In my latest Gig blog, I want to write about our local music scene and the importance of independent venues but also some of the problems that they tend to create for photographers.  These are the places were new and up and coming bands learn their trade and gather a local following and the case with The Tea Street Band and The Zanzibar Club, Liverpool. Ask any music lover in Liverpool about The Tea Street Band and they could probably sing you a line from ‘Disco Lights’ or hum the melody of ‘Fiesta’. So it was nice to see the guys back in their stomping ground headlining at The Zanzibar for Independent Venue week.

We as music fans must support places like this to make sure the Tea Street Bands of the future can have a strong start in their musical journey.

Now as a photographer, small venues like The Zanzibar can create real problems, most of which I encountered at this gig. The dreaded “Red Lights”, no press pit, so accessing both sides of the stage by the time The Tea Street Band came on, was impossible and security for your camera gear  (which I learnt was more of a problem locked up in your own home than in a small music venue, but that’s another story for another day)

The Red Light can be overcome by converting your images into Black and White. I personally use Silver Efex Pro2 to convert my images and with a bit of practice can prove invaluable with these “red Light” images but the magazine I was shooting far only use Colour images so I had to wait until the artist had moved away from the Red Light. This can be a bit hit and miss or almost impossible as I found out this night. One of the Support acts “Scarlet” a great St Helens based band who’s Lead Singer, Jessie happens to be a good friend of mine so I wanted to try and get some great images for her but her mic stand for some reason was placed directly in line with this one red light!. Nothing much really you can do about this. The good thing was that during one of the Guitar solos she did move out of the light so I did manage to get some decent colour shots for the magazine.

So to all music and photography fans what I would say is get out to your local Independent Music  Venue take your camera (the good thing is with small independent venues is that they really don’t mind you taking your camera as long as you don’t make a nuisance of yourself)

Treat the problems you may face at such venues as a challenge and not as an obstacle. Ohhhhh and post your images on Fujiholics, I love looking at gig images no matter who they are.

Gear used for images here Fujifilm X-Pro2, Fujifilm X-T1, 50-140f2.8 and 16mm f1.4

Love and Peace