Jess Kemp performed at the Castle in Manchester. It felt like entering a proper old school boozer and was very inviting on a cold winter night. The room had a small stage at the end of the room sound desk at the opposite end and a strange high ceiling.
It was great to see the clan Kemp and other familiar faces in the already busy room at the Castle.
The night was being live streamed by Show Stream who did a great job and clips from the night are available online.
The opening act was Lyza and what an opening. She had an incredible voice which was tender but also had an edge. She has a new single out SYA which is well worth looking up.
Lyza introduced the next act Jack Woodward as having the greatest speaking voice. Well Im not sure that his speaking voice had the same effect on me as it did on a lot of the audience. What I can say is that is singing voice was first class. He has a great set of original songs including the one he performed on the X Factor Live Tour. He has a new single and more plans for 2019.
Jess Kemp took to the Stage with Sam and provided nearly an hour of great musical entertainment. The highlights for me included when she put down the guitar and moved behind the keyboard. Her latest song Leave a chair out is an incredibly moving song and its no surprise it is getting such great reviews. She also performed No Shouting (or with an Irlam accent No Shoutin) which also had the crowd singing along.
In-between songs and instrument changes Jess chats and her open friendly style is instantly likeable. The quote of the night "This is a new one or it might not be depends if you have heard it before". Genius.
Sam Butterworth must get a mention as his guitar playing was incredible with a couple of great solos.
Thanks to Jess for asking me to shoot the night.
Thanks to Kemp clan and friends for making me feel so welcome.
I have enjoyed the music of Rum Thief since the first listen. I challenge anyone to listen to Dirty Shoes and not join in singing along. As well as his hard hitting songs there is also a more tender side to some of his tracks.
At every gig he plays a devoted group of family and friends are there supporting him and having a party. His band played a great set and also looked to be having a great time.
I was really pleased to see that Guy Fiddler the Harmonica Guy was at the gig to join Jot on stage and add that special harmonica sound to the song. The two of them sounded great together with the crowd joining in.
All too soon the set was over the big lights came on and time to hit the road.
Thanks to Deaf Institute great staff and sound.
Thanks Jot and team for the invite.
Unfortunately the lighting was red lights and a lot of fog which made photography difficult. (Red lights should be saved for a brothel!).
Band on the Wall is one of my favourite venues in Manchester nice bar to relax in prior to the gig and then a great gig space with quality sound and lighting. I was here for Mica Millar performing as part of her Defender tour.
The support had to be changed at the last minute due to illness. While I hope that they make a speedy recovery it did give me the opportunity to watch the brilliant Jermaine Peterson. What a rich, deep and soulful voice. It was also very impressive that his full set was original songs and not a bad one amongst them. Jermaine was accompanied by a lovely female singer and talented guitarist both did their jobs perfectly.
I spoke with the video guys to ensure we could work together as it was going to be tight for space at the front. I was fortunate that they were nice relaxed guys and we had no issues and Im looking forward to seeing the results of their night.
Mica Millar took to a full stage to great applause from the full house at the venue. The full stage was due to 2 guitarists, keys, backing singers, drummer and a strings section. It says a lot about Mica that she has the skills to blend all these performers as well as her amazing vocals.
I was lucky enough to have watched Mica perform at The Deaf Institute and really loved her voice and performance. I was still slightly concerned when I looked at the stage that her amazing voice may loose some of its impact amongst the wealth of music on the stage. I was really pleased that her voice was still the highlight of the night with the musicians supporting her brilliantly.
The crowd loved every song and joined in with several, I was fortunate enough to be standing next to two ladies that have song with Mica and so had the best surround sound. On the subject of sound credit should go to the technician as the sound was perfect all night. Mica performed a brilliant set blending new and established songs with her usual relaxed style.
After the final song the crowd continued to sing along to themselves. Mica joined them to sign CDs and thank all those that had attended and in the bar the DJ calmed the crowd with relaxed tunes.
Thank you to Mica and team for inviting me to photograph the event, to all the staff at Band on the Wall for looking after me.
As we say goodbye to 2017 a quick look back
My friends from One Voice Community Choir performed at the Harris Preston. It was a great night.
The Sherlocks had another great year and just keep going from strength to strength. I also witnessed the fastest guitar string change by a vary talented tech.
Jordan Allen played an amazing set at 53 degrees Preston and is a name that will be all over 2018.
Rum Thief performed a charity night at Factory Manchester. Well done mate great night.
Orchid Hunters giving it plenty at Factory
Blackthorn Music Festival was once again one of the best weekends of the year. Brilliant music and staff thanks again to the Hancock family for the invite.
Sage Francis and BDolan performed in Preston. I feel lucky to have been able to watch BDolan on several occasions and it is always a great night.
Martha and the Vandellas yes the legend, played a full set and then stayed back to meet members of the audience at Live Preston
Jess Kemp put on a charity night at the Station Irlam with great acts to raise money for the Christie.
Huge thanks to all the great performers for asking me to shoot their nights. Thanks to the promoters and staff at the venues for accommodating me at the gigs.
Thanks to all the other gig photographers for their advice and letting me share a pit with them. All the best for 2018
Jess Kemp is a performer that I have seen many times and always enjoy her music. She called me to ask if I could shoot a charity night that she was putting on at the Station Irlam. I checked the date and was pleased to let her know I could make it. Then the fun began.
My car was leaking fluid and so that was not an option but not a problem the venue was a railway station. I could catch a train and even spoil myself with a pint or 2. I checked the times and the last one left at 22:00 no good. I got little V out of the garage and attached a case with my camera equipment to to the pillion seat and fired her up. It was an interesting ride on a dark foggy winter night but I made it.
The venue is the old station on the platform of Irlam station. It had been completely renovated and now housed rail memorabilia as well as a small bar and comfortable seating. The gig was to be in the coal yard room which is a great room with painted adverts on the brick walls. The lighting is edison style bulbs hanging from the roof beams. A christmas tree and fire in the corner gave the room real atmosphere. A banner across the back wall reminded me of the purpose of the evening as well as to entertain was to raise funds for The Christie.
Olivia Jade stepped up to the microphone and showed what great voice she has. At the request of Jess she even performed a christmas number I am a real christmas grump but even I enjoyed it!
Ashley Sherlock is a performer that I have been aware of and have wanted to see for a while and he did not disappoint. Great voice and guitar playing made for a wonderful set.
Carl North normally plays with his band the lonely hearts but tonight he was one man with his guitar. I knew from the first few chords I was going to like his music. Hard hitting blues riffs and a strong voice filled the room. A brilliant performance and I can't wait to see him with his band next year.
The raffle. It had to happen you can't have a fundraiser without a raffle! It also gave Sam who had sorted out the sound for the night to switch to performance mode. Jess and Sam compliment each other so well and with a medley of their great songs the room was alive. Jess has song lyrics with real meaning to her and also friends in the room I also enjoy the way she stamps out the base line with a stomp box. Sam switched guitars and styles as he accompanied her. I was really impressed he also included slide guitar to one of the songs. The final song showed how skilled they both are on the guitar as the tempo increased to a crazy level.
Many thanks to Jess for inviting me down.
Thanks to all the performers for a great night and the Station at Irlam for the perfect venue.