Posts Tagged ‘sarah quinn giggle pics & kent sessions’

Club Q – Ashford – Bank Holiday 27.05.13 Review

by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

  • Slam Cartel
  • Crashgate
  • Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barber
  • Jukebox Monkey

The second gig put on by Below the Radar Events and Promotions at Club Q in Ashford proved a huge success.  By 7.30pm the floor was already filling up and by the time headline act, Slam Cartel hit the stage the place was very nicely crowded.  Lots of familiar faces but also many new ones filled the venue, proving that these nights are very much needed and wanted.

At this point I must mention that Bobb Pineapple was in attendance, having shared the stage with Rage Against the Machine, the night was hugely honoured!

Jukebox Monkey – A four piece Rock band from Kent.  I’ve now had the pleasure of reviewing them on a couple of occasions at different venues in Kent, and it’s always a pleasure.  Having reviewed before, I’ll post links here to the previous and keep this short, as going over old ground is never helpful… (Rokanrolla 28.02.13 Review – the main one to read & 25.04.13 Beercart Arms Review).  This gig was no exception and although there was a minor technical issue with sound, as always the guys blew both myself and the audience away.  This was an Ashford debut for the band and talking to the crowd they went down a treat.  A band with HUGE amounts of energy who always put on a fantastic visual performance as well as sound.  With all the hundreds of bands I have seen, their drummer, “Animal”(my nickname for him)  is still the most animated I have ever seen.   This is hard, loud rock, move yourself around rock; and I’m damn sure they will be playing more and more gigs in the coming months as momentum spreads.  If you like your Rock hard and energetic, this is a band for you!

1 Jukebox Monkey (27)

Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers – A four piece Rockabilly/Punk band hailing from Ashford that I’ve seen once before and was really looking forward to seeing again.  This band has attitude in abundance, but in the most endearing way (I’m sure they won’t particularly like me saying that!)  If you don’t believe me, head over to their Facebook page and read their “about” section and have a listen to some of the tracks on there!  I was asked a few times to describe them, awesome but favour the C word a lot, was what I came up with.  That’s both in lyrics but also in stage banter and there is much of that.  The lead vocalist is a real smart one, but in a way that actually really doesn’t offend.  He’s extremely comical and I’d dare anyone to take him on with a heckle, I’ve witnessed the snap back and humiliation that ensues, but with a witty tone.  Cheeky chap that can get away with almost everything I think.  Their sound… not something you will hear out on the scene very often.  The lyrics are hard hitting and to the point, they are not laced with messages; the message and meaning slap you full front in the face.  No mistaking what they are conveying to you here.  Their stand out song to me is always Faceache… it’s not for the feint hearted though so be warned.  I personally love this band, they have huge appeal to me but if you are easily offended, you have no business being anywhere near these lads!

2 Thumbscrew and the Flicknife Barbers (17)

Crashgate – A five piece Rock band from Deal who have recently released their debut album which has been received exceptionally well.  It’s extremely well produced, coming out of Hidden Track Studios and produced by Oli Craggs from Feed the Rhino ,  which means that the quality is exceptional.  As is their live performance of the new material.  I reviewed this band recently at a Beercart Arms gig in Canterbury, where they performed again with Jukebox Monkey (25.04.13 Beercart Arms Review).  The performance at this gig was no exception, hugely catchy songs with deep, meaningful lyrics.  It’s evident they are all heartfelt and based on personal experience, as front man Craig will happily tell you.  His Welsh voice is unique and unmistakeable and his performance always draws the crowd in, wanting to be part of it.  A hugely talented bunch or musicians backing him and you have yourself something rather special.  I recommend you check these guys out, as for me, their live performance is always top class and showcases them to their utmost best.

