Liverpool music’s 20 best live photos of 2016 so far

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At the half way mark of 2016 Getinothis’ Vicky Pea delves into the reviews to pull out the 20 best live photographs of the year so far. 

For many of us, our memories are heavily reliant on the visual image, and quite frankly, when you go to as many gigs as we do, it often takes a photo to pop up for us to even remember we were there.

The first six months of 2016 have included gigs of all shapes and sizes. From the always spectacular surroundings of the Liverpool Olympia or Royal Philharmonic Hall to the sweat coated walls of Maguire’s and the Magnet. Each night attempts to presents itself in a new way, and our photographers are always on hand, working tirelessly to capture each and every moment.

The true challenge comes in producing a single image that encapsulates an event. One exposure that takes the feeling of those in attendance on the night, and through being presented to another set of eyes, transfers that feeling onto another person. With that in mind, here are our selection of the 20 best live photographs taken by Getintothis photographers so far this year.

Escape To Planet Kronos NYE show taken by John Johnson at The Kazimier – January

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Not only is this a fabulously fun photo, but it takes on a life of its own once given a back story. The last night of the much loved Kazimier. New Years Eve. A celebration like no other. When you add it all up what is left is not just an image of a certain party on a certain night, but of every party the Kazimier ever held. Fun, colour, expression, freedom, love, joy and positivity all shine from this incredible photo.

Read our review here.

Shrine by Forest Swords taken by John Johnson at The Black E – January

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Another visual treat came earlier this year when former GIT Award winner Forest Swords bought his original music and dance performance Shrine to the Black E where at centre of the cavernous, multi-levelled amphitheatre a single figure was lit. By no means an easy shot, John manages to balance the light and the dark to compose this hauntingly beautiful image.

Read our review here.

Battles taken by Martin Waters at the O2 Academy – March

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It’s not always easy to capture a whole band in shot when you’re immediately in front of the stage, but if you do, they’re usually something special. Here a wide angle lens is used to great effect, exaggerating the centrally positioned drum kit. This kind of shot acts as though you’re seeing through someone else’s eyes, picking you up and plonking you bam smack front and centre, just like you were there.

Read our review here.

MCM Comic Con cosplayer taken by Peter Goodbody at Exhibition Centre – March

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Earlier this year the MCM Comic Con came to Liverpool for the first time and provided countless photo opportunities with costumes and cosplay as far as the eye could see, with one of our favourites being this attendee’s stellar effort, totally accurate of the weirdness, skill, dedication on fandom on show over the weekend. Not a stitch out of place.

Read our review here.

Joanna Newsom taken by Martin Waters at Liverpool Philharmonic – March

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As photographers, we love this kind of image. Usually you know it’s going to be a great shot straight away, it’s a satisfying and rare moment when you manage to get the artist looking right down the lens, even more so in this almost secretive angle. The soft over the shoulder stare makes it look as though we’ve been caught somewhere we shouldn’t have been (not true, promise!). The focus point creates a great depth within the photo and combines pleasingly with the use of the rule of thirds.

Read our review here.

Saul Williams taken by Michael Kirkham at 24 Kitchen Street – March

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You may or may not know that at most gigs, photographers get three songs to take photos then bugger off. Some head into the crowd to enjoy the show, some head to the back of the room to get some wide shots and some just head home. This photo is an example of why you should never just head home. Wait around and your rewards will present themselves as they did here when Saul Williams joined his crowd at 24 Kitchen Street. The positioning of the disco ball and the main subject create a great composition, with the viewer finding themselves just as engaged as the audience are in the photo.

Read our review here.

The Three Degrees by Martin Waters at St Georges Hall – April 

2016_Best_Photos_3degrees_SGH_11_Apr_16_Martin_WatersIMG_0533Everything about this image screams ‘classy’. The decor of St Georges Hall almost seems to reflect the shimmer, shine and pattern of The Three Degrees’ dresses which stand out vibrantly against, despite the detail, a relatively basic background of white, gold and black. The focus point of the supporting band tries to draw your eye past the parade of pink, however this only acts to draw attention to the main subjects even more.

Read our review here.

Cream Classics taken by Martin Waters at the Anglican Cathedral – April

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Often, you just know when a night is going to be something visually stunning, Cream was one of those nights. Here Martin manages to capture the size and scale of the Anglican Cathedral, the iconic Cream logo, spectacular laser show and the size and depth of the crowd all in one frame, building a well rounded picture of the evening in one shot.

Read our review here.

Last Shadow Puppets taken by Tom Adam at Liverpool Olympia – April

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This snap is all about swag, style and Shadow Puppets. When the band are performing for the camera, it makes our job a whole lot easier. Here we have three subjects all striking a pose at different depths within the frame looking like exaggerated caricatures of themselves, so much so you can almost hear the guitars jangling.

