THE HUNNA – January 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy – REVIEW and PHOTOS

The Hunna – 8th January 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

Since May 2016 I’ve watched this band climb up the Newcastle venue ranks, from Think Tank, O2 Academy 2, the Boiler Shop (as part of Hit The North festival) and to the Riverside. The crowd growing bigger and bigger with each gig, culminating in tonights’ main hall Academy O2 sellout show.

The band had posted earlier in the day that they had the last 27 tickets and a lot of the time this kind of publicity is just that, publicity to create interest but not with this show. Both main room and balcony were absolutely rammed and had been from the first of the three band bill. The Hunna come out and the crowd treat them like returning heroes throughout the show.

The Hunna - 8th January 2018 - Newcastle O2 Academy

The Hunna – 8th January 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

They look and sound great backed up with a great stage production. As well as the already known tunes the new songs from the upcoming album are blistering and the fans react as if they are old favourites. And it’s this fan base that is heart and soul of the band, the first time I saw them the kids knew the words to every song even though they hadn’t released them yet. This crowd were ten times bigger but just as fervent. It’s going to be interesting to watch the next eighteen months, having seen their rise in the previous!

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

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EVERY TIME I DIE – November 2017 – Newcastle Riverside – PHOTO FEATURE

Every Time I Die – November 2017 – Newcastle Riverside

What is now becoming an annual masterclass in gig carnage without injury or damage ETID once again played a barrierless show and appeared to tear the place apart!

There was less crowd on stage moments this year for some reason even though the invites and no restrictions were there! That didn’t stop the show being a mass of stage diving/crowd surfing/circle pitting madness though! Sadly boss Graeme was ill so there was no tag team BSC for this one but enjoy the gallery.

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

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EXTREME – December 2017 – Newcastle Academy – PHOTO FEATURE

Extreme – 13th December 2018 – Newcastle O2 Academy

I’ve put more in this gallery than normal as I just couldn’t whittle them down any further! Extreme are one of those bands who are just fantastic to photograph with something going on at all times. The audience were treated to a set of classic funk rock, throwing in one of their biggest tunes “Get The Funk Out” only the third song in.

Nuno Bettencourt is undoubtedly the star for most people, his playing is still phenomenal and stage presence is just sheer rock star!! yep, they did ‘More Than Words’ as expected along with a couple of deeper cuts like ‘Kid Ego’ and ‘Play With Me’ keeping the set nicely balanced.

This was the first night of the UK tour but the band looked so relaxed and having a good time you’d think they were getting ready to go on holiday the next day!!

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

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Gordon Armstrong picks his best music photos of the year – PHOTO FEATURE

Gordon Armstrong picks his best music photos of 2017 in this special photo feature

It’s been a fantastic year for gigs and lost count of bands I’ve seen. There have been some other amazing gigs like Therapy, Anthrax, Life Of Agony, Mr Big, Courtesans and many more that I could fill this up with. However, I’ve obeyed the rules and stuck with the ten!

Bring on 2018 and hundreds of more opportunities to be told “First 3, no flash”. Massive thanks to everyone who have helped me do all of this throughout 2017, it’s greatly appreciated.

Blink 182 – Metro Radio Arena

had to include this as it was my first arena photo pass and quite a production to bust my cherry on!! This pic pretty much sums up my reaction as the curtain dropped and I knew I had only 6 minutes or so ( 3 short songs ) to get in and try to get something !!!

Living Colour – Newcastle Riverside

One of my all-time favourite bands and they absolutely killed it at the Riverside. I chose this photo as it is pretty much straight out of the camera with no edit and I just love it!

Lightyear – Think Tank Newcastle

Lightyear made a welcome return to the scene after a lengthy hiatus and as this photo shows still have an electric energy.

Cheap Trick – Manchester Academy

Legends! I was absolutely blown away at being given the chance to shoot them for HRH Mag and was my first time in print.

Glenn Hughes – Newcastle Riverside

The voice of rock himself! I love this portrait for the detail that shows through.

Fat Freddys Drop -Boiler Shop Newcastle

A fun band to shoot. I loved how the industrial piping on this one looks like a sound wave coming out of the trombone the way the light hits it!

Manic Street Preachers – Live From Times Square

I was so honoured to be able to photograph all seven nights at the Live From Times Square and could have easily picked my 10 from those shows alone but for me this one of Nicky Wire caught my (and a lot of others) attention.

Afghan Whigs – Church Leeds

Afghan are a bucket list band for me, so to also get to photograph them was just an amazing experience. However to then get Greg singing the first song down your lens ……..Shame I couldn’t get a clearer one but hey I’ll take it !!