3 Crashgate (33)

Slam Cartel – A five piece Hard Rock band hailing from around London and Kent.  Their debut album “Handful of Dreams” is released worldwide and currently receiving a lot of radio airplay.  It’s a rare thing to be able to go and see them at a local gig, as they tour all over the country and there was a large turn out to watch them.  It’s very clear these guys have a large fan base and as they hit the stage I knew this was going to be an entertaining set.  I’ve reviewed them once before at the Beercart Arms, so knew what to expect and to be on my toes with the camera (07.03.13 Beercart Arms Review).  Glancing down at the set list I counted 13 tracks and there was not a chance of this fitting into the 45 minute set.  I was right and they ended up playing for well over an hour and unfortunately due to the time of finishing, a lot of people had left by the end.  This is a hugely experienced band with a very unique sound. When they mentioned that the last song would be a brand new one, I was very interested to hear it.  The first song produced by the band  that they have all had a hand in writing.  This left me wondering if it would still have the same Slam Cartel sound to it.  It does, although I would say somewhat more intricate, due to each band member having brought their own abilities to it.  I’ll be interested in hearing what else they bring to the table in the coming months.  My only gripe with these guys is; as they go along they get so enthusiastic and turn their levels up.  By the end of the gig the vocals are drowned out to a degree with is a huge shame.  If you get a chance to catch them, do, as they rarely perform in the local area!

4 Slam Cartel (1)

Oh and what of Bobb I hear you ask?  Well, when I left he was still rocking out in the corner!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

 

Find Jukebox Monkey on Facebook

Find Thumbscrew and The Flicknife Barbers on Facebook 

 

Find Crashgate on Facebook
Buy their Album on Amazon 

 

Find Slam Cartel on Facebook
Official Website 

Here follows a very small amount of photography from the evening.  For the full nights photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

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Folkestone Jam/Musicians Night – The Party Bar – Review 16.05.13

Folkestone Jam Night (30)

Now here was an interesting request for an evening, Folkestone Jam/Musicians night.  Interesting for a number of reasons, the first being I’ve not been invited to one of these before with regards to reviewing.  The second being, this was a Jam/Musicians night with a difference.  I was fully expecting your usual average sort of open mic night really, the only clue to the contrary was that a band was going?  A band, open mic?  This needed further investigation.

Off I go in search of this The Party Bar venue… thinking I’m sure I know that address, but isn’t that Jolsons?  OK, I’m showing my age here, to me it was Jolsons and probably always will be so, just as Onyx (had to look that up!) is The Priz to me and many generations it would seem.  My own son called it such, to my bemusement.  In fact, this has just caused me to search and there is actually a Facebook page for it:  The Priz.  I digress.

Walking into The Party Bar and I’m greeted with nothing that I remember.  A wide open spacious room set out with an entire sets worth of musical instruments, PA and lighting rigs.  I think again I’m in the wrong place, this is a stage set up for a gig, must be a band booked.  Not at all.  This is a Jam/Musicians Night with a twist, a pretty awesome twist if you ask me, completely unique and I think you’ll struggle to find anything around like it.  A few people have got together with a fantastic brainwave .. what puts a lot of you guys off or what do a lot of you struggle with?  I’ve seen many a band have to pull out of a gig due to transportation issues.  No transport issues for equipment needed here.  Just turn up, whether a singular musician fancying a play or a full band.

How does this work I hear you ask?  As I mentioned it’s the brainchild of a few.  First up we have Folkestone Guitar Shop.  They provide all the instruments and heads/amps needed for an entire band to play: guitars/drums/bass, you name it, its there sitting pretty and begging to be played.  Next up you have Sound Experience Disco & PA Hire who, as it says on the tin, supply the PA and lighting for the event.  Everything is there, provided free of charge and all you need to do is walk on through the doors.  How cool is that? (of course you can bring your own instrument if you so wish)

Folkestone Jam Night (13)

So, what do you get from such an evening.  The results produced in my experience are also entirely unique.  Put a whole group of musicians into a room, give them a load of instruments and let them loose.  Amazing.  I never did quite figure throughout the evening how they all did it.  Now this is a relaxed, chilled out atmosphere where pretty much anything goes really.  A band can come and get up and perform together if they so wish, but what also happened a lot was, someone would get up, ask for a bassist, a drummer etc and people would just get up.  If they didn’t know a song, they had a quick play to work it out and off they went.  Now I’m not saying that everything performed here was amazing lol… throw musicians together, not all knowing a song, some not even being their main instrument but just stepping in to help out, its not always going to be.  However, just due to this it was astounding in itself.  Some of the music created on this night was amazing.  At one point some soldiers came in just for a drink and one of them decided to get up and play the guitar with some of the other guys.  That’s how welcome everyone is.

