THE MENZINGERS/ BRISTOL BIERKELLER / April 21st 2017

It is always a great experience seeing The Menzingers. Last year they played in the late Bristol Bierkeller with support from The Flatliners and The Dirty Nil, organised by our one and only Dave at Deadpunk Promotions.

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Sooo, I’ve been thinking about this blog and how I have to explain to people it is not a review, it’s not a news thing, no deadlines, no restrictions, just some gigs I attend. I only include music I like, nothing is sponsored, it is literally just me and my camera . It is a memories thing. I struggle a lot with the writing side which tends to hold it up. Some days I can verbalise how I feel and what I think, most days I can’t really express myself at all. Every post is a huge challenge for me, I guess this and the struggle with persistent MH prolongs each post mostly. I don’t really want this blog to be about my problems so without going in to too much detail I just wanted to explain a bit about the sporadic updates.

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Having been sober last year for seven months, climbing the social anxiety mountain and only being able to let go with a few drinks in me, it was liberating going to shows, dancing about and taking some photos. These gigs are full of pretty awesome people showing support of great meaningful music. After getting over the mental hurdles, seeing talent and passion like this is so inspiring. It always reminds me why I love going to gigs.

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So I don’t really do live photos of bands much anymore because I want to enjoy each set. For me it is a different experience watching them play through a lens because when I take live photos I’m preoccupied with getting the shot.

Although there are a few exceptions occasionally and The Menzingers are one of them! It’s good to revisit an old practice and it was great being at the front singing along between composing each photo!

I wanted to experiment a bit with these live shots and go back to producing an image for arts’ sake rather than the documentary approach. I aimed to capture the energy and awe associated with the music and being at the show.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading these posts, any enquiries, let me know at hello@leeleeblunt.com

Forever grateful to be able to attend such awesome shows in Bristol.

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Dowsing / Ratboys / Clwb Ifor Bach / Cardiff / October 4th

So, it was great to get to see two bands from across the ocean in late September and early October, touring some new material and a split together.  I was lucky to see them twice. First we went to the Bristol show hosted by Rad Not Sad Fest, held in a little old English pub called The Old England Pub. There they were supported by Pipedream, Springbreak and Robert Zurbin and a week or so later Fuelled by Jealous Lovers Club hosted an intimate gig downstairs in Clwb Ifor Bach with support from Human Heat.

Dowsing are an indie/emo-punk band from Chicago, their songs about relationships, love, life and the music industry have great sincerity and passion.  They have a new album called ‘Okay’ out on Asian Man Records that’s well worth checking out.

Ratboys, from Chicago are described as an indie-punk, post-country band. Their fuzzy guitars and soft vocals induce the daydreamy part of my brain. They have beautiful music out on Topshelf Records, you can (and should) have a listen HERE.

Each show and the people there represented our great DIY community which is full of support and unity, even through tough times. It was nice to meet Heads Above The Waves at their stall in the Cardiff show. They hold regular appearances at our local gigs and are a not-for-profit organisation that raises awareness and talk openly about self-harm and depression.

The photo above was taken on Womanby Street after everyone packed up the van. I used my Holga camera on 120 film, I didn’t quite get everyone in but I still love how the photo came out. I’ve been using film a lot more off the back of my DSLR kicking the bucket earlier this year. It worked out for the best because it has reminded me to create imagery using the medium of photography for arts sake as well as documenting a time and place.

I saved up and got a bunch of new equipment that I’m looking forward to experimenting with here over the coming new year. It should be a nice mish mash of traditional and digital! I wanted to give thanks to my Videography and Photography buddies for helping me with gear over the last few months, it really means a lot and shows the strength in our community.

Also a big thanks to the bands that let me take their photos. I really appreciate the time people spend with me, having a chat and getting some photos to create this small blog.

Cheers!

Tigers Jaw / The Marble Factory / Bristol / 7th February 2016

So MJR hosted the first UK 2016 show for Basement with support from Tigers Jaw and Alex G, at The Marble Factory.

Tigers Jaw play music that evokes sentimentality and nostalgia in me. Playing them in the morning while getting ready, during the commute and during work lights me up and makes getting through the mundane parts of life a bit more interesting. I am totally stuck on the beautiful hum of their fuzzy guitars and keyboards combined with emotionally engaging lyrics. The crowd really came to life singing along to their older material and they even covered one of my favourite songs by The Cure ‘In Between Days’!

It was great to catch a photo of Brianna (0.5 of Tigers Jaw) at the merch stand!

I’ve never been able to see Basement before this show. With a new album coming out, they played a lot of their new material (even apologising for it) but also energised those in attendance by playing through their more popular, established songs. The crowd swung in unison and sung loudly creating a warm atmosphere in the large, re-appropriated factory building.

This show was definitely worth the effort of going out on a Sunday. Even if you had work on Monday and hate the rainy, windy winters like me.