I always enjoy shooting in Sheffield. The City is always great, the other photographers are always cool and the people tend to follow the same trend. There was a mix up with the passes, but the guys at The Leadmill sorted things out for me quickly. The amount of times I have seen people be dicks when their passes are not there is pretty high, but it is a simple thing, be nice, remember it is not the person at the venue's fault and be patient. If you follow these simple rules you have a much higher chance of people wanting to help you out and less chance of people thinking you are a dick.
The Leadmill is up there with Rock City as one of my favourite places to watch a show. The Dandy Warhols came to Sheffield for the first time in a while, supported by Dark Horses. A show that was too good to miss.
The fact that The Dandy Warhols, like The Brian jonestown Massacre, continue to make music that endures and innovates, long after the mainstream media has left the alone is one of the reasons that they are still so captivating as a band.
Now look at the photos below and then go and watch Dig, which is still possibly the best music documentary of all time.
Mark E Smith has never been the most predictable of people, no shows and terrible gigs are part of what makes The Fall a band that can either descent into a car crash in front of you or show absolute brilliance. The Cambridge show brings a little of both.
The show stars with Smith looking through a folder of lyrics through '2014' but soon the show moves into more familiar territory. Then the weirdness starts. For no particular reason, other than the fact he can, Smith walks off stage. The band exchange glances and continue to play then themselves leave the stage. Soon the band return and a roadie collects the mic and the show continues with Smith belting out lyrics from somewhere backstage. The show continues to stop start and the band leave again, only to reappear once more. Smith briefly shows his face again before disappearing back stage never to return apart from the sound of his voice belting over the speakers. Each time the band leave, the bemused crowd are left wondering if that is it? Then all of a sudden it is.
A bizarre show, but it's The Fall, what did you expect?
Arriving to collect my pass at The Junction, I was told the usual routine of “first three only” followed by “and nothing from anywhere else in the venue after that”. Thinking nothing more of it, as I entered the pit, this mantra was repeated by the security guard “Don’t know if they told you mate, but strictly first three and nothing else from anywhere after that”. Now it seemed a little strange, had some sort of reputation preceded me? Was I the target of some conspiracy theory? Then as Cate Le Bon took to the stage in Cambridge things became a little clearer.
As the stage darkened the audience was greeted by a mysterious female voice that began speaking in Welsh. To help ease the audience’s bemusement this was then followed, presumably, by the English translation, which is where the strict rules on shooting became clearer. The audience were welcomed to The Mug Museum, but asked politely not to touch or take photographs, with postcards being available in the lobby should people wish to purchase. Le Bon scowled at an over enthusiastic member of the audience who could not contain her camera phone and popped off a couple of shots from the front row. Promptly told, the phone returns to the fans pocket and respectfully, few further photos are taken.
Musically Le Bon’s sound live roughens the edges of her retro pop sound with the show concentrating on material from Mug Museum, she (and her backing band) are tight, focussed and elevate the music to a different, slightly harder place than on record. The compact crowd all leave having witnessed another side to Cate Le Bon’s musicianship and one that hints to exciting prospects for the future.