I’m guessing that this evening changes week to week depending on who turns up.  I for one will be going along to a few more of these, as just never know what you are going to get.  You kind of feel that you’ve stepped into a private, exclusive little world but one where you are made to feel very welcome indeed.  These guys want to play to you, they want you to come along and hear what they have to offer.  How often in life do you get to see a more, ‘behind the scenes’ sort of vue point on how musicians work and put things together?  Other nights you’ll get to see full bands just do there stuff and guess what?  This is all for free.  Not only is the event free but the drinks are cheap!  In fact a fair bit cheaper than some of the surrounding pubs in the area.  What more can you ask for really?  You can relax on the sofas, sit at a table or just stand around chatting with the artists and organisers, all are very welcoming.

I seriously suggest that everyone gets down to these evenings.  Something very different you won’t see anywhere else locally and it feels like an exclusive kind of club.  You’ll never be able to predict what you will see/hear which makes it even better.  So I hope to see some of you down there very soon and don’t forget to spread the word!

Evening currently held weekly on a Thursday night, doors open at 8pm.

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

Find the Folkestone Jam/Musicians Night on Facebook 

Find The Party Bar on Facebook 

Find Folkestone Guitar Shop on Facebook 

Find Sound Experience Disco and PA Hire on Facebook 

Give them all a like!

Here follows a very small amount of photography taken on the night, for full nights photo’s, please go to Facebook, this gig only

Photography by Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions

This is an article that I was actually asked to write for another online site some time ago.  They’ve now given me permission to reproduced on my own blog.  So here it is, nothing strenuous or technical, enjoy!

Imperial Leisure

Imperial Leisure

Music Photography

Music photography, where to start… well it’s not something for the feint hearted that’s for sure, at any level.  Any type of photography requires a vast amount of passion and dedication, as all types pose challenges and require patience.  Music photography has its own and I guess that varies from gig to gig, venue to venue.

I started out as a hobby photographer, merely for the pleasure, not even really showcasing much of my work.  This in itself is criminal… I recently read a quote that really struck a chord with me: A photograph that has not been shared or at least printed is almost an unexistent photograph, is almost an untaken picture – unknown

Photography is not my only passion in life, that being music, live music!  Having attended a fair few gigs I was asked by a friend/promoter whether I fancied bring my camera along and taking a few photo’s for his company.  Hell Yeah!  That was the start of the completion of my life, two huge loves, thrown together into the most perfect combination.

What I wasn’t prepared for, was how different music photography was and the huge challenges that it imposes.  I had no idea that the techniques needed would be so vastly different and my first few gigs produced little, if no usable results whatsoever   I had to literally go back to basics and start again, learning a completely new way to use my camera.

Firstly not many venues allow flash photography and even if they do I prefer to keep my shots more organic if possible.  Working with the coloured stage lighting can prove extremely troublesome, especially when the vast use of pure colour washes comes into the equation.  The lens cannot find clarity of features and of course the dreaded red lighting that looks so cool to the audience member, is the bane of any music togs life!  However, get it right, get a shot at the right moment, working with the colours on stage can produce the best images going.  For me, it gives a real feel for a gig which is my ultimate aim of achievement.  I like my photographs to tell a story, to paint a picture of what a gig was really like, to give a feel for the atmosphere.  My aim is to make someone feel as though they were really there, in the moment, in the audience and hopefully make them want to be there in the future!

Non flash use is not always possible in very small venues, even the best equipment in the world can only cope with a certain level of lightening limitations.  At times you have to compromise in order to get any sort of shots.  I guess in these circumstances it is worth the trade off, after all, what’s the point of no useable photographs?  It also depends what sort of gig you are at.

