New Direction & New Heroes

It can’t have escaped anyone that either follows me or is friends with me on any of my social media platforms that 2018 was for me a year when I added a new photography genre into my portfolio. Live Rock photography. All my life I’ve been a rock music fan, mainly classic rock music with Led Zeppelin being top of the tree for me. Travelling as much as I do in my car I’ve had thousands of hours listening to my iPod/iPhone over the years whilst visiting customers. During that time I’ve sometimes complained that I would like to experience some new music, however, my break from my playlists would either be news and/or sport via BBC 5 Live. That all changed almost 3 years ago when I bought a car with a DAB Digital Radio. If I wanted news or sport I could now listen in crystal clear digital sound, goodbye to listening on fuzzy, distorted AM. Hello to listening to Planet Rock Radio. I’d known and listened to Planet Rock since 1999 when I bought a DAB for the kitchen and can remember fondly listening to Rick Wakeman, I especially enjoyed the fun he’d have with his Christmas Panto. Little did I know that one of his assistants for those broadcasts would be birding, photographer and year listing record holder of our beer tasting Facebook group Jon Evans.

As well as the usual rock classics, what Planet Rock Radio gave was the access to some new rock music that I couldn’t get elsewhere. I also had access to music news that had fallen off my radar with news of gigs that I would like to go to. First up was Joanne Shaw Taylor. Always a guitar fan, JST soon become a new favourite. In no time at all, I’d bought a couple of tickets to see her in concert in Warrington Parr Hall in July 2017. As well as the excellent musical entertainment that night, I’d decided to take a camera into the venue. Failing to get any response from JST and the team around her for a photo pass I decided to take in my very impressive Canon G5X compact camera. The results were remarkable, and way beyond my expectations for a compact camera. there were four bands playing the Summertime Festival that night with JST as the headliner. This gave me time to try out the camera on the opening and support acts, Xander and The Peace Pirates, Bad Touch and Steve Nimmo Trio.

I was hooked, and during the year I photographed more than 50 different acts, so hooked in fact that wildlife photography came a lowly 3rd falling behind landscape & rock. Without a doubt, my most eagerly awaited gig was Greta Van Fleet. just like the JST gigs I was unable to get a photo pass and relied on the G5X and shooting from the rail. The Kiszko Kids really delivered and again I was blown away by the quality of the images I got from a compact.

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