Shout About It Live! (featuring REWS) at Constellations Liverpool

I only found out about this event days before it took place, thanks to a post from the Saturday headliners REWS. A live music event which also intended to showcase gig photography, it was actually a three-day event, with the Friday being a sort-of preview intended for those in the gig photo business to get together and ‘network’ while bands played. With my nights out currently rationed and having to be scheduled in advance, I made sure I was going to be there to see REWS play. The Saturday was an all-day event, with bands playing from midday through until 11pm, but as it turned out I was detained at home until around 7pm, meaning I couldn’t get to see much of the bill. As I was going primarily to see the rock duo though, it wasn’t a biggie.

I got to Constellations, a bar with a back room for live bands set in what looked like a former industrial unit in the Baltic Triangle area (close to Hangar 34, mentioned in the previous post) to find none other than Shauna and Collette of REWS posing by a mural nearby, taking selfies. They seemed happy to hear at least one person had come specifically to see them (!) though of course had it not been for their post, I’d not have known about this event anyway. It had little publicity, being independently-organised and after entering and watching one of the bands (a guitar-orientated, but indie-leaning quartet) I took in the exhibition that was also in place down the side of the hall. Showcasing some pretty good live gig photos from both big-time shows and smaller local gigs, this was an event aimed at giving budding gig snappers something to shoot without having to worry about photo passes. As such, I should have brought my own (ageing!) DSLR, but I’d gone as a gig punter rather than photographer so took the usual digital compact.

A short time later I got talking to one of these DSLR-toting snappers, who turned out to be the organiser of the event! A Wirral-based gig snapper called Georgia Flynn, she explained the reason for putting on this event and was happy to talk techie camera stuff to someone whom she probably didn’t realise was an old photo geek who used to develop E6* for a living (!) I did tell her I liked to take the odd snap for this blog, and she gave me her web URL where her work is displayed. After watching another band and observing the stream of DSLR users heading to the stage I took another look around before the penultimate band came on, who were Himalayas from Cardiff. I’ve seen these guys before when they supported Marmozets at the o2 Academy earlier in the year, so knew what to expect – indie-esque, but plenty of wallop from Jimmy Page lookalike guitarist Mike Griffiths and drummer  James Goulbourn. Frontman Joe Williams gave the snappers plenty to shoot when he took an off-stage walkabout near the end, as well as stand on the bass drum in true rock fashion!  A good live band worth seeing, though they were getting rather a muted reception from a floor filled with people aiming to get a good photo as much as take in a gig.

I was of course there for REWS who had come out onto the floor during Himalayas’ set, getting a bit of attention from a few punters who wanted pics with the girls. After a short period of setting up they kicked into life with a set of at least eleven songs, mostly drawn from their ‘Pyro’ album. Guitarist Shauna Tohill was a blur of energy on the stage, making the most of the (decently-sized) stage since she had most of it to herself!  Meanwhile Collette Williams set about hammering her way through this set with nifty rhythms, which had your correspondent attempting to drum along using the edge of the stage as a ‘snare’, particularly during ‘Miss You In The Dark’! Having seen the duo once before at the Shipping Forecast across town, I knew what to expect, but this was a particularly enjoyable performance. Though I made sure to get plenty of snaps on the digital compact, I had a good headbang as well! Once again, most present were there in a photography capacity and although they got a few cheers from the floor (particularly from this direction) it did feel more like an industry showcase, which I suppose it was!
Nevertheless it was a storming performance from Shauna and Collette, which must have pleased organiser Georgia who told me beforehand she’d booked them because  she particularly wanted a female act to close the evening. If you’re reading this, Georgia – I can think of a few others to recommend to you 😉

Hopefully this event will grow in the future, it deserves to become a fixture on Liverpool’s live scene especially since the focus (sorry!) is on giving people a chance to try their hand at photographing live music. There was another day devoted to acoustic acts on the Sunday, sadly real life intervened again so I couldn’t attend that day.

Presented below are some shots I took of REWS during their set, for the photo geeks I used an (older) Olympus SZ-16 compact at either 800 or 1600 ISO (the light was actually pretty good for such an event, and was a consistent colour – none of the dreaded ‘red light of death’ seen at so many gigs now!) and because of the black clothes worn by many of the acts, REWS included, I tend to under-expose by 1/3 to 2/3 stop so that the camera isn’t thrown by over-compensating, and burning out the faces of the performers.

For more about Shout About It please click this link:
Let’s Shout About It

To visit Georgia Flynn’s own photography website:
Georgia Flynn Creative

Finally, thanks to Georgia herself for my post-gig snap with Shauna and Collette!