For me the entire story of a gig means crowd photography.  Showing how the audience interacts with a band completes the picture.  Covering a lot of metal and heavy rock gigs means a lot of ‘mosh’ pits.  Not for the feint hearted and I can often be found hiding behind speakers at the edge of the stage, peaking around with camera in hand.  But I love these photo’s, I’m a bit of a hands on photographer, creeping in as close as I dare, getting into people’s faces with the camera to capture the action and true atmosphere of a genre that is often misunderstood.  You do need to have your wits about you at all times around a pit, one eye through a lens and one on the ‘mosh’, otherwise you can quickly find yourself at the bottom of a stack of bodies, but all in the friendliest of manners, honestly.

So that’s the lighting challenge, next?  Movement.  As I stated many bands I photograph are from the metal and rock genre and man can these guys move.  For me personally this is the best challenge, the one I love.  The more a band moves around on stage, the more exciting they are too me.  I feel myself becoming drawn in and only when I get home do I realize just how many photo’s I have actually taken and need to cull.  Getting a clear, non blurred shot of a band thrashing around on stage or head banging is nowhere near as easy as you may think, especially not when you combine this to the low lighting levels.  A combination of ISO adjustments, wide lenses, shutter speeds, patience and luck is needed to get that great shot.  When you do, it’s oh so worth it.  Nothing beats the excitement of getting home from a gig, pouring a drink and putting that memory card into the laptop.  The anticipation of having ‘the’ shot on that card transports me back to being a child on Christmas Eve.  You may have an idea of what you have on your camera but it is not until you truly see a photo in large that you can tell if it’s as good as you think.

That’s small venue photography, large venue photography is different again.  I won’t go into this in too much depth but once you have your press pit pass, what are your main challenges?  The press!  Honestly, the lightening at these venues is much brighter, so gone is that challenge to a certain degree.  Flash photography is totally out of the equation but then it’s not required so much.  As long as you have put in the practise at small, poor light venues, getting your settings right with the much brighter stage lighting, should not prove too much of a challenge.  You do have the restriction of only being able to photograph for the first 3 songs of any bands set, so the main difference here is having to work fast and hope that the band is kind to you.

In my experience, it is usually later in on in a set that a band really gets going, so it can be frustrating to watch them later move in a way you just know would have given some awesome pictures.  All that aside, as I touched on earlier, the biggest challenge is the other togs… large venue gigs are extremely competitive in my experience and you find yourself literally fighting for a shot, or being pushed and shoved out of the way.  It’s not a part of photography that I enjoy to be honest, as to me it feels like the original reasons for becoming a photographer have been forgotten.  In these circumstances I merely try to focus on the band and try to ignore as much as possible all the madness ensuing around me.   Zone out from the pushing in front of your lens and just take a deep breath.  I guess that its important to remember at all times, why you are taking photographs of a band.   What does it mean to you?  When you do that, keep that at the forefront of your mind, because as soon as it is not enjoyable, it will show in your pictures.

Equipment, I could get very technical here but there are many articles published on the net about basic and advanced equipment for gig photography.  My main advice would be to have a camera that shoots in RAW as RAW captures 3/4 more information than JPEG.  Yes you can have a flash DSRL with a telephoto lens (not really needed at small venues as you can get close enough),  a wide lens, etc… however I’ve seen some great shots captured with a basic compact set on the right settings and bridge cameras with a fixed lens.  In fact that is how I started and even now I keep my equipment to a minimum.  You simply do not need all the flash stuff at small venue gigs, it can easily be damaged and you may look a little daft.  Shoot in RAW, play with your ISO and shutter speeds until you find what works.

Most importantly, don’t shoot the entire gig.  Take time to watch and appreciate the gig itself.  When you are taking pictures, show you are enjoying and appreciating the band.  You will get far more interaction out of them that way and may even be lucky enough to even get a posed shot.  The most important part of gig photography?   To simply ENJOY!

Sarah Quinn – GIGgle Pics & Kent Sessions (article and photography)

Just a few of the thousands of gig photo’s I’ve taken