DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL 2010

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I attended Download Festival 2010 last week: once again an incredible line up and incredible fun. I was able to acquire an ‘Artist Pass’ for the 3rd (Pepsi) stage on the Sunday, which was thanks to the very talented Blues Rock guitarist Ben Poole. His set was the opening act at 11am that day and even though it was early in the day the turn out for his performance filled the tent and was well received by the audience.

Because I had the pass for the day I decided to shoot a few other bands including ‘The Morning After’ which put on a visual feast with explosions and fantastic crowd interaction including the lead singer Sam crowd surfing and getting involved in the circle pit. Other bands I shot were the incredible heavy ‘Whitechapel‘ and they increasingly successful ‘Young Guns‘ both bands packing the tent and being huge crowd pleasers.

Photos coming soon

Blessed By A Broken Heart – Camden Underworld

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Thank you to Tony Gambino (vocals) who allowed me to join him and the rest of Blessed By A Broken Heart at their show 17th May. I met up with the band around 4pm where we got to know each other and as one photographer to another, Tony Gambino and I discussed cameras, mainly him being a Canon man compared to me preferring Nikon equipment. Check out his photography website here and also listed in my ‘Links’ Section.

We had less time than originally planned because they arrived later than planned, though they did show up sporting some new Tattoos from being up till 5am the night before being tattooed by the legendary Kevin Paul. We shot in the bar next door to the venue then myself and a friend helped them unload whilst meeting their additional band member for the evening; their Keyboardist was not on this tour because his child was being born, but they got hold of a very capable Vadim Pruzhanov from ‘Dragonforce‘ to stand in for the tour.

It was a great show with BBABH getting the audience joining in on stage near the end, plenty of stage diving and stage invasions making this show a party that all could enjoy. This band caused complete chaos in such a fun atmosphere of metal and party tunes from solo battles between guitarist and Dragonforce’s Keyboardist and Tony spending a lot of time leaning into the crowd and getting everyone joining in on the vocals. They truly are crowd pleasers as no one was standing still in the audience and after the show they all hung out and spent time with the fans. Fantastic guys, great fun and very down to earth, looking forward to partying with them again next time. Thanks again guys 

R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio

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This is a direct quote from this website – Roadrunner Records

Wendy Dio, wife/manager of legendary heavy metal singer Ronnie James Dio (DIOHEAVEN & HELLBLACK SABBATHRAINBOW), has released the following statement to BLABBERMOUTH.NET:

“Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45 a.m. [on Sunday] 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away. 

Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. 

“We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. 

“Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss.

“Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.”

It was only a month ago that Dio, 67, spoke about his battle with cancer with the Artisan News Service on the “black carpet” of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, which took place on April 8 at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. When asked about how he had been feeling since he was diagnosed with the disease late last year, Dio said, “Well, I feel good and bad at times. It’s a long process. Chemotherapy is a… I never realized what a difficult thing it was to go through. It’s a real cumulative effect — the more you have, the more it piles up on top and it takes longer and longer to get over it. I find it very difficult to eat. I don’t like to eat anyway, so I guess that’s OK. But I know I have to. But this makes it very, very hard. But if you’re determined to beat it, then you have to go with what you believe is going to beat it for you, and in this case it’s that. I go to a great hospital in Houston called M.D. Anderson, which I think is the best hospital in the world, I have the best doctor in the world,Dr. Ajani, who I really trust and I really believe in, so I think I’ve done all the right things. It makes me feel positive about my life and positive that there is a lot more of it to live.”

Earlier this month, HEAVEN & HELL canceled its summer tour plans in Europe due to Dio‘s treatment for stomach cancer. The band said in a statement that Dio wasn’t “well enough to tour this summer. We hope that everyone understands and want to thank fans and industry colleagues for their continuing support at this time.”

Ronnie James Dio had performed with ELFRAINBOWBLACK SABBATH, and his own band DIO. Other musical projects included the collective fundraiser “Hear ‘n Aid”. He is widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the “devil’s horns” hand gesture in metal culture. He was most recently involved with HEAVEN & HELL, a project which also included former BLACK SABBATH bandmates Tony IommiGeezer Butler and Vinny Appice. Their first and only studio album, “The Devil You Know”, was released on April 28, 2009.

The Chariot + IWrestledABearOnce + Dead & Divine = W O W

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Have been looking forward to this show for a loooooong time as IWrestledABearOnce (IWABO) are one of my favourite bands made all the more incredible by the fact that this band cannot be catagorized in anyway. The vocals are by Krysta an unbelievably talented woman who screams and growls harder and more vicious than any male singer and alternates into beautiful harmonies and almost operatic style with ease. The band play erratic songs in an accurate way, mixing brutal metal with jazz intervals and comical interludes, this band is a complete original and cannot be compared to anything. Go and listen on youtube or myspace now. Their videos are hilarious yet impressive.

