At aged 38 Bluedot was the first festival I stayed over at. I have social anxiety and the thought of being “trapped” in a confined area with 5,000 unknown equations has always scared me. If you know me it may seem odd me saying that as I’ve been photographing big events, festivals, gigs, the arts for over 10 years. I love photographing events. The difference there is that’s photographer me. He’s way better at dealing with social anxiety than regular human me. I guess my camera is a security blanket camera. Things get awkward and I dive into the viewfinder looking for photos. But I couldn’t do that at Bluedot because my wife and I were going for the full weekend and I was attempting to be human, which meant less photography and more “dancing”. Naturally I took a camera because, well, just scroll down and I’d have hated to have missed out on those moments. Socially anxious sure, but I do enjoy photographing events like this. Read More
A year ago the Liverpool Irish Festival was revamped into a contemporary exploration of Irish culture. What does that really mean? Well, and this is the part that makes everyone go “Huh?”, they had Irish hip-hop this year. Irish. Hip. Hop. Yup. Two guys, two mics and a DJ dropping a beat. Best gig of the event imho. Rusangano Family had *so* much energy. It was crazy.
They also had these things called the “Meta-perceptual helmets”. Basically they were steampunk-esque chrome helmets that allowed the wearer to see the world like certain animals. They had a cat, giraffe, hammerhead shark, a gecko and a horse. Quite a fascinating experience. The gecko let you see both front and back. Hard to wrap your head around.
Other events included whiskey tasting, ceilis, Irish food, a big exhibition at the Bluecoat by Niamh O’Malley, a movie Q&A with Terri Hooley and Stuart Bailie and lots of live music. Basically it was a cracking festival with tons of variety. As the official photographer for the festival I got to see some fantastic events. Here’s some highlights.
Holy cow what a weekend. I think LIMF this year has felt a lot tighter. The Academy stage was wonderful and I think the loudest stage in town. Real strong vibes there. The Bandstand was just lovely as usual. If I had to pick a stage to camp out by with beer, food and mates it would be the It’s Liverpool stage. Constantly great. A real joy.
I’ve loved this years events. So much has happened. The tribute to Gill Scott-Heron just a few days ago feels like months ago. There’s been a lot going on since then.
I think my highlight was Space. I’ve got their albums and I was a big fan of their music back in the day. Songs like Neighbourhood, Female of the Spieces and You and me against the world. I loved those tracks. They’ve got a great feel to them with great lyrics. Unfortunately I never got around to seeing them play live so how great was it to be back stage photographing them? It. Was. Amazing. I know Echo and the Bunnymen where the festival headliners but for me Space won with The Real Thing a very close second.
Man. What a day. Highlight was definitely the Its Liverpool stage. Great crowd. Great tunes. If I wasn’t working I’d be chilling there. If you’re about at LIMF today setup camp down there. The Real Thing were fantastic fun as were Herstory who had a guest appearance by Jayne Casey. The Academy and Bandstand stage had some great acts on too. I didn’t get to see much of the Central stage but thats on my list today. The great thing about LIMF is theres as much and as little as to do as you want. Want to sit in the park eating nice food and drinking a cider with your mates? Sorted. Want to jump around to thumping bass? Sorted. Want to sit on the beach with your kids? Yer that too. It’s such a good festival.
I’m not a Nashville country music kinda guy so I wasn’t aware of the Bluebird Cafe until last night. If I’m ever in town I’ll be stopping by. Last nights gig at the Bluecoat involved a spiritual recreation of the Bluebird cafe with beautiful music and conversation about music, creativity and life. I loved it. It was such an intimate heart warming gig. I learnt, or at least was reminded, that you need to stretch your “show up” muscle. That every “no” gets you one step closer to a “yes”. Most of all I learnt just how warm and soothing country music can be.