Melic – An Hour to Anywhere

Melic create versatile, talented and creative rock music with pop hooks and an uplifting spirit.  This was written for GIGgle Pics.

Variety is the spice of life they say.  Probably because much like a curry plenty of variety will leave you with a big smile, a red face, streaming eyes and a runny nose; but all in a good way except maybe that last one.  With this in mind I hope your ears enjoy a good musical curry because Melic certainly give you plenty of sound spices.  Melic, on Beatnik Geek Records, are here with their debut album An Hour to Anywhere.

Read the full review here.

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The Pantomime Villains – Dreamland

Dreamland  is an infectious and energised slice of indie from the Margate band The Pantomime Villians.

The Pantomime Villains have created an E.P which if anything is too short, although a psychiatrist might have something to say about the band’s attitude to relationships.  Even still if indie is your thing, this won’t fail to do nice things to your insides.

Click here to read the full piece.

David Horn

GIGgle Pics, The Pantomime Villains, Margate, Review, Dreamland

The Pantomime Villians – Dreamland

Music Photography with Sarah Quinn of GIGgle Pics

Music photography, where to start… well it’s not something for the faint hearted that’s for sure, at any level.  Any type of photography requires a vast amount of passion and dedication, as all types pose challenges and require patience.  Music photography has its own and I guess that varies from gig to gig, venue to venue.

I started out as a hobby photographer, merely for the pleasure, not even really showcasing much of my work.  This in itself is criminal… I recently read a quote that really struck a chord with me.  A photograph that has not been shared or at least printed is almost an unexistent photograph, is almost an untaken picture – unknown .

Photography is not my only passion in life, that being music, live music!  Having attended a fair few gigs I was asked by a friend/promoter whether I fancied bringing my camera along and taking a few photos for his company.  Hell Yeah!  That was the start of the completion of my life, two huge loves, thrown together into the most perfect combination.

Imperial Leisure

What I wasn’t prepared for, was how different music photography was and the huge challenges that it imposes.  I had no idea that the techniques needed would be so vastly different and my first few gigs produced little, if no usable results what so ever.  I had to literally go back to basics and start again, learning a completely new way to use my camera.

Firstly not many venues allow flash photography and even if they do I prefer to keep my shots more organic if possible.  Working with coloured stage lighting can prove extremely troublesome, especially when the vast use of pure colour washes comes into the equation.  The lens cannot find clarity in features, and of course the dreaded red lighting that looks so cool to the audience member is the bane of any music togs life!  However, get it right, get a shot at the right moment and working with the colours on stage can produce the best images going.  For me, it gives a real feel for a gig which is my ultimate aim of achievement.  I like my photographs to tell a story, to paint a picture of what a gig was really like and to give a feel for the atmosphere.  My aim is to make someone feel as though they were really there, in the moment, in the audience and hopefully make them want to be there in the future!

Non flash use is not always possible in very small venues, even the best equipment in the world can only cope with a certain level of lighting limitations.  At times you have to compromise in order to get any sort of shots.  I guess in these circumstances it is worth the trade off, after all, what’s the point of no usable photographs?  It also depends what sort of gig you are at.

Circle of Rage

For me the entire story of a gig means crowd photography.  Showing how the audience interacts with a band completes the picture.  Covering a lot of metal and heavy rock gigs means a lot of ‘mosh’ pits.  Not for the faint hearted and I can often be found hiding behind speakers at the edge of the stage, peaking round with camera in hand.  But I love these photo’s, I’m a bit of a hands on photographer, creeping in as close as I dare, getting into people’s faces with the camera to capture the action and true atmosphere of a genre that is often misunderstood.  You do need to have your wits about you at all times around a pit, one eye through a lens and one on the ‘mosh’, otherwise you can quickly find yourself at the bottom of a stack of bodies, but all in the friendliest of manners, honestly.