Read our review here.

Lying Bastards taken by Marty Saleh at Threshold Festival 2016 – April

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We love an image that confuses the eye. There’s so much going on here to scan before the real image reveals itself. From the crowd, the lead singer turning his back on the crowd, multiple other photographers and cymbals. It all acts as a distraction to the main focal point of the bass player bending himself in half centre stage and shows how effective an alternative angle can be. There’ll be at least four photographers with the same image from the front, but only one from behind.

Read our review here.

David Bowie tribute taken by Martin Waters at Liverpool Sound City 2016 – May

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Post-editing can often go one of two ways, this is a perfect example of the positive side. Here Chris captures a clear, sharp image of the projected Bowie tribute at Sound City, and with selective editing creates a sombre, quiet and touching image of reflection.

Read our Sound City coverage here.

Omphalos Eternal Energy taken by John Johnson at The Invisible Wind Factory – May

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Mysterious, dark, magical, intriguing. All things that Enteral Energy promised to be and all things delivered in this photo from its debut performance at the new Invisible Wind Factory. An image captured at the start of a new era, and one that we will no doubt look back on in years to come as the creative output of the new venue continues to amaze us.

Read our review here.

Paddy Steer taken by John Johnson at The Invisible Wind Factory opening night party – May

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Some artists just make it easy to get a great photo, Paddy Steer never disappoints. As much as the person behind the lens has the ability to produce something special sometimes the subject does it for you. After all photos are supposed to be interesting and provoking and there’s certainly plenty to think about with this one.

Read our review here.

Juliette Lewis and the Licks taken by Vicky Pea at FestEVOL – May

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Probably one of the most photographed sets of the year in Liverpool so far, this image depicts Juliette Lewis letting rip at FestEVOL. The photo seems to reflect Juliette’s don’t give a shit attitude as sweat glistens, spit flies and harsh lights illuminate dust in the air. It’s hard and gritty, something that the band would probably quite like to be called themselves.

Read our review here.

Louis Berry taken by John Johnson at O2 Academy – May

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Black and white images hold the ability to turn a photo into a moment and a split second into a story. Here we see the story of hometown hero, stepping up to take his rightful place, with confidence and a cheeky grin, the main attraction. It’s an image that you’d see in years to come and be able to say, ‘yes, I was there for that one’ with its moment to remember feel.

Read our review here.

Prince Tribute taken by Amy Faith at Buyers Club – May

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We’ve all been overwhelmed with images of Prince in 2016 that it becomes difficult for any to stand out. Earlier in the year Liverpool threw a Prince party at the Buyers Club where people crammed in to celebrate the life of the purple one. Not a sad occasion by any means, perfectly portrayed here where smiles and friends combat the loss.

Read our review here.

Psycho Comedy taken by Martin Waters at FestEVOL 2016 – May

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Cool. It just looks so cool right? The sharp image of the subject contrast perfectly to the solid colour background, making the subject pop like a character is a Wes Anderson film. At a glance it’s an incredibly colourful image, but actually there’s only really two colours, with tones of orange evident in the skin tone, hair, t-shirt and obviously, glasses.

Read our review here.

Silent Disco taken by Chris Flack on Light Night at Liverpool Central Library – May

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Light Night never fails to produce a host of brilliant images from in and around the city. Here we get to use the already stunning interior of Liverpool’s Central Library, softly lit from above, and combine it with a surprising subject of a Silent Disco. The juxtaposition of the generally stoic building with the dancing bodies makes for a memorable and unlikely photo.

Read our review here.

Allusondrugs taken by Phil Greenhalgh at The Magnet – June

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Sometimes our photographers have to get up close and personal with the acts, as fantastically demonstrated in this shot of Allusondrugs. This is where smaller venues such as the Magnet really come into their own as you can plant yourself right beneath the acts and wait for your moment to strike. This is a great ‘in the moment’ type shot, with an energy that no doubt sums up the night as a whole.

Read our review here.

Africa Oye 2016 by James Harper at Sefton Park – June

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Oye is all about sunshine, colour and community, three things captures in spades by James’ high viewpoint. Images captured from a distance give a real event type feel to the subject matter. The wide angle created by the distance allows us to view multiple elements of the festival and gives an idea of the size and scale with the added bonus of trying to spot yourself.

Read our review here.

We hope you’d agree with us in saying the final six months of 2016 have a lot to live up to. We can only imagine what our lenses will see next and we’ll be sharing every unmissable moment with you. If you’d like to join the live team of photographers at Getintothis, then get in touch with us on our Facebook page.

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