Bloc Party have have been a huge influence on me musically growing up. Silent Alarm was, and still is a particular was my favourite – helping shape the music I listen to today. When I heard they were touring that album I was really excited and honoured to have the opportunity to photograph them. Especially for my first concert photography event!
Hearing these guys live was incredible. I moved around the venue to capture the show and for me, the sound was fantastic throughout. The atmosphere was great. It has been a very long time since I’d seen a band live which were so clearly loved by the whole audience and they fed off eachother all night.
It’s always nice to see guitarists tweaking their pedals live, I know it’s only a small thing but I love how it provides a raw sound to the band. Multi-talented musician Louise Bartle is one of the newer members of the band and she was great on the drums. Not to forget founding member, Russell Lissack on lead guitar whose sound is just as important to the show as Kele’s vocals.
The band open with ‘Compliments,’ ‘Plans’ and ‘Luno,’ this is my cue to exit the pit. Although I couldn’t resist continuing to take photos from the balcony upstairs. I was pleasantly suprised to find most of the people around me are ignoring their seats and are stood up dancing. Kele and co were just as animated on stage from start to finish. Credit the the audience who seemed to know the words to all of the songs and sang throughout as it sounded great! I’m getting goose pimples just thinking back to it.
Even though I loved the whole album there is a special place in my heart for ‘So Here We Are’ and when I heard the opening cords I was hit with a wave of nostalia immediately. Songs like ‘Banquet,’ ‘Helicopter’ and ‘Like Eating Glass’ seemed to get the loudest reaction from the audience.
The lighting was so much fun to shoot. I have been shooting a lot of low light stuff expecting it to be similar settings, but it was like shooting in daytime for the most part. The lights and smoke were constantly changing creating a really nice mood on the stage. As a photographer making my name with landscapes this was a welcome change for me and hopefully it won’t be the last gig I cover for Strong Island.
Words and photos by Louis Stacey