January 2018 – 2 weeks, 2 gigs, 2 shoots ;-)

So in the first 11 days of the year we have almost hit 10% of the number of gigs in total that were attended in all of 2017, ok the target may not be a very difficult one to hit compared to a normal year, but that aside it’s certainly been a better start.

This weeks show was one of my favourite voices in Rock/Metal playing one of my (if not the top of the list) favourite albums of all time ‘Operation Mindcrime’, and having missed his solo acoustic show in Dublin at the end of 2016 I was even more determined to be there this time around to see Geoff Tate, and the reports of that night were spot on, his voice is in very good shape, he looks like a different man, more relaxed and much happier than when I last saw him fronting Queensryche back in 2011. That all led this to be an excellent show, yes there were some issues that meant there was a long delay in the start of the show and yes musically it wasn’t quite note for note, but I was there to hear Geoff sing the songs, and that brought a massive smile to my face, singing stupidly from the balcony after I’d finished the Photography work.

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Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime, Button Factory, Dublin – 11-01-2018

The set tonight was the album from start to finish plus the added bonus of “Silent Lucidity” and the excellent closing shots of “Empire” and “Jet City Woman”, what a great way to end the night.

Shooting twice in a week in a venue I think of as my nemesis wasn’t all that bad, managed to get through both shows and hopefully managed to get a couple of decent shots out of it, still a little work to tidy out the Galleries from Thursday, but we will get there, haven’t been immune to the many bugs going around the last couple of weeks and sadly feel like I haven’t really had a break over Christmas/New Year, but you gotta roll with it. Should be out at my cousins b’day celebrations tonight, but sick house today, and probably a much needed night in.

Thanks to LOR Productions for giving me the opportunity to shoot one of my favourite singers and mark another off the Photography Bucketlist.

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Kamila Barber of The Truce, supporting Geoff Tate at the Button Factory – 11-01-2018

Next up, hoping to take in the first Heat of this years Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses Ireland competition in Fibber Magees next Saturday night, might even bring along the camera, imagine that would make it 3 gigs in 3 weeks and 3 shoots 😉   getting a little ahead of myself there I know, but we shall see, be nice to get in there and meet up with some friends I haven’t seen much of recently.

 

First gig of the year – The Dedication 2018.

We were a bit gutted that due to storm Eleanor kicking in on the day we were due to make our visit, the Wild Lights at Dublin Zoo had to be cancelled, really shame as we were looking forward to it and due to their scheduling an extra night couldn’t be added in to replace it, ah well, maybe next time.

 

But I have at least made a good start to the gig year, attending and shooting at The Dedication (a Tribute show for Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, and what a great night it was. Each of the bands played great sets, but as with seeing them last August it was Black Rose that just nailed it on the night, excellent band that definitely has both the spirit and the skill to pay homage to the man himself. There were 4 band playing on the night, from Ireland and the UK –

Shades Of Lizzy (Irl)

Still Dangerous (UK)

The Truce (Irl)

Black Rose (UK)

 

 

We are lucky to have an abundance of Lizzy lovers and musicians that what to keep the music alive, it’s always brilliant to hear the classics, but even better to hear songs you wouldn’t normally hear anywhere but at home on your stereo. Hopefully next time around there will be a bigger crowd, but as with every event you have to start somewhere in year one. These events seem to suit the Button Factory.

 

Roll on Thursday night and the chance to see the wonderful Geoff Tate performing the full ‘Operation Mindcrime’ album with his band of the same name. One of my favourite albums of all time, can’t wait.

Starting 2018 how we mean to continue.

On the way home from what I guess you could call my other job this evening, I was rushing to get home as I did want to try and catch some of the Football ( ManUtd – v- Everton ), I noticed the size and clarity of the moon this evening, well it is a Supermoon isn’t it, almost mesmerising, so the first thought was lets get home and get the camera out. Don’t think I have done it much justice here at all, but it’s going to be a busy week so hopefully an early night tonight and hoping even more that I can get some sleep and the little guy won’t be waking us up at 5:30 – well we can all hope for these things can’t we.

 

Tomorrow evening we are planning on taking in the Wild Lights Exhibition at Dublin Zoo, have heard lots of great things about it and many families that have loved seeing it, so hopefully the weather holds up and his lordship manages to stay awake and take it all in 😉   He loves bright coloured stuff, so should be right up his street. will bring along the camera if it’s permitted. Either way hopefully it will light up his happy little face and we’ll have a fun evening out.

Wild Lights – Dublin Zoo

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Of course there’s work this week, which will more than likely be very busy kicking off the new year, and there’s a lot of other external obligations that will take up a lot of time this coming year, and have to always ensure that I don’t push it all too far and try and improve health wise over the next 12 months, it is very easy to try and do everything and run into a brick wall, but I’m also determined to do as much as I can with the camera and a lot of music, listening to or checking out live. To this end will be starting by shooting The Dedication show on Saturday at the Button Factory, some cracking bands on the bill once again and will be fun to catch up with some friends as always, that being followed up with the wonderful voice of Geoff Tate, with his band Operation Mindcrime, again playing the Button Factory and specially playing what is in my revolving top 3 albums of all time, ‘Operation Mindcrime’, should be a cracking show, the last acoustic Tour that Geoff did was very well received indeed and can’t wait for this one. The music on this album still creates tingles up and down my spine, and I have no doubt at all when the intro’s kick in the same will happen.

 

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Not a bad way to kick things off with January normally being a quiet month, lets see how we get on and hopefully I’ll have some decent shots to add to the site and pass onto the guys.

What else do I do ?

Well outside of the Photography over the last 4 years I have been writing Reviews of both Albums and Gigs for a number of Media Outlets, generally it’s Rock and Metal releases and gigs, but when I get the opportunity I will take a shot at anything.