So that’s the lighting challenge, next?  Movement.  As I stated many bands I photograph are from the metal and rock genre and man can these guys move.  For me personally this is the best challenge, the one I love.  The more a band moves around on stage, the more exciting they are too me.  I feel myself becoming drawn in and only when I get home do I realize just how many photo’s I have actually taken and need to cull.  Getting a clear, non-blurred shot of a band thrashing around on stage or head banging is nowhere near as easy as you may think, especially not when you combine this to the low lighting levels.  A combination of ISO adjustments, wide lenses, shutter speeds, patience and luck is needed to get that great shot.  When you do, it’s oh so worth it.  Nothing beats the excitement of getting home from a gig, pouring a drink and putting that memory card into the laptop.  The anticipation of having ‘the’ shot on that card transports me back to being a child on Christmas Eve.  You may have an idea of what you have on your camera but it is not until you truly see a photo in large that you can tell if it’s as good as you think.

Misiksin

That’s small venue photography.  Large venue photography is different again.  I won’t go into this in too much depth but once you have your press pit pass, what are your main challenges?  The press!  Honestly, the lightening at these venues is much brighter, so gone is that challenge to a certain degree.  Flash photography is totally out of the equation but then it’s not required so much.  As long as you have put in the practice at small, poor light venues, getting your settings right with the much brighter stage lighting, should not prove too much of a challenge.  You do have the restriction of only being able to photograph for the first 3 songs of any bands set, so the main difference here is having to work fast and hope that the band is kind to you.

In my experience, it is usually later in on in a set that a band really gets going, so it can be frustrating to watch them later move in a way you just know would have given some awesome pictures.  All that aside, as I touched on earlier, the biggest challenge is the other togs… large venue gigs are extremely competitive in my experience and you find yourself literally fighting for a shot, or being pushed and shoved out of the way.  It’s not a part of photography that I enjoy to be honest, as to me it feels like the original reasons for becoming a photographer have been forgotten.  In these circumstances I merely try to focus on the band and try to ignore as much as possible all the madness ensuing around me.   Zone out from the pushing in front of your lens and just take a deep breath.  I guess that it’s important to remember at all times, why you are taking photographs of a band.   What does it mean to you?  Keep that at the forefront of your mind, because as soon as it is not enjoyable it will show in your pictures.

Equipment, I could get very technical here but there are many articles published on the net about basic and advanced equipment for gig photography.  My main advice would be to have a camera that shoots in RAW as RAW captures 3/4 more information than JPEG.  Yes you can have a flash DSRL with a telephoto lens (not really needed at small venues as you can get close enough), a wide lens, etc… However I’ve seen some great shots captured with a basic compact set on the right settings and bridge cameras with a fixed lens.  In fact that is how I started and even now I keep my equipment to a minimum.  You simply do not need all the flash stuff at small venue gigs, it can easily be damaged and you may look a little daft.  Shoot in RAW, play with your ISO and shutter speeds until you find what works.

Down To My Last

Most importantly, don’t shoot the entire gig.  Take time to watch and appreciate the gig itself.  When you are taking pictures, show you are enjoying and appreciating the band.  You will get far more interaction out of them that way and may even be lucky enough to even get a posed shot.  The most important part of gig photography?  To simply ENJOY!

The GIGgle Pics Blog

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Article by Sarah Quinn of GIGgle Pics 

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Left Of The Right Side Play Their Last Gig

Last night (Tuesday 19/02/13) Left of the Right Side played their last gig.  Playing alongside IRIS, Wheres Billy and Escape the Ocean the band.  Their last gig happened at The Beer Cart Arms in Canterbury, it was put together and run by Below the Radar Events and Promotions.  Left of the Right Side had this to say after the event:

Thank you so much to every fan, friend, promoter and band that has supported us over the last few years. We’ve had an amazing time, and I’m glad we ended with such a great gig – what a brilliant crowd!

Image by Sarah Quinn / GIGgle Pics.

Image by Sarah Quinn / GIGgle Pics.

Despite ending as a band Left of the Right Side are releasing one more song to join tracks such as Skyward.  Despite being a sad day for the Kent music scene we look forward to hearing future musical projects from all members of the band.  Keep up to date with Left of the Right Side for more news on new material.  Find a link to Skyward under Related Posts below

Photography from Their Last Gig

Left of the Right Side on Facebook

Below the Radar Events and Promotions on Facebook

David Horn

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Tank Trap and Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers at Platform 5, Ashford, Kent : 09/02/13

Image by Sarah Quinn / GIGgle Pics

Image by Sarah Quinn / GIGgle Pics

Every band has a gift.  Some have great songs, some are great at making new fans and others are great at breaking things.  Saturday the 9th February at Ashford’s Platform 5 saw all these talents.  Tank Trap & Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers filled the music venue with energy and sound.  One of the first gigs since the venues brush with closure, the night showed why Platform 5 is so pivotal to Ashford’s music scene.

