Having heard that one of my favourite artists, Aimee Francis was heading to Sydney for gig at the Brighton Up Bar I couldn’t miss the opportunity to head into Darlinghurst to catch up with her.
There were two other acts performing on the night and one of the was Ex-Cassette. They were fantastic and I keep playing their latest single, Digital Heart on my Ipod, I only wish that they had more music that I could listen too. Here are a few photos from the night.
I was asked by a fellow photographer and friend to photograph this Melbourne based band on their visit to Sydney. I’m glad that I did as it was great music and I enjoyed the night. The Acolyte are a progressive rock/alternative band and the members are Morgan-Leigh Brown – Vocals, Frank Perna – Guitar, Bcg vocals Jason Grondman – Bass, Bcg vocals Chris Cameron – Drums, Percussion.
You can follow them on their Facebook page Acolyte
I was fortunate to be granted photo access for James Morrison’s Twilight concert at Taronga Zoo. If you haven’t been to one of these concerts you are missing out on a great night of music and one of the best views in the world – the view of Sydney Harbour!
One thing that I like about photographing live music is the opportunity to hear support acts/performers that I would not normally have the opportunity to hear and they are usually great performers in their own right. This night was no exception as James Morrison was supported by two very talented singers in Olivia Chindamo and Liam Budge.
Shot for Amnplify
Olivia’s website – Olivia Chindamo
Liam Budge’s website is here – Liam Budge
James Morrison’s website is – James Morrison
I was asked by a fellow photographer from Melbourne if I would like to photograph Acolyte, a progressive rock band that she knew from her home town while they were visiting Sydney on a quick tour. I was glad that I agreed to do the shoot for Amnplify as there were 5 bands on the bill and some great music. The gig was at the Bald Faced Stag in Sydney. Here are a few of the photos that I took:
A great afternoon and evening of French Music and cuisine. Well worth attending when they return in 2017.
The music was very entertaining and the artists were Hindi Zahra, Brigitte (Sylvie Hoarau and Aurelie Saada), Lou Doillon and Soviet Suprem (Erwan Seguillon and Toma Feterman). I don’t speak french and even though some of the majority of the songs were sung in french I still enjoyed them, good music is good music in any language.
Thanks to Cartell Music and Amnplify for allowing me to shoot the event.
Aimee Francis single launch “Bonnie & Clyde” at the Lazybones Lounge, Marrickville 7.1.16 supported by James Van Cooper, The Scram, Youthfire and Stellar Addiction.
It really was a case of Holly Who? for me when I heard that they were performing on the bill at Frankie’s Pizza last Sunday night but not any more. Holly Who are a Newcastle band with a very entertaining show and an infectious style of music. I don’t think that there is anything that they couldn’t perform! As a photographer I love to shoot a band that enjoys performing so much that it is evident to everyone watching them as it is infectious. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for future gigs to attend.
The lighting was a challenge so the only option was to process the photos as black & white but I think that it works.
After photographing all the heats for Macarthur Music on a Mission‘s Battle of the Bands and seeing how much talent there is the Macarthur area I was looking forward to the final.
The final was held at Campbelltown RSL last Friday night and was split into two divisions, three metal bands and three rock bands with winners chosen from each category.
The 3 rock bands that made it through to the final were The Dirty Reeds, Handheld Human and Trash Jacket. All three bands put on a great performance and the judges had a difficult decision to make. The winners on the night were The Dirty Reeds.
Not only did the Battle of the Bands highlight the talented musicians in the Macarthur area it also raised funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
I was lucky enough to catch one of the Girls of Country shows last Friday night at Souths Juniors. The Girls of Country are Golden Guitar winner Amber Lawrence, Aleyce Simmonds and Christie Lamb. It was a packed house and having been there I know why as it was non-stop evening of great music that got the crowd on their feet!
There are more Girls of Country shows to come so check out their websites:
The She Who Rocks Tour came to Waves Nightclub at Wollongong last Friday night and the crowd were treated a great night of rock music. Headed by Baby Animals and The Superjesus and supported by Bonney Read and The Art on the night.
Below are a few images that I shot of Suze Dimarchi and Baby Animals.
I had the pleasure of attending the Sydney album launch for Jetty Road’s new album, Hearts on Fire last week. They were supported by another great country artist, Luke Dickens.
The lighting conditions made it difficult to photograph but here a few of my photos taken on the night.
