Del Amitri and Trashcan Sinatras at The Symphony Hall

Del Amitri in Birmingham

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Well that was a bit different, again.  Having promised a good friend and an excellent reviewer that I would photograph Del Amitri if ever the chance happened, then last night I had to step up and shoot them.  Our Birmingham Live reviewer Alan loves the band and created a brilliant review previously for a Justin Currie show in Birmingham, I missed a treat that night and this time I wasn't going to lose out.

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The Symphony Hall was busy for the Trashcan Sinatras, more gentle than I remembered and a lovely 45 minute set.  Then came the wonderfully self effacing Del Amitri.  Opening with acoustic numbers then ramping the concert straight up to full power there was no stopping them.  I love a band who are on time then deliver a slick performance, both for the ears and the eyes, all the elements you would ask for were covered.  Their crowd loved it. 

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I adore the Symphony Hall as a venue, great acoustics, great staff, but a tricky venue to cross (or run out the back doors and round to the other side) when the band are quiet and its hot.  So its not always straightforward to shoot from both sides of the audience. 

On one of the hottest nights of the year the Symphony Hall was packed.  It took a little time to get everyone on their feet but when they did the whole place rose, all the tiers in unison.  Hits, obscure b sides that delighted diehards and new songs flowed.  The encore was a masterclass in a stylish finish, winding the audience down and connecting the band members as neatly as they started the evening, the combination of experience and pure class. 

Del Amitri absolutely worth seeing if you get the chance.

The full review and more images are on Birmingham Live.

Adoption Anniversary a Doggie One

Ist Anniversary of Adoption 

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A first milestone for my furry companion, the anniversary of his adoption!

Ian and I find it hard to believe its been a year and we are both delighted with his progress from very nervous to less nervous and starting to enjoy being a dog status.  Its been a lot of work for us, fur boy and for our wonderful dog trainer/behaviourist but the effort is paying off. Our lad is showing lots of typical cheeky Jack Russell traits now but remains scared of most other dogs and some people, so there is plenty still to work on. 

My culinary skills were put to work to make him a doggy cake, something he would like with a frosting that smelled good (to him).  He would have carried the cake off he was so excited, so Ian helped him.  A bit more controlled than a cake smash but still fun.

Here are a few images of him tucking in and then resting afterwards as eating cake yes, its tiring :)

Wedding Photography at The Chace Hotel, Coventry.

The Chace Hotel, Coventry Wedding Photography

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Happy first Anniversary to the lovely Amy and David.

Some weddings are emotional, some so beautiful, and then there are those that are very relaxed, it all depends on the couple, family and friends involved and that makes each unique. 

Then there is this one, probably the most difficult wedding I’ve ever shot (and forgot to blog) as it was for my brother!

I have just the one sibling so it was a key family event.   This meant that all of my family, everyone who knows me, everyone who has ever known me and my Dad who is a photographer and who used to shoot weddings is standing in front of you, behind you, alongside you….ah everywhere you look.  No pressure then :)  

Ian my other half and second shooter was with me, which was great as he helped to capture the alternate views and those moments when people are unaware they are being photographed. 

Amy and David chose The Chace Hotel in Coventry as the venue for the whole day.  The Chace provided the perfect mix of professional service with a personal touch.  The wedding co-ordinator and staff were on hand and reassuring, keeping the day perfectly on time but in an unobtrusive way. 

The photography was to be natural and relaxed, to follow the day.  The emphasis was for all guests to enjoy the day and for us to create memories as we went along. Amy had carefully planned and hand made so many items from the decorations to the rose petal confetti.  We followed the day from getting ready (for both bride and groom) through to the dancing at night.

It was an extremely hot day and we were happy to hang up our cameras for once, after the first dance and join in the party too!

 

Gary Barlow and Starcrawler my latest gigs covered

Starcrawler in Birmingham gigs don't get much better than this

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I promised myself this year that I would shoot a wider variety of music, as it would be both interesting for me and would push my photography further.   So the last couple have been a complete contrast in so many ways.

Recent nights out have included Gary Barlow on his theatre tour at the Symphony Hall.  Which was a shoot from the back of the venue, through and across the crowd.  Definitely not something I’d normally do, long lens work is ok but I much prefer to be able to make more of a connection to the people I shoot.   The place erupted when Gary appeared and confetti showers and banner waving ladies made it a fun/challenging experience.

Starcrawler last night are exactly the type of exciting band I want to see and shoot more of!  They played the o2 Academy. Billy Idol was playing next door in the main room which meant the contrast of old and new couldn't have been greater.  

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Starcrawler sound good.   They delivered a fast paced, slightly unnerving gig and the combination of mesmerising front woman and shining guitarist was brilliantly contrasted with the understated bass and drummer.  

They were so good I wanted to see the whole gig and stayed to do so.

One of the shortest most dynamic sets I’ll likely see this year which ended with lead singer Arrow dripping fake blood (of course) and rampaging through the audience, followed by guitarist Henri giving a floorshow.  The impact on the crowd was immense.  

This is a gig that will be talked about for weeks locally.

The full review for Starcrawler is here on Birmingham Live and as Arrow grabbed our reviewer when in the crowd it makes interesting reading.

The full review of Gary Barlow is here on Birmingham Live

St Marks Church and Onley Grounds Farm Wedding Photography

St Marks Church and Onley Grounds Farm Wedding, Rugby Warwickshire

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Some people are just lucky and when these two met that doubled!  Frankie and Sean are one of the loveliest couples, they know how to relax, have fun and throw a great party.

To share a day with the cup final and the royal wedding whilst still creating a day that is totally yours takes some planning.  Frankie managed it all perfectly with a gentle nod to Sean’s love of cycling included. 

A few hours coverage enabled us to create images from the arrivals at the church to the dancing in the evening which included a vintage VW Golf to arrive in, the earliest groom to a service, a dress that was pure elegance, a church full of friends and family and lots of smiles and laughter. 

A late afternoon service at St. Marks Church in Bilton, followed by a chilled party with live band at Onley Grounds Farm and Equestrian Centre had the assorted wedding guests dancing late into the evening.  For Onley Farm this was the first wedding party they had hosted and as a venue they were superb.  Food the guests loved, friendly, unobtrusive service that fitted perfectly with Frankie and Sean’s style for their party. 

It was a beautiful day, we loved being part of it all, thank you both. 

Suppliers list:

Dress:  Sammi Lou Bridal Couture    Flowers: Garden Gate Flowers   Make up: Beth Hall

Suits:  Salters    Hair: The Little Retreat   Venue: Onley Farm Barns  Cake:  Spin Sugar Cakes