Bands, Live gigs, Music, Photo Galleries, photography

School of Rock – 2008 – II

04.05.2008 // Comments Off

Coming back with a second set of shots from the aforementioned gig the School of Rock Live in the Palace. This particular set was more challenging since most of the musicians on stage were much further back, making it even more impossible to get a decent shot of them. However, the band in the Loft during this set were the most energetic bunch of musicians I’d seen in quite a while, with fantastic hair to boot.

Sneak Peek

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Bands, Live gigs, Misc, Photo Galleries, photography

School of Rock – 2008

03.05.2008 // Comments Off

The Athlone School of Contemporary Music hosts a 2-floor, 3-hour live featuring local rock bands from around the midlands about once every 6 months, and this year’s show delivered all that could be expected and then some. This year’s line-up featured not only a new batch of singer-songwriters forging out from their cover-bands comfort-zone and performing their own material, but also included a new promising young band, Critic Eyes, fronted by two female guitarists, a rarity in the current music scene.

For anyone who has ever shot a rock concert before, you know that you’ll burn through exposures at an increased rate, one reason why digital has become so appealing. This gig however saw me go through all eight of my 2GB cards while attempting to cover 16 different bands. The photos are plentiful to say the least. :)

Processing them all will take some time, but here’s the first batch for those that are interested.

Sneak Peek

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Bands, Live gigs, Music, Photo Galleries

Skinsize Kings play Passionfruit Theatre

18.04.2008 // Comments Off

Athlone-based band Skinsize Kings have actually been around for quite some time, making appearances at large concerts link Oxygen, as well as still playing the smaller venues around the midlands for they’re core fan-base. Creating a different sound blending classic rock instrumentation with a bit of edgy vocal styling (with even a small rap twist), they have made a name for themselves as being original and unique. They also have the distinction of being the first rock band to play in the acoustic-based black-box venue of Passionfruit Theatre.

Recently I got a chance to drop in on their sound check, as they prepared for a ‘slightly’ unplugged, sell-out show in the Passionfruit. The shoot was fairly spur of the moment since I couldn’t stay for the show, so the images it yielded are more atmospheric then I had intended. It certainly inspired me want to shoot them again however. Be sure to look for them coming through town soon.

Sneak Peek

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Bands, Live gigs, Misc, Music, Photo Galleries, Solo Artist

Geoff Quinlan in Passionfruit Theatre

18.04.2008 // Comments Off

Diversity is a wonderful thing, particularly diversity in music, and not only just in songwriting style or genre of music, but in performance style as well. This past year’s Songwriter showcase was full of diversity, from young trad musicians who write their own reels, to female-fronted rock bands, to a guitarist who has been floating around the midlands with a completely original flare for music. He’s an acoustic fret-tapper, and he’s brilliant.

Geoff Quinlan has quickly been making a name for himself in the midlands music scene for his unique playing, and his unparalleled skill… and to top it off, he takes to the stage with such an unassuming and sincere air of graciousness, you’d think he felt surprised that people were listening to him. When he plays however, you can here a pin drop, which so far, is a feat matched only by a small collection of other artists who have played the midlands.

I recently had the opportunity to cover another one of his gigs, when he opened at Passionfruit Theatre and as always, he did not disappoint.

Sneak Peek

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Bands, Live gigs, Music, Photo Galleries

Spiderbaby play Scribes

31.01.2008 // Comments Off

Take a popular pub venue located near the university, fill-it with enthusiastic albeit slightly inebriated students taking a break from exam preparation, and place a popular young band hosting a few of the best new musicians in town playing the latest head-banging delights from the radio, and you have a combination for a bit of a wild night.

Scribes is the venue located on the Athlone Insitute of Technology campus and is a sure-shot for getting an appreciative and slightly over-enthusiastic audience to any band who will drive to the edge of town to play. However, Spiderbaby is not just any band, they are one of the best young bands I’ve seen come into the Athlone music scene in a while, gathering a collection of musicians with talent beyond their years. My presence at this gig was actually in preparation for the Battle of the Bands which would take place in Scribes the following week, and as I’d never shot in this venue before, I used Spiderbaby’s gig as a test run. An exciting night was had by all.