Seeing the Zac Brown Band on stage for the first time was quite an experience for me. With 8 band members it was hard to know where to look and who to photograph. The Zac Brown Band are comprised of Zac Brown (lead vocals & guitar), Chris Fryar (drums), Clay Cook (numerous instruments), Coy Bowles (guitar & organ), Daniel De Los Reyes (percussion), Jimmy De Martini (violin & vocals), John Driscoll Hopkins (numerous instruments) & Matt Mangano (bass).
There is no doubting the musical talent of the band and their popularity with the fans. Last night’s performance was after a sold out concert in Melbourne and this one, if it wasn’t a sell out would have been very close to being sold out. I know of fans that headed in to line up early in the morning so they could be first in and close to the stage.
With 4 studio albums released over the past seven years The Foundation (2008), You Get What You Give (2010), Uncaged (2010) and Jeykll + Hyde (to be released this month) and the Grohl Sessions EP (2013) there were plenty of choices of great songs to include in the set list. Surprisingly last night’s set list included a number of covers which a country band would not usually perform including an awesome performance of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Metallica’s “Enter the Sandman”.
The Zac Brown Band were fantastic on the night and whilst they didn’t perform some of my favourite songs they performed most of their hits including “Sweet Annie”, “Toes”, “Colder Weather”, “Chicken Fried”, “Goodbye in her Eyes”, “Free” and “As She’s Walking Away” (minus Alan Jackson who was guest vocalist on the You Get What You Give album version). Other songs performed at the Hordern Pavilion that night included Charlie Daniel’s Band’s “Devil Went Down to Georgia”, “Whiskey Gone”, “Day for the Dead”, “Heavy is the Head”, “Keep Me In Mind” and “Knee Deep”.
There was a brief moment when during a long instrumental as part of the introduction of the band members that I felt they lost the audience as I could see and here a lot of them talking. It didn’t take long for them to reconnect to the audience though.
I can’t put my finger on what exactly makes the Zac Brown Band so appealing. They have great harmony, their lyrics are meaningful, the music is amazing and the number of different instruments that they play throughout the night adds to their appeal. All the band members seem passionate abut their music and it shows on stage by how much they seem to be enjoying performing.
It was my first time shooting at the Hordern Pavilion and as a venue I thought that it was great. It didn’t seem to matter where anyone was sitting or standing they weren’t far from the stage. It was a great atmosphere and the lighting and sound were awesome. In fact it was the first time that I recall being there since The Police performed there in 1980!
Anyone heading to the Byron Bay Blues Festival will be in for a treat as the Zac Brown Band are performing there on the 3rd April, 2015.
Originally published in the Get Shot Magazine 2.4.15
CMC Rocks the Hunter relocated to Ipswich Queensland this year and I decided to drive up to shoot it. There was a stellar line up of artists both local and international which helped to draw a great crowd to the new venue.
The venue was Willowbank Racetrack located near Ipswich and there was plenty of shade available for the fans.
Personally I would have preferred for the festival to have stayed in the Hunter Valley however for commercial reasons it probably made sense to relocate to a different venue. Each venue has their advantages and disadvantages but the main thing is the quality of the artists performing because that is what a music festival is all about. With 36 different artists everyone there would have found it easy to enjoy the music.
Each of the three nights had international acts headlining with Lady Antebellum on the Friday night who unfortunately would not allow any media access at all on the night, Chris Young on the Saturday night and Big & Rich to close the festival on the Sunday.
It was great see two of my favourite bands, The Viper Creek Band and The Wolfe Brothers performing over the weekend before such huge crowds, particularly the boys from the Viper Creek Band as they performed just Big & Rich.
Kacey Musgrave’s stage resembled the video clip of her latest song “Follow Your Arrow”
If anyone wanted a work-out over the weekend then all they needed to do was watch Laura Bell Bundy perform. That was enough for everyone to work up a sweat! I’m not sure where she gets all her energy from but Laura Bell Bundy had plenty of any really entertained the crowd with he dancing and singing. In fact at once stage she had over 20 people from the audience on stage dancing with her!
One of the highlights of the weekend for me was Jeffrey Steele who not only being a talented artist he is also a prolific write of hit songs that have been performed by a long list of artists. I was amazed at how many hit songs he had penned!
Wylie and the Wild West performed on the Friday afternoon and I was pleased that I was able to make it to their set. They performed a great style of music that would be hard not to like. On top of that Wylie was obviously enjoying himself on stage which rubs off on those watching the show.
If the crowd is anything to go by then the festival was a success.
More to come
Ooh Yea! — The Betty Davis Songbook is the new album collaboration between Mahalia Barnes, her band The Soul Mates and blues guitarist legend Joe Bonamassa. The crowd at the Factory Theatre were recently treated to a performance of the 12 track album which highlighted the vocal talents of Mahalia and the sophisticated guitar playing skills of Joe Bonamassa.