As the night’s music began the four members of Tank Trap emerged from the crowd and took to the stage.  Tank Trap brought their style of blues rock to Ashford.  Showing their many talents front man Ian Day revealed a new one.  The ability to break any mic just by touching it.  One by one he fearlessly slayed mics like they were marauding dragons until he made peace.  A harmonica down Tank Trap were still able to deliver tight and well played songs.  Well received by the audience Tank Trap played classics like My Animal as well as tracks from their new E.P and even a brand new song. One member of the audience was moved so much he began to mosh.  Throughout the set Tank Trap proved why they have such a strong reputation across Kent and London venues.

Image by Sarah Quinn / GIGgle Pics

Image by Sarah Quinn / GIGgle Pics

Following this were  Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers.  Their special skill was making friends, and they made one friend in particular.  Thumbscrew & his barbers played to a crowd of new faces and fans as they unleashed some potent punk into the room.  Favouring one particularly offensive C word Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers whipped up the crowd as more moshing and rhythmic moving occurred.  The Flicknife Barbers played tightly as Thumbscrew delivered vocals in distorted punk perfection.  The band proved their popularity as they played songs that managed to draw the audience in even further, getting them to participate.  Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers managed to bring the night to a big close with big songs and spectacle.  Find free music from them on their band page.

Thumbscrew & The Flicknife Barbers

Image by Sarah Quinn / GIGgle Pics

See both the bands live!  Whilst playing two different styles of music both Tank Trap & Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers made the night memorable in all the best ways.  They left your ears ringing in the morning, so you know their good.  This was just another of the great gigs that happen at Platform 5.  See below for a link to all the nights photography.

Platform 5 on Facebook

Tank Trap on Facebook / Bite the Bullet E.P

Thumbscrew & The Flicknife Barbers on Facebook / Free Music

GIGgle Pics on Facebook / GIGgle Pics Blog / Full Photo Album

David Horn

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Generation Graveyard

Living your music takes a lot of skill if you’re a band that combine hardcore, metal and punk.  You have to drink hard, play hard and even play your songs.  The songs have to sound dominating live and equally speaker tormenting.  Generation Graveyard have all of this.  Not only are Generation Graveyard finishing the mixing and recording of their new record, they’re also playing shows with local boys Artemis Redeemer and the mighty 69 Eyes.  

Track three on the new record, The Empty gives you no time to prepare.  Pounding drums and a riff that sounds more like a call to arms come at you instantly before you’ve even taken your finger back off the play button.  This storm of sound is added to by dark and snarling vocals.  Starting with the command ‘Come on’ they mirror the tracks tone perfectly.  Swept along by The Empty Generation Graveyard fill you with a sense of contempt towards daily monotony and entrapment.  You’ll feel angry.  Angry enough to break the spell and get on it.  As the track rolls into its last minute an increased sense of energy and intensity takes over before The Empty winds to a close.

Generation Graveyard

Generation Graveyard explore the punk side of their nature with Deleatist.  Sounding like a sonic punch to the face Deletist has a frantic and desperate determination to it.  Alongside ADHD based drumming and a cutting riff the vocals charge down your ears on a sea of distortion urgency.  As the chant of ‘Deleatist‘ goes up it is clear this track will smash venues and radicalise audiences.  Deleatist drives the listener to rise up and be free and fills them fury and energy, to y’know just help it along.  This isn’t a song to just hear.  Deleatist makes the listener an active and empowered participant.  At it’s core it is build on integrity and values.  Get Deleatist now from Generation Graveyard’s Bandcamp.

Generation Graveyard make music to react to.  Driven by core values these songs are the work of a band with a purpose.  The fusion of styles gives Generation Graveyard’s music even more appeal.  Watch Generation Graveyard.  They are producing music that not only sounds interesting and has a purpose, but needs to be heard because it’s just good!  Click the link to GIGgle Pics to see more information and photos from a recent Canterbury gig.

Generation Graveyard on Facebook

Generation Graveyard on Bandcamp

Generation Graveyard on GIGgle Pics

David Horn

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