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Favourite gig photos of 2016

It is almost the end of the year, so as someone with a website that documents events I'm contractually obliged by the internet and content strategy to rank my favourite things of the year. 

So this a list of some of my favourite gigs I've been lucky enough to photograph in 2016 and some photos from said shows. Pretty simple right? 

I hope I get invited along to photograph just as many great shows in 2017. It never ceases to blow my mind that I get allowed, and more often that not asked, to photograph such incredible artists from around the world in a live environment. And that it forms a significant part of my career. 

To say I'm "living the dream" would be a bit trite, but it's pretty awesome to see my hard work, and the support of those around me, pay off. 

Refused @ The Garage, Glasgow // March 2016

I got to shoot Refused. Like actual Refused. One of the best bands there ever has been or will. Nuts. 2016 gets a big thumbs up for that alone.

This was one of the best shows I’ve ever been too because I was lucky enough to be the only photographer to get access to it, and also Refused are the best. Still. Next to no one can come close to touching them. An artistic inspiration, an ethical guide, politically sound and sharply dressed. The perfect band. 

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City and Colour @ O2 Academy, Glasgow //February 2016

I’ve been a big fan of Dallas Green for ages. His voice sounds like heartbreak and he has a snazzy dress sense. Some of which I’ve blatantly stolen. Getting the chance to photograph the City and Colour show at a venue the size of the o2 Academy was great.

Some of the later material suffers a little from a sense of comfort, but the full band versions of his early songs breathe a new life into such aching beautiful and touching pieces of music. Their shows are emotionally draining, I had a little cry to myself during "Hello, I'm in Delaware", but the sleep you get after that outpouring is second to none.   

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Milk Teeth @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, London // August

I bloody love Milk Teeth. What a grand band. If you want effortlessly cool and gritty rock music then you want Milk Teeth in your life. I travelled 5 hours to London to see them support the incredible Thrice and they made it worth every minute on the train. And then some. 

That balance the band have between massive hooks and a stomping intensity is…well, its perfect. Milk Teeth are going to smash 2017 in the face. In a nice way.  

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The 1975 @ O2 Academy, Glasgow // March

I love this band. Shamelessly pretentious and eclectic pop music. What’s not to love about The 1975? Well...I guess some of the haircuts are a bit dodgy. 

I’m gutted I wasn’t able to find the time to see their arena show at the end of this year, but getting in to shoot one of their sold out three night stint at the O2 Academy is still easily a highlight of 2016’s gig shoots.  Quirky and inventive pop songs that are reminiscent of all that's wonderful about the 80s. What better dancing music is there? Also, that light show. Wow. 

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Daughter @ O2 Academy, Glasgow // October

Daughter are wonderful. Such an intricate and emotionally intense band. Their music is endlessly interesting and immediately affecting. People often talk about loud and chaotic bands have a live impact, but sometimes being quiet and delicate cuts twice as deep.

That this tour saw the band augmented by additional string and percussion elements to add an additional sense of texture to their already incredible back catalog was something really special. I'm really lucky I was able to get into a shoot a show like this. 

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Frontierer @ Uk Tech Fest 2016, Newark Showground

I’m really lucky that some really cool bands give me a lot of access to photograph them. Frontierer give me full access to shoot AAA at their debut show at this year’s UK Tech Fest. It was an incredible show and having the freedom, and trust of the band, to shoot AAA made it a blast photographically as well. It's bloody wonderful of them to take such a chance on me. 

I’m over the moon to keep working with these guys and join them on the road in 2017. Their dedication and passion for the music is matched only by the sonic destruction of the stage show. So good.  

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Thrice @ O2 Kentish Town Forum, London // August 2016

Thrice are one of my favourite bands of all time. I got to photograph them in London of all places for my full-time job. Nuts.

The band’s set that night was stunning. A masterclass in powerful, dynamic and eclectic rock music. If all sets were as emotionally wrought and as instrumentally dense as this then the world would be a better place. It certainly is a better place now Thrice are back in it.

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Norma Jean @ The Hug and Pint, Glasgow // June 2016 

I’m not even the biggest fan, but I couldn’t pass on the chance to shoot a band as legendary as Norma Jean in a venue as tiny as The Hug and Pint. They were incredible. This is what hardcore shows are meant to be.

Monstrously heavy, disgustingly sweaty and absolutely packed this felt like being in the middle of a storm for 50 minutes. What better way to spend a Wednesday night? 

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Swallows @ Audio, Glasgow // August 2016

My boys are back! After a massive line-up shift and some quick vocal re-recording Swallows were back on the scene. Shedding the chaos of old for a more considered and sophisticated menace, their first show with the new line-up was a staggering success.

They’ve actually played better gigs since then, their last Glasgow show being one, but this was a special moment. Seeing them come back from the brink, and still giving me all the access I used to get was a wonderful thing.  Shout out to these boys for always taking a chance on me.

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Banshee @ Brew at The Bog // June 2016

This might have been my favourite gig of the year to be involved in. A totally unique setting. Incredible atmosphere. A crowning glory for close friends. And some Buckfast. What’s not to love?

Every band hits hurdles along the way, but Banshee have soldiered on and with this show, they delivered an incredible performance that received a rapturous response from the crowd. I don’t doubt one day shows like this will be commonplace for them. This was the real start of that journey.  I'm forever grateful to them for taking me on it with them. 

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Fatherson @ O2 ABC, Glasgow // June 2016

Fatherson are seemingly going from strength. Quite right too. Their latest album was a killer selection of sad and introspective indie pop which should be getting a lot more attention that it has so far.

Shooting their triumphant sell-out ABC album launch show was a lot of fun. Their production was incredible, though not very photographer friendly which made it a challenge, but my job is to photograph great shows. Not for shows to be great to photograph. There weren't many shows greater than this in 2016. 

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Funeral for a Friend @ O2 ABC, Glasgow // April 2016

I miss this band terribly. But I got to photograph both their sell-out farewell shows in Glasgow. Every cloud and all that.

Both these evenings were a wonderful celebration of the back catalogue of on the UK’s most influential and emotionally vital bands. The reason rock music in this country is so good just now is because of this band. We owe them a lot.  

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