High Fives 2014 – Live photos

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We always like a good live music picture here at Riot Towers and we even manage to publish one occasionally. When we asked Allan to pick his favourite five live shots this year, his first reaction was a hissy fit about only being allowed to choose five pictures because he wanted to choose six. It wasn’t a Spinal Tap thing but a bit of the old artistic temperament; apparently there’s no way of making five pictures look symmetrical, so we allowed him his bit of graphic licence. Here’s what he has to say about his choices:

The first unusual thing is that there are two photos of sax players, and both of them were taken on the same night, when Stone Foundation supported The Blow Monkeys at Under the Bridge. It’s a lovely venue and the team there pay a lot of attention to detail in their presentation which means that the sound and light are spot on. The lighting on the shots of Gary Rollins (Stone Foundation) and Neville Henry (Blow Monkeys) is very different; one’s very warm and the other’s quite cool, but they both work.

The Glenn Alexander shot (from a Southside Johnny gig at Shepherds Bush Empire) works because it has all the rock guitarist elements, but you can see him watching centre stage because he’s playing with Southside and anything can happen. As for Pete Kennedy (taken at a Kennedys show at Green Note), I loved the concentration, but how often do you see photos of an Ovation ukulele?

The shot of Nick Bowden and Paul Bowe of Federal Charm was another one from the Empire, when the band supported Ian Hunter on the final night of his UK tour. The band only had a thirty minute support set but they threw everything at it and I think this shot captures the energy they poured in to that set. I wish I could say that the shot of Keisuke Nishikawa (at a Vera Lynch gig) was carefully planned, but the downward look and the atmospheric lighting just happened to coincide with the click of the shutter.