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Category: music

Jose Vanders

Barry tweeted about Jose, a 20-year-old multitalented musician from South London, the other day and her sweet, folksy tunes have really rather got under my skin.

Have a listen to ‘Mother Theresa Can’t Dive’, with its sweet Life Aquatic-inspired video, below. It’s got a little touch of a young Regina Spektor about it. Lovely!

Here’s her website, or you can listen to more on Myspace, Youtube and Spotify.

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Recent gigs: Pavement and BIM

Two rather differing recent gigs, but I’m happy I was able to take some interesting photos at both.

Pavement at Brixton Academy, May 13th
The problem with big gigs is they frown on what they consider to be ‘professional’ cameras – which they define as any camera with a detachable lens. My E-P1 falls into this category despite being far from a pro camera, so I semi-sneaked it in with only my wide-angle Panasonic pancake lens for extra inconspicuousness. I was a bit far away to get good close-ups but the light show – strings of fairylights and rainbow-coloured spotlights – was really lovely so I got some nice wide shots. Oh yeah, and the band was great too!

Bim at Bar Music Hall, May 20th
Bim is the band of resident Poke wordsmith Rebecca and her boyfriend Tim. They create dreamy electro-pop loveliness and a bunch of Poke people went down to cheer her on at a local gig last week. I used my vintage 50mm lens and crazy little C-mount CCTV lens to get these filmic looking shots with a warm retro tint. I’ve also started shooting in film’s 3×2 format rather than digital 4×3, which makes a small but noticeable difference.

Listen to Bim here and they’re playing another gig in Angel next month, come along!

More photos of both on my Flickr.

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Why? gig poster

I’ve had this idea for a gig poster knocking around for a while. It’s for one of my favourite bands, Why? – who we saw last week. Unfortunately I didn’t get round to starting it before the show, or I might have given it to the promoter to use (Josh did this on their last tour and got his poster signed by the band!). But anyway it’s done now and I’m pretty happy with it – it’s just how I pictured it in my head.

Why? poster

The image idea came from these lyrics from the song Gemini (Birthday Song) (Spotify link)

When we’re on different sides of the globe
I thought we’d keep our veins tangled
like a pair of mic cables
And if there ain’t enough slack to reach
we’d solder them together
‘Cross oceans they’d stretch…

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Experiments in gig photography

Since I got my ‘decent’ camera and a small collection of lenses, I’ve been enjoying taking photos at all the gigs I go to. The great thing about the Olympus E-P1 as opposed to a full-blown DSLR is that it’s small and unobtrusive enough to tote around (and sneak in when photos aren’t allowed – sshh) and not get obnoxiously in everyone else’s way. Obviously I’m never going to get the same image quality as someone kitted out with a Canon 5D and super-fast telephoto lens, but I’m enjoying learning how to get the best out of my camera and use it a little more creatively.

Most of these are taken with a vintage OM 50mm f1.8 lens – despite being an old piece of kit it’s pin-sharp and easy to manually focus, especially with the E-P1’s zoom focus assist. I’ve also recently bought the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake lens which works nicely for wider shots, and has the bonus of auto-focus.

Marina and the Diamonds at Hoxton Bar, 18th November.
I was bang under Marina’s nose for this gig so the 50mm lens was actually a little too closely cropped – a wider angle would have been more flexible. But Marina was fun to photograph as she’s such a charismatic performer – I like all her facial expressions in the photos.

Why? at Heaven, 16th March.
This was a tricky venue to get a good spot for as it’s very long and narrow, but I ended up at a good distance to take mid-angle shots with the 50mm. Yoni Wolf was dashing and dancing about the stage so it was a bit tricky to get him in focus – I ended up using this to my advantage to get blurry action shots that summed up the energy of the show. The light show was lovely and colourful and I got some interesting lens flare effects.

Broken Bells at the ICA, March 3rd
The light show for this gig was crazy – a projection of patterns that went over whole stage, and hence the people on it too. But it made an interesting effect in the photos.

Lots more photos in my Gigs set on Flickr.

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Hype Machine Music Blog Zeitgeist

I love this project by music-streaming site Hype Machine. They asked 50 graphic artists to create a piece of work inspired by their most popular 50 artists of last year. Here are some of my favourites.

Chromeo by Julia Sonmi Heglund

Friendly Fires by Jaime Calayo

Miike Snow by Blake Suarez and Steph Davlantes

The Big Pink by Noah Kalina and Staynice

Check them all out here.