For this show I met up with IWABO around 5pm and we shot some promos around the Southampton area whilst heading for food to feed them, they are a fun bunch of guys even though they were drained from all the travelling and being away from home for 2 weeks. We got some great shots captured and headed back to The Joiners venue. I then met The Chariot and took them out to a few places I had found from scouting around the area to do some promo shots, These guys were a great bunch and very relaxed with anything suggested and enjoyed messing around which made meeting them much easier and relaxing. Again we got some great shots and headed back to the venue, by which time had opened their doors to the fans. 

Myself and my friend Dave who had travelled up with me and was a huge fan of all the bands went into the venue and started to enjoy the show. Dead & Divine played a great set getting the crowd moving and prepared them for the rest of the evening. IWABO took to stage after consuming plenty of alcohol and played an amazing set even though the guitarist strap broke and the drummer broke the symbol stand within the first song. But they kept going and destroyed the venue with the pit going crazy and Krysta even jumping down into the pit even though she is only around 5’5″. Next up was The Chariot who I have never seen live before but enjoyed their ferocious style of aggressive music, these guys ended up being a complete shock and not what I was expecting: After meeting them and seeing them chilled, funny and polite I assume they would be great performers but these guys were so much more. Forget the completely insane pit going on, it was beyond chaotic on stage with each member throwing there equipment around like mad men and never standing still including Wolf (freshly named AirWolf from during the promo shoot when he was jumping between bollards) standing on the crowd to grab the lighting rig on the ceiling and dangling upside down singing at the crowd beneath him. 

Words alone cannot describe the show all the bands put on but I don’t see it being beaten anytime soon performance wise. Special thanks to IWABO & The Chariot for being so accommodating, playing amazing sets and for the great merch. Thanks guys

9th May – ‘Circles’ Promo Shoot and moving to LONDON

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On the 9th May I travelled to London to shoot some promos of the band Circles. Just so happens to be that this incredibly talented bands guitarist is soon to be my new housemate in North Finchley and I will be moving in with him from 1st June. I have known Drew (Andy) Lowe since the age of 11 at school and he has always been an overly talented guitarist and now he has finally gone through plenty of learning curves with other signed bands and produced albums that he has finally found the perfect niche. Drew alongside Colin Parkinson (Bass/Vocals) and Lucas Van Rensburg VIII (Drums) has formed ‘Circles‘. 

We shot at The Defectors Weld in Shepherds Bush, well known in the area and used for photoshoots of other famous stars including Placebo. After a good and thorough shoot there in the morning surrounded by fantastic old rustic decorations we has a glorious Roast there then moved on the shoot around London; from Soho to Trafalgar Square and more.

Rotten Sound

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On Sunday 18th April I set off to London with Lee and Ash (singer and drummer of Run The Division) to experience some Grindcore/Death Metal with the mighty ‘Rotten Sound’, ‘The Red Chord’ and ‘Aborted’. Unfortunately The Red Chord was not able to make the show because of the volcano activity in Iceland preventing flights into the UK from America which was a shame. We met up with Rotten Sound around 5:30 so I could shoot some new promotional shots for them, which were shot in the venue of The Underworld in Camden. I will be editing them soon. This is when I found an interesting fact about the band; when I asked how long they were free to shoot and have they sound checked yet, they replied with they were in no rush as they don’t sound check.

Later on we arrived back at the venue to watch the live show, Aborted came out full force and set the bar very high for the rest of the evening. This was my first experience of seeing these bands live so it was a fantastic first impression of their live abilities. Rotten Sound headlined with a blisteringly fast and brutal performance that was relentless throughout. They were unbelievable to watch and it fully proves my argument about the genre of Metal music no matter the category; This genre is the most complex, demanding and progressive style of music and should be respected above all, irrelevant of the opinions about any part of the sub genres. I don’t expect everyone to enjoy Metal, especially not the more aggressive bands but If people were to see what these bands could do I believe all would be impressed about the talent of all members.

Thank you to Mika (Guitar) and the rest of Rotten Sound for being incredibly friendly and accommodating during the shoot and having the time to hang out and chat afterwards, myself and my friends really appreciated it.

The Editors

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Went to interview Chris Urbanowicz; guitarist from The Editors 28th March at Portsmouth Guildhall. The interview went well with Chris having a very professional attitude towards the questioning.

The show was more impressive than I expected; I am not a huge fan of their style of music, which is difficult to ‘pigeon hole’ except for saying it was Indie/Electro. Heard only a few songs prior to the show but once they begun I was instantly in awe, I did not expect the amount of energy the showed on stage and although the rarely engaged the audience there was no need because of the passion of the performance and the lighting making a very captivating show.

The interview is able to be listened/viewed with my images at Andover Sound 

Andover Sound Radio Station – Fresh Portraits

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Just completed editing the new promotional portraits for the Radio Station that will be on their newly updated website when they come to working on the new look. As well as their new thumbnail images there will also be a photo gallery on there with my shots of them and the station.

Thank you to Shirley and the rest of the station.

Visit their site at www.andoversound.com