Me with Shauna and Collette of REWS

Me with Shauna and Collette of REWS (pic: Georgia Flynn)

*E6: Slide/Transparency film, from 35mm through to 10″ x 8″ sheets!


Picture Gallery: The Dead Daisies at Holmfirth Picturedrome 27 July 2018

I attended this gig by the Aussie/American hard rock ‘collective’ The Dead Daisies; having seen and reviewed a previous gig from earlier this year however I felt there was little need to do another review of this show. Aside from one or two changes to the set (incorporating a brief acoustic interlude, also featuring drummer Deen Castronovo taking lead vocal for one cover) it was as rockin’ a show as the gig I caught in Bilston.

So instead, presented below are a selection of shots taken at this gig. I didn’t have a particularly close spot, so these are the best you’ll get! Shot with an old pocket digital compact, they’ve been enhanced as best as possible for the web.  The support once again were Scottish girl trio The Amorettes, and a couple of snaps from their set are included.
All pics by Ronnie Soo 2018.


Punk Sunday 16 (Diablo Furs, Healthy Junkies, Lilith and the Knight), Stalybridge Tavern 10th June 2018

The latest in the series of multi-band shows, staged on a Sunday afternoon/early evening and promoted by IndigoBravo (two guys based in east Manchester who have worked hard to bring up-and-coming bands to the local area), saw another varied selection of groups playing at this bar, sited close to Stalybridge railway station and also close to a free car park for those who drive in. The IndigoBravo team are about to change venue yet again, as the venues often find that they are drawing visitors from outside the local area (such as your correspondent) and are therefore on only soft drinks such as J20; they’re not necessarily attracting a local clientele.

I got there in time for Diablo Furs (the openers were The Awkwards, apologies to them), a female quintet which spans generations. They played a lively set of new wave-style power pop/rock, lead vocals split between a frontwoman and a guitarist/singer. The bassist was the live wire of the band, all over the stage (literally, lying down at times) and occasionally off it altogether. They have a sound straight out of 1978 but are well worth catching.

Next up was a band I’d heard of, but not seen live until now. Healthy Junkies are a four-piece led by singer Nina Courson and guitarist Phil Honey Jones. A band inspired by the 90s grunge movement by the looks of things, with Nina’s stage look reminiscent of Daisy Chainsaw’s Katie Jane Garside. They have that heavy guitar sound to boot, and Nina is a captivating performer, never stood still for a moment and quite prepared to try a jump off the bass drum on the crowded stage of a pub back room, let alone a big venue! The guitar sound was a bit overpowering from my position (near the front – I wanted to try some gig pics with a DSLR) though, so I would definitely like to see these again.

Last band I saw was Lilith and the Knight, a Metal outfit rather than punk. Formed around the singer (Lilith, of course!) they have also attracted a lot of attention over the past year. Lilith has recently joined up with the Women in Rock touring collective (an act I’ve seen several times) so will be seen as one of two or three singers at selected shows from now on. However when she pitched up here, there was a bit of a surprise – her right arm was in a sling! She’d injured herself only just before this show, so her rather glamorous look was offset somewhat by this ‘accessory’ of a blue sling, as she could not move her arm! Her voice was unaffected, she and the band gave a strong performance of modern-style Metal, with plenty of chances for Lilith to reach for the big notes. Owing to time constraints none of these bands could play for longer than about 45 minutes, so this is another band I must catch again soon.

As stated earlier, I do like to take snaps at gigs but I have found it difficult to get pics in this, and other smaller places unless I used flash. I’m reluctant to do that with a pocket camera whose inbuilt flash I cannot control, plus I dislike the idea of firing it in performers’ faces (although Nina told me afterwards that they’re used to it!) So, with this being a more informal setting, I thought I’d try a digital SLR. I’m not rich enough to get the latest and greatest kit though, so I went with a ten-year old one picked up for not too much money, from a well-known chain store specialising in used electronics. With this was an old flash unit from my decades-old film SLR kit (NB – if doing this yourself check the trigger voltage of the flash, some can ‘fry’ the electronics of your modern DSLR or CSC) which had the ability to tilt upwards. Knowing the pub’s ceiling isn’t that high, it was a matter of playing about with manual settings until I got one that looked close, and went with that for the sets. A handful of snaps from the day are presented, and where possible I will do this again. (For big gigs, this isn’t possible without a photo pass so I will continue to use a pocket compact there).

The experiment proved a success, so I hope to do this again at a future event.

4 - deserving

4 – Deserving