Every Time I Die – Newcastle Riverside

What is becoming an annual masterclass in carnage ETID once again tore the place apart! I think they’ll always be in my top ten pics of the year as long as they play as it is a photo op every five seconds when they play.

Turnover – Newcastle Riverside

Their new album has hardly left my turntable since release and it was great to see them able to be that good live too. This photo though I just love the feel of it.

GJB picks his best music shots of 2017 – PHOTO FEATURE

GJB picks his best music photos of 2017 in this special photo feature

This year has been a fairly quiet one for me. I haven’t had as much time to go to shows as I used to, videos and weddings have taken over my spare time and I have to admit I love doing those too. I love my job!

Despite the lack of gigs in my life (only about seventy in 2017!). I’m still struggling to pick only 10 photos.

My highlight of the year is no doubt seeing my heroes; Gojira at long last, after many years of missing them through poor timing and lack of cash! 2017 I got to see them twice, including a pilgrimage to Paris and I managed to get to photo them in Newcastle (despite their PR company telling us BSC isn’t big enough for them. #smugmodeengaged)

GJB

I’ve seen my work evolve and change again this year. I found my editing getting a bit too soft and commercial looking. I suppose the change is largely due to working on editing videos, it’s had a direct influence on how I look at photos. Looking at levels and contrast to make more subtle but edgier photos. Also, I’ve spent more time looking at the subject and their actions, rather than going for that clinical/technically perfect shot. I’m never happy. You can always improve. I can’t wait to see how my work evolves in 2018.

Anyway, less chat and more pictures! Here are my picks, in no particular order.

Gojira – Newcastle O2 Academy

Gojira - March 2017 - Newcastle Academy

Gojira – March 2017 – Newcastle Academy

Well they had to be in, didn’t they? I love this shot of Christian Andreu rocking out. Taken with my 15mm fisheye lens on a full frame camera, so it’s super wide. In reality, I was about 1-2 feet from him when I took this.

I have this printed and framed in my studio. The thing I love is the detail. When editing I didn’t notice the decals on the guitar until the print arrived and that blew my mind. The twelfth fret has a G from the Gorjira logo and there’s an awesome rat decal between the bridge and the neck. There were so many good shots from that gig, but this one is a standout for me.

See the full gallery feature here

Anthrax – Northumbria University

Anthrax - February 2017 - Northumbria Students Union

Anthrax – February 2017 – Northumbria Students Union

I could pick any photo from this gig. They know how to put on a show. Lighting was perfect and of course, they love a bit of showboating for the camera. Simply put this is thee most fun gig I’ve ever shot. Scott Ian lives and breathes heavy metal. Such a great icon. It’s another fisheye shot. That tatty, battered little second hand Sigma has never left my kit bag since I bought it. It’s been dropped, scratched, beer spilled on it, the paint has all come off so you can’t tell the settings but it’s the best £150 I’ve ever spent!

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Liars – Boiler Shop

Liars - October 2017 - Boiler Shop Newcastle

Liars – October 2017 – Boiler Shop Newcastle

Remarkable show and brilliant venue. I’ve had Liars on my bucket-list for donkeys years. I couldn’t believe my eyes when this was gig announced. Sadly the crowd was fairly thin. That didn’t deter the band. So many memorable shots. Made more memorable by the impact of the gig. At this point, I was a bit down and fed up with music photography. It gave me the boost I needed. One of my fave gigs of the year.

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British Sea Power – Newcastle Riverside

British Sea Power - April 2017 - Newcastle Riverside

British Sea Power – April 2017 – Newcastle Riverside

I’ve seen BSP a million times but this was the first time photoing them. The band were really nice and their manager allowed us to shoot the whole set rather than the usual 3 songs and out. So I had a field day! I think I came away with something like 500 photos, which is silly but is a good indicator of how much I love this band and how much fun I was having!

I decided enough was enough and that I’d taken way too many photos already. So I headed upstairs to the guest area. For some reason I didn’t put my camera away, I can’t remember why. I think I was going to zoom in to get a setlist photo. Then this fluke of a shot happened. I caught Yan’s eye as he was leaning back and rocking out. Right place right time. Another photographer was standing next to me, so I tapped him on the shoulder and showed him it. “Jammy twat!” was his reply, which made me chuckle. I adore this photo!

