End of the Night
Canon EOS7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 1600
Monophonics is a spectacular band to see live. Singer / keyboard player Kelly Finnigan has the kind of stage presence and energy that you don’t expect to see live these days anymore. Saying he ends each gig drenched in sweat would be a lie: he is drenched from the beginning of the third song. For this particular gig I was standing a meter away from the band and eye level with them which gave me some cool opportunities for photos I don’t normally get to do but also proved super challenging. This one of the winning shots from that gig.
Canon EOS 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
The fabulous French big band Bigre! has a song on their repertoire called Be Good Bluesy Johnny which is at heart an interplay between barytone sax and blues guitar. There’s a break in the middle of the song when the band suddenly goes 12-bars-ish and the guitar starts wailing. It’s orgasmic. The first time I heard this time was when I went to see Bigre! live for their latest album release party. This is the precise moment when Nicolas Mondon launched into his solo.
Brussels in Colour
Canon 7D, 32mm, f/11, 15s, ISO 400
Brussels is a beautiful and fantastic city, cosmopolitan, architecturally and culturally exciting, great to walk around and full of lovely and interesting people. This week I will be posting only photos of Brussels. This is the Grand Place. I didn’t have a tripod, but I had my beanbag with me so I set it on the curb and shot a 15s exposure. It doesn’t normally look that empty!
Canon 7D, 185mm, f/3.2, 1/500s, ISO 400
Vintage trouble in general has a nostalgia feel not only in their music but also in their looks. But while that might be true of the band in general, it’s striking about singer Ty Taylor, a living blend of James Brown and Junior Wells with the energy to live to that legacy. I shot this ages ago, but it went bizarrely unpublished until now.
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1250
It’s often said that you can see a man’s soul in his eyes. Well, that’s certainly true of Ian McDonald, guitarist and vocals for the extraordinary funk/soul band Monophonics. This was shot in very bad conditions, the only redeeming feature being that I was literally in the band’s face. Don’t know if they liked it much, but I sure did!
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2.2, 1/500s, ISO 800
In all my history of shooting concerts, I don’t think I’ve ever selected a shot of the artist turning his back to audience as a keeper. And yet there’s something about this shot of Trombone Shorty that I find compelling. Go figure.
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2.8, 1/100s, ISO 1000
Concerts I attend are mostly jazz and rarely benefit from the rich (and disturbing) lighting that rock concerts often benefit from. Trombone Shorty being on the edge between jazz and rock, his concerts have funky lights most of the time. Such lighting messes up a lot of shots but also once in a while gives you quasi-monochrome shots where the musician (Dan Oestreicher in this case) is silhouetted rather than seen. Love those shots.
League Grade Scowl
Canon EOS 7D, 130mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
Michael League, as my friend Marcus puts it, is the rarest of bass players: he seems to smile all the time. Once in a while though you can catch him scowling like he did here at this Forq gig in Paris last summer.
Canon EOS 7D, 310mm, f/3,2, 1/500s, ISO 400
Nalle Colt is the guitarist of Vintage Trouble, a blues/soul revival band that packs a ton of energy. In my early days of shooting concerts I would use a lot of dutch angles, then I stopped doing it. But once in a while, it works quite nicely.
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 1600
Angelo Moore is one of the most spectacular musicians I have ever seen live (here with the Madd Vibes Brass Band). That evening he played no less than 5 different saxophones (including the bass sax.)