Here is a link to the the page on this site for my 2017 Reviews – hoping to get a couple more finished before the final bell rings on the year.

https://tearsoffirephotography.com/reviews/

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Over this period of time I’ve been averaging out 4 reviews per month on the Album side of things and pretty much one per month on the Gig side. It’s a lot harder work than most people think, more from the perspective of making time to research, listening to the music enough not to miss out on something that may not be immediate and may take a lot of listens and then actually write it up within the parameters laid out by the organisation you are writing for and all within a timeframe. It really doesn’t take much to throw it all into chaos, a very busy week in work, or home, a bout of illness, it all adds to the growing struggle.

But you can also add in the sheer volume of releases these days to that list, don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful time when there are is so much new music being created, it’s brilliant, but for any Website, Magazine, Blog to attempt to cover it all is becoming an increasingly impossible task without having a large group of contributors, and that is not something I can see happening, it’s been noticeable over the last few years, with regards to Gigs, that the number of photographers appears to grow while the number of people prepared to review decreases, demands on peoples time doesn’t help. It’s not much different with the Album reviewing side of things, I’ve seen a lot less people doing it now, hopefully that’s a situation that changes very soon.

Have a lot of Reviews on the go for albums being released in the New Year, so hopefully people still enjoy them and we can still spread the word of great new music being out there and available from many different source. For me it’s all part of the passion of loving music, and if I can help out in whatever way possible I always will.

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How much have you planned for 2018 ? Are you mad ????? ;-)

Ok, back so quickly, yes but it suddenly hit me just how much I already have in my thoughts or actually organised for 2018. Current count is a total of 32 Gigs, of them 4 Festivals that I think are already organised, 6 Trips to the UK, and we haven’t even gotten things started yet. So the question comes flying at me again in big capitals –

ARE YOU MAD ????????

The answer is clearly yes, but hey, I’ve a lot to make up for, and I really want to get as much done this year as possible, as I think it may be the last year I can do much at all for a while. So lets throw caution to the wind and see how it goes. Really looking forward to it, lets keep the energy as high as possible and see where it takes us.

Today another one got added, the wonderful Pat McManus Band playing in Dublin in Feb. Hell Yeah !!!

The Pat McManus Band - DRC - 26-09-2014
Pat McManus – DRC – 26-09-2014

 

Marking achievements gets harder every year ?

Really it does, as we grow older and our circumstances change, along with the demands on our time from not only our work but also family or other external influences, it becomes harder to see what you have gotten done in a year.

Personally, well I would say on the Photography/Music front, less than I got done last year, but at the same time considering all that has changed in my life this year perhaps a lot more than I could have expected.

Attended at least 2 Gigs/Festivals a month (yes a significant drop on anything in the last 8 years – but still some awesome shows)

In reality I have only been able to shoot a few shows this year, and luckily also a number of Festivals, which helped a lot. But those I have done have been terrific to be at and even better to shoot, some of my favourite Artists, some from the Bucketlist that have been crossed off, and some for fun that really were that.

Reviews wise – well even with a few days to go I’m still trying to get over the 36 mark for albums, and perhaps only 10 Gigs/Festivals, again a noticeable drop on three or four years ago when I started Writing, but at the same time 3 per month isn’t all that shabby. It’s still an honour to cover Albums and Gigs for a number of Sites.

At the end of the day these are just figures and don’t mean a hell of a lot, but it’s always an easy way of seeing how busy you have been with other things. Perhaps not a fair comparison but in 2014 the figures were 69 Gigs/Festivals and 61 Reviews, and pretty much the same in 2015. perhaps they were the exceptions 😉

But there are many other things that have happened that can be marked as success stories, and even winning small battles should never be ignored.

Still 2017 has been a difficult one, and here’s to 2018 being a much better, happier and healthier year for us all.

 

So how has 2017 panned out – good, bad or indifferent ?

Well personally, it’s been a bit of a mess of a year, so much stuff going on and less and less time to do stuff I’d like to get done. The year has flown by, and although I’ve missed so many more gigs than I’d ever like to, through illness (of everyone) and other commitments taking precedence, additional responsibilities and just less time in general. But having said that I’ve still managed to attend, and shoot some amazing events with some Artists I’ve always dreamed of seeing. And although there’s not much left of the year, there’s still a couple of gigs left to get in.

Really would have loved to have gotten back over to Bloodstock again, but sometimes family stuff just has to take priority and that was certainly the case in 2017, but there will always be other gigs, and boy oh boy does next year look unbelievable – so many Festivals with stellar lineups, gigs and Tours getting announced every couple of days, it’s going to be a complete blockbuster.

Highlights of this year so far have got to have been –  Click on an image to go to the Gallery.

Jo Harman/Elles Bailey – Jo’s stunning show at the Jazz Cafe in Feb, now available on CD – do go and check it out.

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Jo Harman – Jazz Cafe London, Feb 2017

 

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Elles Bailey – Jazz Cafe London, Feb 2017

 

Shooting HRH AOR again, with some brilliant performances as always and getting to see bands I have not seen in almost 30 years, the likes of Lita Ford, Michael Monroe, Slaughter and Autograph, or some newer bands like The Radio Sun.

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The Radio Sun – HRH AOR V

Shooting HRH Blues in Sheffield, some terrific artists and performances and a number of whom I hadn’t managed to see before.

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Sean Webster Band – HRH Blues 2017

Rockingham 2017 – another absolutely kick ass weekend with great bands and people, this Festival has definitely become a highlight of the Calendar, roll on 2018.

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Vince Neil – Rockingham 2017

Here’s to more next year and a number of Bucketlist bands to cross off the list, already have some excellent shows lined up for the New Year – and looking forward to shooting a couple of shows early in Januray  \m/ \m/