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Car Bomb – Newcastle O2 Academy

Car Bomb (band) - March 2017 - Newcastle Academy

Car Bomb (band) – March 2017 – Newcastle Academy

As all music togs will know, drum shots are a chore to get. Drummers are usually far away, hidden in smoke and piss poor lighting. But when bands bring the kit to the front it’s an absolute joy! My fisheye lens meant I could get right up close and still get the other members in the shot. Phenomenal drummer. I could feel the power and the air of the double kicks hitting me. Thank f**k for earplugs =D

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Idles – Think Tank

Idles - March 2017 - Think Tank

Idles – March 2017 – Think Tank

Hooked from day one with this band. They came to our little Newcastle and played a brilliant show at Think Tank. Lovely chaps too and the drummer loves Brown Ale. Fond memories of this gig. They’ve since gone on to conquer the festivals and played with some band called the Foo Fighters at O2 Arena in London. Canny.

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Electric Wizard

Electric Wizard - Riverside Newcastle - August 2017

Electric Wizard – Riverside Newcastle – August 2017

Amazing to photo. Can’t say much more than that! Loud as f**k and brilliant.

See the full gallery feature here

Melt Banana

Melt Banana – June 2017 – Newcastle UK

They came back! This time with the Cluny’s brand new lighting rig. Worth the beating I got in the pit. Mental show and amazing gig!

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I’ll Play The Villain – Newcastle O2 Academy

I'll Play The Villain - Newcastle O2 Academy - June 2017

I’ll Play The Villain – Newcastle O2 Academy – June 2017

Another right place, right time deal. I was chilling stageside enjoying their set and happened to have a 105mm lens with me. Dark stage lights but the highlights just hit the right spot as the singer let rip a mighty roar.

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65daysofstatic – Boiler Shop

65daysofstatic - Boiler Shop Newcastle - December 2017

65daysofstatic – Boiler Shop Newcastle – December 2017

I had to pick this one, it was such a challenge to photo. The whole gig was a battle but I excelled and game away with some of my best work of the year. Pat myself on the back there 🙂

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LIVING COLOUR – October 2017 – Newcastle Riverside – REVIEW and PHOTOS

Living Colour – 7th October 2017 – Riverside Newcastle

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

It’s been 24 years since Living Colour last played Newcastle. A few feathers were ruffled when their co-headline tour with Glenn Hughes was cancelled, as it felt like we had seen the last of them. Thankfully, the release of their new album ‘Shade’ has brought them back over for a tour which has taken in more cities than the usual London, Manchester and Glasgow ‘UK tours’. Tonight saw them back in Toon for the last night of the tour!

Living Colour - 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

Living Colour – 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

The band looks relaxed taking the stage and the outfit Corey was wearing could easily spark an online argument about its colours the way it seemingly changed in the light!!

Living Colour - 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

Living Colour – 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

Kicking off with Robert Johnsons ‘Preaching Blues’ the guys kinda lulled us into a sense of false security then kicked it up with ‘Wall’ (from the ‘Stain’ album) and a double blue whammy of ‘Middle Man’ and ‘Desperate People’ from the debut ‘Vivid’. New album is represented with a middle set segment of ‘Who Shot Ya/Come on/Who’s That’.

F.O.X Corey’s voice is incredible and you get to hear it’s full strength when during a technical hitch he just goes into a solo rendition of ‘Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay’ which had the hairs on everyone’s arms standing to attention! A friend said it was like something he’d expect to have seen on footage of the greats at the Apollo in its heyday and I have to admit he wasn’t wrong.

Living Colour - 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

Living Colour – 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

Vernon, Doug and Will all have their spotlight moments too which in my opinion are a little unnecessary as we know just how good they are already BUT it’s still nice to see I guess! It’s the strength of their genre splitting songs that have always excited me though from the soulful ‘Love Rears It’s Ugly Head’, and the caustic ‘Ignorance Is Bliss’ to the social commentary of ‘Open Letter To A Landlord’; Living Colour have never been scared to speak their minds and along with Fishbone they are one the most important bands of the era that expanded my (already eclectic) musical taste.

As always set closer ‘Cult Of Personality’ raises the roof and the band looks genuinely over the moon with the reception they have had, here’s hoping it won’t take as long to return or we will all be needing pass outs from nursing homes to attend!!

Living Colour - 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

Living Colour – 7th October 2017, Riverside Newcastle

Living Colour – PHOTO GALLERY

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MR BIG – November 2017 – Northumbria Uni – REVIEW and PHOTOS

Mr Big – 17th November 2017 – Northumbria University

By Gordon Armstrong (G’s Gig Shots)

Of course, there were bass and guitar solos. Of course, the drills were out (first song in fact!). The hit ballads separated the set nicely and the band were all on top form.