The collaboration between Mahalia Barnes and Joe Bonamassa worked a treat as they powered through songs made famous by Betty Davis during the 70′s including “Steppin’ In Her I. Miller Shoes”, “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up”, “He Was A Big Freak”, “Game Is My Middle Name”, “Ooh Yea!” and “Walking Up The Road”.
Joe Bonamassa was no stranger to the crowd and they were mesmerised by his playing ability and how he could make his guitar talk. It was my first time hearing Bonamassa and I left the Factory Theatre knowing why he has so many fans including the guy standing next to me who drove all the way from Canberra and back that night just to hear him perform. I am sure that a good proportion of the crowd, and it was packed, were there to hear this legend.
The back up singers on the night were talented in their own rights and included Juanita Tippins, Jade McCrae and Darren Percival.
Mahalia Barnes has certainly inherited her fair share of talent from her father, legendary Australia rocker Jimmy Barnes who joined her on stage to sing Walking Up the Road.
Darren Percival, The Voice runner up in 2012 again showed why he is was so popular on the show and would have been a worthy winner. His vocal skills are matched by his passion for performing and putting so much emotion into every song.
Mahalia Barnes can belt out a song just as good as her father and sings with a passion that can’t be denied. It is easy to understand why she is so often described as a powerhouse singer.
The Lachy Doley Group not only supported Mahalia on the night but were also part of her band for her set and played on the album too.
If you would like to sample a song before you buy the the album then click on the link to download a free copy of Steppin’ In Her I. Miller Shoes
Details of future gigs will be posted on Mahalia Barnes’ website
Originally Published in the Get Shot Magazine 23.2.15
This was a gig that I had been very keen to attend and I wasn’t disappointed by what I heard on the night. Based on the reaction of the crowd no one else at The Basement that night was disappointed either.
For those that don’t know, both Diana Rouvas and Carlos ‘C Major’ Velazquez were contestants on the voice with Diana Rouvas reaching the top 8 in 2012 and C Major competing up to the top 16 in 2014 under the tutelage of fellow Latin performer Ricky Martin.
Diana Rouvas and C Major have teamed up to perform the Summer Acoustic Sessions with shows in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.
C Major opened the night with his blend of R & B/Latin and R & B/Soul. His music has an infectious style which complements his outgoing personality that shines through his music. His set included a mixture of original songs including “I Am Major”, “Is This What you Call Love”, “After Party” and “Brand New” from his debut album I Am Major and also a new song “You Are”.
The set also included a few legendary songs which C Major covered flawlessly including John Legend’s “Ordinary People” and “Used to Love You”, Stevie Wonder’s tribute to Bob Marley, “Master Blaster” and “Knocks Me Off My Feet” along with David Paich’s “Georgy Porgy”, Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” and the final song of the set, Black Street’s “No Diggitty”.
With this set list C Major was able to demonstrate why he so respected for his voice and keyboard wizardry. As a performer C Major is quite a professional and interacted easily with the crowd.
Diana Rouvas performed the second set of the night and every time I hear her voice I am amazed at how powerful it is. With a very impressive range that I doubt many singers can cover she wowed the audience right from the opening song “My Morning” and mesmerised them for the balance of her set with her vocal talent. Diana was assisted on stage by the very talented Eric Aranda on guitar who also shone during a few guitar solos.
Diana Rouvas’s songs included her originals “Never Said Hello” which was recorded by Diana in the USA with Rufus, “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, “Stevie”, “Heads or Tails” which Diana wrote when she was only 17, “Overcome”, “Be A Man About It” and her debut single “Heart of Goodbye” from her forthcoming EP.
The covers that Diana Rouvas performed where quite special and included Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me”, Jessie J’s “Bang Bang”, Beyonce’s “Love on Top” and T Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday”.
Diana was joined on stage for a few songs with her younger sisters Leah & Amanda singing harmonies for her. Both of Diana’s parents have been involved in the music industry and listening to the three sisters it’s obvious that they were all blessed with the same genes responsible for vocal ability.
Of all the performers that I have heard live, Diana Rouvas is at the top when it comes to vocal ability and I could listen to her sing every night!
The price of the admission to the show at The Basement was worth it for just for either one of Diana Rouvas or C Major and excellent value for the two of them.
There are a few more Summer Acoustic Sessions that you can catch Diana Rouvas and C Major at over the next few months.
15th January @ Brass Monkey in Cronulla
16th January @ Lizottes Sydney DeeWhy
22nd January @ Lizottes Newcastle
Originally published in The Get Shot Magazine 5.1.15