As we pass the half way point of the year Getintothis’ team of photographers have a gander through their back catalogues and present their favourite shots of 2017 so far.
We write this as the central heating has been switched on at Getintothis and the glorious sunshine of the party in the park that was Africa Oyé seems a distant memory.
We’ve nearly forgotten what it’s like not to need our big coat before leaving the house. It is possible by the time you read this the temperatures will have improved.
However, we may just resign ourselves, as we do most years, to write off the summer, pack away the barbecue and stare glumly into the face of autumn.
Cue cries of: ‘We can’t believe more than half the year’s gone already, where did the time go?‘ and the like.
Getintothis‘ band of photographers are given a pretty free rein when it comes to what they choose to shoot at a gig, so long as they come back with at least a few usable shots of all the bands on the bill. Easy enough.
Well, usually, but all gig photographers will have tales of appalling light, low light, the wrong colour light and even, in some cases, no light. We do like moaning. Especially annoying are small venues with no pit. And red lights. And blue lights. We could go on, but you’re not here for that.
Oyé was a bit different, though.
Light’s not the problem – there’s lots of it from the sun. Sorted.
We knew we wanted to lots of crowd shots and that the people at the festival were the main thing. In particular there was one shot we really, really wanted to get. We’d been badgering the PR guy all weekend, such that when the chance finally arrived to get up in the cherry picker, we were properly excited.
“How high do wanna go?” asked the man who knows which lever does what.
“As high as you can” we lied. Being cherry picker virgins, we weren’t quite prepared for the bumpy ride up to the top, but when we got there it was so worth it. The view over Sefton Park with the Review Field packed with people was something special and we could have stayed up there all afternoon. Grab the shot, mess around with the pano setting on our phone and we were done all too quickly.
There are times when we have to recognise the privilege and opportunities shooting for Getintothis affords, and that was one of them. We’re given the opportunity to get the best shots possible. We get pit access and we’re usually standing in your way while your fave band does your fave song. But, soon enough we’re gone, often before the set has finished.
But the good bit comes later and there is little, from a photographer’s point of view, to beat the feeling of delight when we stick the memory card in a computer and realise there’s a fist pump moment in there amongst the scores of missed focus shots and pics of the back of the lead singer’s head.
So, below, we give you a few of the times the Getintothis photo team have been able to say to themselves: “Yeah. That looks pretty cool.”
Gary says: “I loved capturing the piano key reflection in Mark’s glasses. It’s an inspiration heavily borrowed from Ray Charles.”
Gary says: “Samuel T Herring from Future Islands because he uses a lot of energy on stage, this is him after only 2 songs.”
Lucy says: “The Cribs from Sound City. The photo pit was so jam packed for this one that we could barely move around after a late start and lots of Jeremy Corbyn chanting from a very rowdy crowd. But I love this shot, kitsch & colourful!”
Lucy says: “Cherry Glazerr at Central Library. Really cool venue and lots of spots to shoot from – however the blue light is a challenge. Cherry Glazerr were a really fun band to watch and photograph, lots of movement and craziness with an engaged intimate crowd.”
Peter says: “This was taken at FestEVOL Gardens in May at the Invisible Wind Factory.
Anteros were on the outside stage and by the time they came on it was pretty windy in the garden.
Their catchy, Blondie type pop was going down well and it seemed like singer Laura Hayden was using the conditions to her advantage.”
Peter says: “I never managed to get John Robb looking straight at me, but this was his night. An amazing show and I love the fact I was there to see it. The power and energy he delivered will stay with me for a long time.”
Warren says: “Phil Oakey, The Human League at this year’s Sound City.
The main reason I picked this image was because The Human League were one of the bands that influenced my music tastes in my early 20s and they still sound very good.
A really enjoyable set!”
Warren says: “Thundercat at The Invisible Wind Factory in March this year.
This shot really shows the passion in his face. One of the best gigs of the years so far for me; wonderful bass and an incredible voice.
Totally blown away.”
Keith says: “Skindred at the O2 Academy.
Singer Benji Webbe had the flag attached to his microphone stand. I chose a vertical composition and waited for the flag to be unfurled fully making him look quite heroic.”
Keith says: “Moka Blast who was supporting Lady Leshurr. He was having plenty of interaction with the young crowd and towards the end of his set he jumped down into the pit.
He then leaned back into the barrier for a selfie with the audience. Everyone is loving the moment.”
Tom says: “I love energy in this photo.
This is Benjamin Booker playing to one of his biggest crowds at Open’er Festival in Gdynia, Poland.
It was an amazing performance.”
Tom says: “Another one from Open’er. I managed to capture Lorde on the main stage. She had great lighting for the first 3 songs and I took quite few good ones but this is my favourite.”
Georgia says: “Think my favourite shots for Getintothis this year so far have been from FestEVOL as it’s the first time I’ve ever been there and I absolutely love IWF as a venue.
The vibe was great with a perfect balance of music throughout the day.”
Chris says: “When you take pictures and write for a few publications it can be difficult to pinpoint a particular moment or even the best shot you manage.
Aviator played in the Nordic Church in February and it was a show that stands out for its depth and simplicity.
The sound was immaculate, the tunes sublime and the lighting perfectly balanced.
There were six lights in all. Six. I counted them all and, you know what, in the right places six lights can be more than enough.
This was a joy to shoot and the coffee and cake downstairs fuelled the evening.”
Chris says: “As with most gigs you pop your name in the hat to shoot you base it on three things.
Have I heard of this artist, what is the room like and are there enough lights? Because, for the most part, there are never enough lights.
The Scott Matthews show came as a surprise, what started out as a quiet, gentle gig with not much in the way of banter soon warmed up and was full of tales and laughs, he was a joy to shoot and the show was something special to boot.”
Brian says: “The OHHMS picture I like because I was the first gig i had shot in EBGBs and I was using a slow sync flash, something I really enjoying doing but don’t often get a chance, since in most venues flash is a no no.
The band had a lot of energy and movement and this was the best way to catch it.”
Brian says: “The Bo Ningen shot is picked because their set at Wrong Fest was crazy and this was a memorable moment from it. I caught it from the back, pure madness and a great way to end a wonderful new festival.”
Gary says: “I like the colours and the crowd in the foreground.
After I posted this on Twitter someone wanted to play a gig at Buyers Club on just the basis of this photo.
I also like how it was captured using a monopod which I perched on the bar and used an IR remote shutter release.”
Gary says: “This was taken for the bands social media. I like the capture of the movement in the drumstick and the on-stage angle.
The drummer used it as his profile pic.”
Glyn says: “To contrast the above, a relaxed portrait of Allan Moore at Super Weird Happening.
He opens doors for many and I like the way the light shining across his face is keyhole-shaped.”
Martin says: “I shoot a lot of bands and singers that, if you’re generous, you could say look like they’d rather be anywhere else than on a Liverpool stage.
I get it, long tours, city blending into city and the enjoyment can probably be squeezed out of anything.
Jack Savoretti was different and from the off, he looked like someone happy to be here. Maybe the surroundings of the Phil and an adoring crowd helped, but I just like look of sheer enjoyment on his face in this shot.”
Martin says: “Julian Cope shot at the Arts Club.
In my mind Cope is still set at as the pretty boy hanging from his mic stand and telling the world to shut its mouth, but these days he is grizzled showman personified. He definitely has the most interesting anecdotes, stories and general ramblings that keep you well entertained between songs.
This shot captures him in full flow, yet doesn’t quite give a full taste of that outfit.”