Sneak Peek

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Bands, Live gigs, Misc, Photo Galleries

Sofa King Cool in Bar Metro

26.01.2008 // Comments Off

This is actually more of a throw-away gig, since I was actually not in attendance as an official shooter, but simply a patron sitting in the corner, sipping my soda. However, the gig is unique for two reasons. Firstly, it’s one of the few times a woman joined the Kings on stage, in the form of Michelle Gibbons, rock-singer extraordinarie, as well as the always entertaining Paul Allen.

Secondly, since this is the last documented evidence of Sofa King Cool playing Bar Metro, it needed to be posted, because as some say, “It’s the end of an era…

Sneak Peek

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Bands, Live gigs, Misc, Photo Galleries, photography

The Rocket Queens – R.I.P.

16.12.2007 // Comments Off

Guns ‘n’ Roses tribute band The Rocket Queens played their final gig in Bar Metro a bit ago, and the crowd was out in hordes. For those of you that don’t know, the Rocket Queens are actually Sofa King Cool in drag as I like to say. A group of well-seasoned and talented musicians, each band-member is already a veteran to the band-scene in the Midlands, and while Sofa King Cool still lives on, the Rocket Queens are no more.

Sneak Peek

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Misc, Photo Galleries, photography

Photo Shoot with Shawn Allen

22.11.2007 // Comments Off

Many people know Shawn Allen as the lead singer of Sofa King Cool or The Rocket Queens, but Shawn also happens to be quite the talented songwriter. Unfortunately, he rarely gets a chance to play guitar, particularly while performing. Throughout the life span of his performances over the last couple of years, hundreds of not thousands of photos have been taken by friends, family and general rock-savy members of the audience, and not one has him on the guitar due to his placement behind the mic as lead singer.

To remedy that, we grabbed a guitar and an empty room at the Athlone School of Music, and did a mini photo shoot. Now that he’s emerging as a solo artist playing his own material, more will hopefully come soon.

Sneak Peek

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Bands, Live gigs, Music, Photo Galleries

Dead Mans Hand in Bar Metro

16.11.2007 // Comments Off

The rock scene in general is usually dominated by male bands, particularly male lead singers. Its quite rare to find a Gwen Stefani, a Hayley Williams, or an Amy Lee in an actual rock band, and anyone who tries to convince me that No Doubt, Paramore and Evanescence are anything more than glorified pop-bands will be sent a cold limp salmon in the post. There of course is nothing wrong with pop-bands, but I’m talking about rock bands, ones that make you growl like a bear, distort your face and punch your fist in the air, while chanting the word, “RAWK!” These bands are always fronted by male lead singers, and the local music scene is no different… except of course for Dead Mans Hand.

Take a sweet young artist and fill her with the voice of Ella Fitzgerald mixed with a bit of Janis Joplin and back her with some of the best undiscovered rock musicians in the midlands, and you have the beginnings of the fantastic night that can only be had by going to a Dean Mans Hand gig. With a set list covering vintage rock pieces we haven’t heard in ages, but celebrated with a surprisingly edgy female voice, Dead Mans Hand are not to be missed. Here’s a few highlights from when they played Bar Metro. A fun night was had by all.

Sneak Peak

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Live gigs, Photo Galleries, photography

Shawn Allen in Bar Metro

16.11.2007 // Comments Off

Long before there was Shawn Allen and the Fluffy Truffles, or Shawn Allen and the Sexual Chocolates, Shawn Allen was just Shawn Allen, a local singer-songwriter from Athlone, staying in the comfort zone of the cover bands he sang lead for (Sofa King Cool, The Rocket Queens, etc.). However, on one special night in November 2007, a friend of his from Dead Man’s Hands asked him to fill in the break, and do an electric solo set midway through the night.

I post these photos not because is was a great gig to shoot (although it was fun to listen to), but because they’re a good example of how when the shooting environment is not the greatest, photos can still be salvaged with a bit of creative editing.
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