Lissie in Belfast

Had the pleasure of seeing Lissie twice this week. She supported Mumford and Sons on Monday night and then had her own headline slot at the Black Box in Belfast on Wednesday night as part of the Open House Festival.

Lissie

Lissie - Black Box, Belfast, 8th September 2010

Having listened to her album a fair bit there were no doubts about her talent but live, she is an even better experience. Her voice is simply incredible and having the pleasure of photographing her, perched as I was on the edge of the stage, was such an intimate experience.

Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention Napoleon, who provided superb support (and were well supported – nice to see a big crowd down early). Starting off quite gently with country flavours, the energy soon ramped up and despite a couple of tech issues, delivered a superb set. You can check them out here.

Napoleon

Napoleon - Black Box, Belfast, September 2010

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Get out of my face! – Lost Prophets – Belsonic 2010

Stuart Richardson from Lost Prophets gives me something to work with at Belsonic 2010.

Supporting Biffy Clyro in Belfast, the show started well but dipped quickly before managing to regain some serious momentum and have the crowd really going for it towards their last few songs.

View all my shots from Belsonic here

Simon Neil goes blonde – Biffy Clyro – Belsonic Belfast

Belsonic 2010 – Biffy Clyro, originally uploaded by nico fell photography.

Simon Neil from Biffy Clyro with his new bleach blonde beard and hair, playing in Belfast at Belsonic 2010.

Great night, supported by Lost Prophets, Fighting with Wire and Twin Atlantic. View all my shots from Belsonic here

Flogging a dead horse?

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/v/99yihLRpmNo&hl=en_GB&fs=1&rel=0]

I’ve had my beef with Snow Patrol in recent years – if you know me you’ll know why. Having mates in a band is a great laugh and you get to escape into a different world. Whilst in my final year at university and whilst I was living in London Snow Patrol were touring their first album, it was exciting. I saw them in tiny venues all over the place, then bigger venues, supporting some great bands and then festivals. Success came, Gary’s habits changed and Mark (was) moved on from the band. The music got increasingly bland, the audience ever commercial and the ticket prices higher. Snore Patrol were a million miles away from those early days. I know how it happens but it doesn’t stop you feeling disappointed.

I know that Gary is a very talented songwriter, I’ve spent time with him, seen his passion and been impressed. I’ve also heard the stories, seen the attitudes, witnessed the fallout. It does appear though that he has moved on but I suspect Snow Patrol’s (4th – at least) Homecoming Show in Ward Park this summer may well be a last hurrah before they move on to pastures new. Dwindling ticket sales and a fading star musically may well warrant it.

When it was originally announced back in January that Gary Lightbody and Peter Buck were teaming up to form a new project called Tired Pony, I was very cynical about the project. Following the official announcement on Friday and taking a look at the Tired Pony site though, I was pleasantly surprised. Gary has recruited old friends who have brought him success over the years, he’s gone back to the drawing board and the video promoting the new album recalls Gary’s more introspective moody influences of those early Snow Patrol years. I don’t know how it will be received critically or commercially but I suspect that Tesco Mum won’t be playing it in the car on the school run.

I wait to hear the final results but am strangely intrigued. Lightbody is a talent, I wonder if he has re-discovered his mojo.

A Plastic Rose – Single Launch

A Plastic Rose

A Plastic Rose - Crowd pleasers

I previously posted the fantastic video for A Plastic Rose – Kids dont’ behave like this, well finally the single is available to buy. The band launched the single at Stiff Kitten in Belfast last Friday to a throng of ever-loyal fans who couldn’t get enough! The single is superb, a really great song that builds and ticks the singalong crowd pleaser box with ease.

Axis Of

Axis Of - APR Allies

The band were supported by Axis Of and Before Machines, both of whom were excellent. Great night, great bands and another step on the journey to putting Belfast at the heart of the UK music scene.

See if you can spot yourself in the crowd! You can view all the images from the night here.

Belfast Twestival

The dust has settled and the hashtag has gone quiet but Thursday night’s Twestival in Belfast was nothing short of a spectacular event.

Organisers @Lopsi and @illusivelu

From Left - Organisers @Lopsi and @illusivelu

Organised by the rather smashing @Lopsi and @IllusiveLu and held at one of Belfast’s newest venues, Slide, the evening got off to a great start with RAMs’ Pocket Radio setting the tone for the evening. If you haven’t heard Peter before, you are truly missing out. Accompanied by Shauna Tohill on vocals the pair brought a dreamy, delicate sound to the beginning of the night, engaging with the growing audience and setting a high bar for the other 2 acts to follow.

Ram's Pocket Radio

RAMS' Pocket Radio

Up next were the excellent Seven Summits, bringing a little more edge to events and getting heads nodding and feet tapping. The new line up sounds great and having seen them at Trans Belfast last summer, there is a clear improvement in their direction. Keep an eye out for more forthcoming gigs.

Seven Summits

Seven Summits - Going up!

Before the last band of the evening, Little Wing Pizza brought what can only be described as some of the largest and tastiest pizzas in Belfast. Seriously huge but they went in a flash as people donated £1 a slice – many thanks to Phil for all his hard work on the night.

Little Wing Pizza

Little Wing Pizza, Belfast. Serious Noms.

Pudding arrived in the shape of Marshmallow Grove cupcakes, kindly donated by owner Sarah Landstreet. Again, these didn’t hang around and went down a treat.

Marshmallow Grove

Marshmallow Grove - Grab one before they go!

Claire Hanna from Concern moved on to make the raffle draw, with winners including Phil O’Kane and Lee Munroe. Again, all prizes had been kindly donated by local companies and were gratefully received.

Cutaways brought the evening to a conclusion with a fantastic set , showing just what a fine music scene Belfast has currently. Blistering guitars and beautiful vocals, their music gallops along with infectious rhythm and zingy synths. Make sure you check them out soon.

Cutaways

Cutaways - Infectious!

Just a final word of thanks to all those who came down, raising over £600 for Concern. Be proud of yourselves Belfast.

You can see all the photos from the night here

Perfection in motion

This has to be without doubt one of the best music videos I have seen. Sure we saw something similar with Honda a few years ago and I suppose it also recalls memories of world records attempts on kids TV with domino rally from the 80s but OK Go have pulled off something so perfect, so wonderful that it clearly surpasses anything that has gone before. And it is all the more impressive given their previous work! Most bands would have been happy to sit back and enjoy their day in the sun. This time they have gone way beyond.

You can watch a “making of” video of the action here