It’s that time of year when we ask the Getintothis’ happy band of photographers to review their back catalogues and share a selection of their favourite shots from the past 12 months.
I shot my first gig for Getintothis back in 2015 and I didn’t know then what I’d let myself in for as a fledgling member of the Getintothis team.
Although, perhaps in hindsight, there was a marker being laid down already. The gig was The Pop Group – one of my favourite bands from back when I was at school. I was familiar with their music and I knew what to expect from Mark Stewart, Gareth Sager et al. What I wasn’t expecting was to be blown away by the support, a band called Zun Zun Egui.
Here was music I’d not only never heard before, but the name of the band had never crossed my radar and yet they were so good. It didn’t click at the time and it was, perhaps, a slow burn, but I soon came to realise working for Getintothis was exposing me to all sorts of new music and new experiences.
Sadly, my new discovery was short lived and Zun Zun Egui announced they were splitting up not long after that gig. Lead singer Kushal Gaya went on to form Melt Yourself Down, who I was also lucky enough to see playing in 24 Kitchen Street about a year later.
2015 also saw me lose my Psych Fest cherry and what an eye opener that was. Apart from Evil Blizzard, I don’t think there was a band on the bill with which I was familiar. Yet it was a complete blast as I saw new band after new band, few of which could do any wrong. Since then Psych Fest has been on my Must Do list each year and it was a personal disappointment it took a fallow year in 2018. I sincerely hope it comes back in 2019, because the quality on offer and the voyage of discovery each year is a solid 10 / 10.
So, too Rebellion, the 4 day punk fest held in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens each summer. I’ve been twice now, this year and last. It’s a superbly well run and well oiled machine and an absolute joy to be a part of it. In contrast to Psych Fest, many of the bands on the bill are familiar to me, having been kicking around most of the years since I was a little teen punk wannabe. But there are always surprises, because Rebellion is no throw back and it champions new music as well. Their Introducing stage has proved for me to be one of the best bits of the whole festival.
The point I make is that in the 3 and a half years since I shot my first Getintothis gig, I have been exposed to so much new music, whether actually new or just new to me, that I would never have had the chance to see otherwise. If there’s a gig in town that needs a photographer and I’m free, then I’m happy to go and shoot it because I never quite know what I’ll get. Sure there has been some bollocks, but on the other hand I’d never have seen probably one of my top gigs this year if I hadn’t said “Yes’ at the last moment. Chelcee Grimes, since ‘you ask. I think that gig also produced some of my favourite shots of the year as well. Bonus.
A while back, I decided on a personal policy that saying ‘Yes’ to things was nearly always going to be better than saying ‘No’. It’s not an absolute and there are still some things pretty much off limits, but I’ve found the inclination to accept rather than refuse pays dividends.
Gradually, I was encouraged to start writing for Getintothis. That had never been my intention. I had never thought of myself as a creative writer, but that’s changed now and I’m quite comfortable writing gig and album reviews. Whether they’re any good or not is for you to judge, but Getintothis is wiling to publish my words.
So, too I agreed to take on an editing role. Again, slowly at first, but these days I’m checking and editing pieces written by others a few times a week. It’s rewarding and instructive. I now know how to navigate the back end of the site and how a new post on the website is constructed.
This isn’t for everyone and we all have different calls on our time and energy. But from my perspective, being a part of this set up has opened so many doors and given me countless experiences I would not otherwise have had. I’ve seen the weird, the off the wall, the utterly brilliant along with lots of stuff I’ve forgotten about. I interviewed Richard Jobson of the Skids and asked 13 Questions of the Soap Girls.
I once tried to add up, in money terms, how much it would have cost me to have paid to see all the gigs I have been to each year. I can only guess, but when you factor in the expensive gigs like the summer festivals and, say Kylie, then you can see we are talking hundreds per annum. These are opportunities for which I am extremely grateful.
It’s a long way from what I thought might come out of that first Pop Group shoot. It’s been some journey.
Importantly, I’ve got to know a great bunch of people. The team behind Getintothis is, perhaps surprisingly to the readers, a relatively small one, but it’s a driven and hard working one, and without exception they are all here for the right reasons. Some of them will even buy you a beer.
So, if any of that resonates and you feel you’d like to get involved, then give us a shout.
But in the meantime, enjoy our pick of the pics of 2018. Peter Goodbody – Live Editor
Warren says: “My fave image from 2018 is Acid Mothers Temple playing at Bluedot Festival 2018, first time iv’e seen these live but hope it wont be my last. I loved Bluedot festival and hope to be there again next year.
