People live at the O2 Academy Brixton, April 2012

Foster the People

Pretty remarkable that last August I saw these guys playing the 3rd stage at Leeds Festival (it may have been the 4th technically but nobody counts the metal/dance stage…) and nine months later they’ve got three nights at Brixton Academy. Largely off the back of ‘Pumped up Kicks’ I think – who said the single was dead?!

As it turned out it wasn’t a bad show – they’re a bit short on material, but they played ‘Miss You’ early on – my favourite FTP song by a mile. Always a bonus when that happens. The heavy percussion that was the hallmark of their early shows hasn’t been lost, with three of the band at times all hitting things. Sadly when not hitting things the singer tried to dance – a warning to anyone who forms a band and plays a keyboard that even when you’re singing and not playing, it’s probably an idea to stay sat down.

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Leftfield live at the O2 Academy Brixton, April 2012

Leftfield

So, it’s a Saturday afternoon, you have a few drinks, you come home to grab some tea before heading out to a gig. Nothing too new for me. Only when the headliner isn’t on until 1am, you might be tempted to have a quick disco nap on the sofa before heading out. Everything went to plan – apart from the time I got to the venue. Fine for Leftfield, but no hope of seeing any of the supports. Error.

As it turned out, I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to shoot Leftfield again – decent tunes but basically a big screen with a drummer and two blokes tinkering with keyboards infront of it. (more…)