It had been a while since I did a gig, (check the archives if you are curious!) and this one was at a new venue for me. Well, newish. I'd shot at the Garage before, but only downstairs on the main stage, never at the smaller upstairs venue. The size and setup was very similar to the O2 Academy in Angel, where I saw the Ducky Fuzzlin's play. The initial act was Dana Falconberry and Matt Bauer, a duo from the states with a large catalogue of songs between them. The venue was moderately busy by this point, but nothing too awkward, the difficultly was the volume.
Dana and Matt have a commanding and arresting sound, but it is pin-drop quiet. You can hear the fans, the shuffling of feet, and you can most certainly hear the click of the shutter. I have an advantage, the 1D Mark III has a 'silent shot' mode. Silent is, however, a lie. Its quieter, no doubt, but no where near silent. I was only comfortable taking a handful of shots of their whole performance unfortunately. The rapidfire assault I've sometime managed, normally hidden by amplified music, was far to intrusive to even try.
Session two, Joe Pug, was a different animal entirely, the man hit his guitar hard and sung to match. I however was restrained by people. The venue had filled up massively since the previous singers and I was now largely stuck where I was originally stood, with people in front. I did manage a little movement between songs, but my ability to get a really good spot was non-existant. It was a reminder that its important to get to the venue early, not just to stake out the lighting, location and angles, but also to stake out a good starting spot. One excellent image of Joe was ruined by a punters head in the frame. Which in the end, is my fault for not getting a better location, not his for having an abnormally obtrusive head.
Largely, the lighting was good, dramatic, but without much of the hated red lights washing peoples details out, and when I was able to move, the stage was a good size, it was unfortunate, that the bathroom was on one side of the stage and another door on the other, so it gave the images a more temporary feel than somewhere like 12Bar with its aged brick walls and decorations behind the band.
You can read the Jackets review at Americana UK here and get a better idea of the music.