The Flapper

The Flapper & Firkin is one of Birmingham’s iconic music venues and I’ve found myself working under its brick arched stage a fair bit more lately. This is a venue whose future is currently up in the air with many plans floating around to demolish the site in order to build new inner city housing. Plans to close the venue have already been pushed back once before but do we truly know how long the venue can carry on fighting?

Either way, I’m happy to shoot here till its doors close and carry on supporting small local venues.

Images of the wonderful progressive metal/ rock acts: Xilla & Axiom.

The local scene is well and truly ALIVE

On Saturday 30th March I made my way down to the O2 Institute Birmingham nice and early to spend the day with some of the West Midlands finest bands. No strangers to my website and headlining the event were Netherhall who were keen to show off their new vocalist to all those who hadn’t caught their recent set at Hard Rock Hell Metal. Joining them were SID as main support along with Axiom and T3tra. This was quite the occasion for T3tra as this was their very first live show, and what a show it was!!

Every now and then you hear someone speaking ill of the local music scene; how there are no decent new bands, it’s dull, every band lacks charisma etc etc. I’m sure the same is said up and down the country in every different scene. Quite simply however; they’re wrong. So many people turned up in support of these amazing bands and I’m certain there would have been so many more if it wasn’t for the fact that there were another 4 shows going on locally.

The scene is thriving. These bands prove it. I really can’t stress enough about how many amazing bands are rising up at the moment who are starting to play bigger venues & on bigger bills.

You can be a part of their rise to victory.

You just have to buy a ticket.

Split your lungs with Blood & Thunder!

How often is it that you get to photograph one of your favourite bands?
I can tell you exactly how often; pretty much never.

All that changed last night however, after 12 or so years the stars finally aligned and I was able to see the mighty Mastodon strut their stuff at the O2 Academy Birmingham. They seemed to stick to more of their expansive prog orientated material and while I do wish that they had thrown in a few more of their rocky upbeat tracks, you can’t deny how good they were still.

So I’m happy to say that Mastodon are the latest band to be ticked off my photography bucket list.
Next up: BEHEMOTH.

Photographing the Undergrounds Finest.

Hello everyone and welcome to my new website!!

This will be my place to showcase all of my work and to provide you all with a behind the scenes view of everything I get up to. Now then, for my first post, I don’t want to concentrate on myself. Instead, I want to look at my top 5 bands killing it right now on the underground scene. So in no particular order let’s get brutal:

Sertraline

I first came across this Sertraline at my beloved Scruffy Murphy’s. I was asked by the venue to do a quick impromptu photoshoot with them before the gig, giving me the chance to get to know them a little.

They were a shining example of good friends creating music, constantly laughing and joking during the shoot… which may have taken place next to some bins but we’ll gloss over that. That evening I heard their music for the first time which would probably fall into the melodic tech metal (?) category; whatever it is, it’s awesome and I can’t get enough of it.

The images included were all taken at Bloodstock Festival 2018 on the New Blood Stage which I know was one of the highlights of their year. I’m so happy to see them doing so well for themselves and it’s amazing to see them getting festival slots on the likes of Techfest!

At Dawn We Attack

Jesus Christ, At Dawn We Attack: The hardcore thrash entertainment system.

Nothing beats an ADWA live show and they actually took my band of the weekend at Scruffyfest 2018 which was no small feat considering the magnitude of bands who performed that weekend. A few of which feature in this list also. I’m actually struggling to think of ways in which to adequately describe them, I mean insanity instantly pops into my mind but that barely scrapes the surface.

Their music is technical and complex in parts but not in an outright progressive way (think more Lamb of God and Gojira). Either way it pummels you in the face and grooves like a motherfucker.

These dudes are currently in the studio working on new material which I’m sure is going to be amazing.

Recall The Remains

A relatively new band to me. I first photographed Recall The Remains back in June of 2018 at Scruffy Murphy’s. I was booked to shoot one of the Scruffy Murphy Presents events and much like Sertraline, I knew nothing about them minus the odd person exclaiming ‘yeah dude they’re sick’ when mentioned.

The sound they produce is simply monstrous. Don’t take my word for it though, go listen to their single ‘First Inversion’ to hear it for yourself.

There’s a really remarkable thing about a Recall The Remains live performance though; with every performance there is a clear improvement from the last. And let me be straight, I have never seen these guys put on a mediocre show, they go for the jugular each time. It’s no surprise that they won a slot to perform at Mammothfest 2018…

Metal To The Masses 2019 yeah guys?

Almost Easy

Taking a step away from metal and jumping to the band I’ve known for the longest amount of time; Almost Easy. I first photographed Almost Easy all the way back in 2015; not that what I captured back then was really anything to shout about.

This bunch of hard rockers are electric; always on the move, constantly pushing themselves musically and relentlessly gigging. That being said, they have actually slowed down a little for the start of 2019, albeit that’s only because they’re getting ready to hit the studio once again to work on album number two.

Their live show is something else and I should know, I’ve photographed Almost Easy more than any other band I know. They’re all a bunch of total delinquents but god I love them all.

Netherhall

Netherhall are one of the enigmas of the underground scene. Much like their idols ‘Tool’, they carefully and meticulously craft every aspect of their band from the imagery they put out to the music they release. Everything must be perfect.

This dedication to their art is what separates them from a lot of other bands on the underground scene. It’s also this dedication which saw them victorious at the Birmingham Metal To The Masses 2017 final and got them a slot at a private function for Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler himself.

Their live performances can almost be described as ethereal with their use of drone notes and delay. They create vast soundscapes before brutally shattering any sense of peace and tranquillity with sheer modern metal brilliance. On more than one occasion I’ve found myself in the photo pit just sitting listening to their music instead of photographing them. If there’s one band you’ll be hearing more of in 2019; it’s Netherhall.