Download Festival is my photo happy place and I miss it terribly! I love the wall of noise, the constant busyness running for the backstage bus between shows, the heart bouncing rumble of the bass in the photo pit, the atmosphere (metal crowds are always the friendliest), the buzz of activity in the press room and of course, the privilege of catching at least three songs up close from some truly awesome bands. As someone who could almost never see the stage at concerts, photography was the perfect career choice! Once again I was shooting for a guitar magazine (Guitar & Bass) so the emphasis was very much on the guitarists but even if you’re not gear obsessed, I hope you enjoy my highlights from Friday’s bands. I shot Blues Pills, The Cadillac Three, Thunder, Judas Priest, Black Stone Cherry and Slipknot. More photos coming tomorrow!
A couple of months ago I was up in Birmingham photographing California Breed as they supported Slash with Myles Kennedy at the LG Arena. Here are a few of my favourite shots of Glenn Hughes making a whole lot of noise back on black country home soil!
Here are some of the promo shots I did for the new Godsticks album – Emergence – out August 10th. Well worth stumbling around on the rocks in the freezing cold for two hours, waiting on the tide! I also joined the band in the studio at Monnow Valley & with James ‘Lerock’ Loughrey in London, to document the recording sessions. Chris came along too as he’s been shooting a documentary for the band as well as a behind-the-scenes music video for their latest track – Much Sinister – which you can watch here.
Here’s Swedish hard rock band H.E.A.T backstage at The Garage less than five minutes before the show. Just enough time for a few pops of the flash in front of that sparkly backdrop (set up for a wild looking club night afterwards) before quickly throwing my light stand somewhere, running downstairs behind the band and squeezing into the pit before they got on stage. Awesome gig! Hard rock anthems and a massive arena sound with all the sweaty intimacy of a club venue… what’s not to love?!
A few months back I went along with Guitarist Magazine to the Slash gig with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators at the Birmingham LG Arena. We filmed a mini rig tour and interview with Slash’s guitar tech, Ace, (in almost complete darkness while California Breed sound checked on stage next to us!) which you can check out here. I’ve included some super grainy stills of Slash’s gear on this blog too… look how scruffed up the backs of the guitars get! The gig was AMAZING, of course. Myles’ vocal and stage presence is immense and I love to hear him perform Slither and all the GnR classics as well as the collaborative stuff. Hopefully I’ll see them again at Download this June!