As for my photographic year Its been such a good one. I’ve photographed some great gigs and festivals this year for Getintothis. I’ve held two Gig Photography workshops at The Studio in Widnes both very well attended. I exhibited at “Shout About It Live” in Liverpool, but the highlight was being asked to speak at “Hull International Photography Festival” about my gig photography and again hope to be there again next year.
Roll on 2019 and a merry Christmas to you all and happy music filled New Year”
Peter says: “Although I love that Chelcee Grimes shot at the top of the page (along with many others this year), I felt like going off piste for my choice. The Tattoo Convention was another of those events I probably wouldn’t have gone to were it not that I had signed up to go and review it for Getintothis. It was a superb event and the sense of collective spirit in the Adelphi was really refreshing. It was easy to get drawn into the vibe and before I knew it, the needle was out and my right forearm would never look the same again”
Kevin says: “I’d been meaning to catch The Mysterines play a few times year but couldn’t get the opportunity. The noise surrounding this band has been getting louder and louder every time they play. And on hearing the reviews from their gigs at Arts Club, and the On Air bank holiday festival this only heightened the hype. Their recent support slot on the Miles Kane gig provided the perfect setting to showcase their talent to an almost full Mountford Hall. They looked completely at home here, and not only sounded ferociously loud, they looked fantastic under the bigger lights.
2018 has been an incredible year for photography opportunities with far too many highlights to list them all, but a few that really stand out would be; Cream Ibiza Classics at Liverpool Cathedral, LightNight, The Blinders and Baxter Dury at Sound City, and Michael Head at Museum of Liverpool.”
Amy says: “I have chosen this image, even though it’s not OF Pale Waves themselves, because I completely understand the feeling that this girl is going through – the carefree, weightless joy of being front and centre of a gig you have been excited about for months and now it’s here, and you’re there, and they’re there, and the music is carrying you away. It’s one of the biggest joys of being a music lover.”
Paul says: “My favourite photo: the lead singer of Lennie Dies playing a Deep Cuts gig at Buyers Club. They were last on and there must’ve been no more than ten people left watching them. They could’ve been forgiven for going through the motions, but they gave it everything anyway. I love the energy and passion this photo captures, and I love the colour tones and the sharpness.
This was my first year shooting for GetIntothis and it began with a baptism of fire shooting the Bob Log III gig at Dumbulls – I actually wondered if it was some kind of initiation test! Nevertheless, it didn’t put me off and I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve been afforded. A downside for me though has to be the lamentable standard of stage lighting in almost every venue, it seems actually illuminating the band on stage is a thing of the past, just bathe them in a combination of dull green and purple light!”
John says: “I love this picture because of its movement and sheer joy in the face of the artist. Throughout the gig she had a smile on her face, and clearly loved what she does, and I think this picture captured her emotion. It’s always difficult to capture a drummer, especially in low light, and I think I nailed it with this one.”
Lucy says: “Shame always put on an energetic show and we know they’re going to go in the crowd for most of the show. This was being in the right place at the right time, the crowd were all pumped up and all the lights were on. This is Shame riding high on a Rough Trade album of the year and a 2018 of constant touring. Definitely one of the gigs of the year.”
Chris says: “I have photographed many a heavy metal act in my time, intense light and stage shows. But non of them have come close the The Prodigy, absolutely ground shaking performance. Incredible light show and a massive party atmosphere. A live act not to be missed.”
Chris says: “I could sit here all day and wax lyrical about composition, lighting, timing, catching the right shot by studying your subject at length, paying attention to their every move and waiting for the beat when everything is… Just. So.
I could also say that when I took this image of Heaven 17, I was late getting into the venue as my name wasn’t on the door, I missed the support act, I was boiling wearing a coat entirely inappropriate to the room, I had the wrong lens in my bag and I was literally out the door by the time the fourth song finished.
Sometimes, that’s just how they work out. I don’t normally like blue lights, I rarely like everyone’s reliance on LEDs, I try not to share anything with too much glare or fuzz but this has the one thing I look for more than anything else, Glenn Gregory looks utterly lost in the moment.”
Dan says: “Brooklyn punks and BBC 6 Music favourites BODEGA playing a matinee gig in Birkenhead Library, of all places. Bang in the middle of the heatwave too. A quite surreal and unique gig.”
Amy says: “My favourite snap taken at Kendal Calling this year during the elephant parade. Puppets of all kinds marched through the festival’s Garden of Eden. I love the photo because it captures the colours, creativity and close connection with nature the festival brings.”