Mr Big - 17th November 2017 - Northumbria University Institute

Mr Big – 17th November 2017 – Northumbria University Institute

However, for me, what made this show was the bands love and support for their original drummer Pat Torpey who is suffering from Parkinson’s. Not just a toast, or a raised fist salute either. These guys have Pat out with them, doing what he loves best; performing. Next to the full kit there’s a smaller one set-up for Pat, who comes out after the first few songs where he can play tambourine, toms, etc.

It’s heartbreakingly beautiful, but it shows just how much these guys think of their friend. It’s stuff like that that makes them a Super Group! Erics’ voice is still a force to be reckoned with. No one can doubt that Sheehan and Gilbert are masters of their instruments, but watching them gel as pals and having fun was the thing I really loved during tonights’ set.

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DEAF HAVANA, DECADE, BLACK FOXXES – Nov 2017 – Northumbria Uni – REVIEW and PHOTOS

Deaf Havana, Black Foxxes and Decade – 22nd November 2017 – Northumbria University Institute

Every now and then I’ll end up at a show and the majority of the audience are looking at me with the expression that clearly states ‘who brought their dad?!’. Tonight I get that feeling again! Being in my late thirties, I’m positively ancient compared to most of the audience tonight. I’m at the venue super early, yet it’s pretty much half full already. The punters seem super keen to catch all the bands!

Up first are Decade, who I saw a few years back in Newcastle Academy. I came down early as I was keen to see how they’ve developed in the meantime. They crank out a short set of songs from their new album. Their energetic pop tones remind me of Death Cab for Cutie at times. New album Pleasantries came out earlier this year. They’ve changed a lot since I first saw them as fresh-faced younguns, they’ve grown into a much more musically engaging act and they’ve kept that strong stage presence.

DECADE PHOTO GALLERY

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Black Foxxes are up next and they prove to be a highlight of the night for me. They’ve gained a rather respectable amount of awesome tour supports. So their name was familiar to me, but as yet I hadn’t seen them live. They have a much more abrasive edge to their sound than the other acts tonight. Skuzzy, pop hooks, grunge, punk stuff. Bloody delightful to watch. Hopefully, they’ll be back for some headline shows!

BLACK FOXXES PHOTO GALLERY

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For all of the years I’ve been gigging, I somehow managed to miss Deaf Havana. Slam Dunk was so ridiculously busy for their set so I couldn’t get anywhere near them. Tonight’s the night!

Deaf Havana - Northumbria Uni - November 2017 - crowd shot

The lights are down low and moody for opener ‘Fever’. At last, the crowd seem to come alive, having been rather subdued during the opening acts. They churn out a hefty set of career-spanning favourites. The lighting is simply remarkable, bringing an added layer of intensity to the performance and of course making for some amazing photo opportunities. They end the night to rabid applause with the atmospheric ‘Anemophobia Part II’.

DEAF HAVANA PHOTO GALLERY

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HIVEMIND – November 2017 – Newcastle O2 Academy – PHOTO FEATURE

Hivemind – 14th November 2017 – Newcastle O2 Academy

The Trail of Dead may have dropped out of this gig, but at least that gave me a chance to catch some local acts that I haven’t seen before. Hivemind impressed with their outrageously good bass riffs and powerful vocals.

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Music bloggers and photographers wanted – Blank Slate Creative

Blank Slate Creative are looking for music bloggers and music photographers for 2018

Manic Street Preachers - Times Square Newcastle - August 2017 crowd shot

Manic Street Preachers – Times Square Newcastle – August 2017

We have more offers for cool gigs and new albums than we can currently manage. At present, we focus on rock, indie, punk and metal but we are able to expand into other areas depending on demand. Opportunities are available for those with a passion for music and a knack for capturing the moment.

  • Gigs (photo features and live reviews)

  • Album reviews

  • Interviews

We’re looking for people with a strong focus on quality content, as opposed to quantity. Live gig coverage and new albums up for review that kinda thing. We’re a small team at present and would like to bring more music fans in to help with that side of our blogging.

Avenged Sevenfold - January 2017 - Newcastle Arena

Avenged Sevenfold – January 2017 – Newcastle Arena

Writers;

Writing skills are essential. Experience not necessarily an issue, although willingness to embrace feedback and guidance from the editor is a must. You’ll need access to a computer or device suitable for writing reviews and internet access to email your content in.

Photographers;

You’ll need your own gear, capable of delivering pro-standard photos. Touring bands tend to be access only but there are the occasionally paid shoots and second shooter duties on offer to reliable togs.

We’re also able to help tutor photographers who’d like to learn the ropes.

Over 18s only as venues we cover tend to have age restrictions.

Get in touch…

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