In November 2015 a London based band The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing did their first proper UK tour. The band played eleven gigs and I attended six of them. In this month I will publish my best shots of those gigs in three posts.
As you can see from the poster (signed and framed and nowadays on my living room wall), the tour started from Leicester on the 17th of November. I started my tour from London and closed it in Oxford.
In this first part I will publish my favourite shots from the gigs at The Underworld in London and The Ruby Lounge in Manchester. I also attended the gig in Brighton, but I didn’t manage to get any decent shots, so I decided to skip that one.
The London gig was the very first time when I saw this band live. In fact I had learned about their existence only a couple of months earlier, even though I had noticed their song about Isambard Kingdom Brunel already a year before, but back then I didn’t realize that they are a real rock band and not an engineering students’ project.
I have told here, how it all happened. The story was told in my photobook about the band. In these three posts I will publish some photos from that book, but also shots that didn’t make it to the book. On the other hand, I am not publishing here all the shots that can be seen in the book.
The Underworld, 21 November 2015
So, the London show at The Underworld in Camden was my first live encounter with The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing. It was the first of the six shows on that tour, but at the time I didn’t know that it wouldn’t end with these six shows.
(Please note that by clicking the image, you will see a full screen version of it in a new window, or in a case of a collection of several photos, press the “x” in the top right hand corner and you are back in the text.)
Now when I checked the shots from that London show and pondered which are good enough to put here, I noticed this one above. I hadn’t really paid any attention to it before, but now I realized that I really like it, particularly Andrew’s hand and how it sort of glows. Funny, how you notice one little thing….
Yes, I know, all my pictures seem to be of Andrew O’Neill. That’s simply because I was standing on Andrew’s side of the stage and didn’t move around. I had tried to photograph the others, too, but the result was poor, in fact terrible.
After these quite serene pictures, here are some “action shots”:
The Ruby Lounge, 24 November 2015
If I had failed totally to produce any decent shots in the second show in Brighton, and most of the London show pictures were of Andrew, I did much better in Manchester, at The Ruby Lounge.
I had a busy day in Manchester as I first spent around seven hours in the Science and Industry Museum (which was called Museum of Science and Industry then) and then went to The Ruby Lounge and found my way in from the back door.
After having a sort of dinner in a nearby pub and watching a bit of football there it was time for the show. This time I managed to photograph also other members of the band besides the guitarist Andrew O’Neill. As I have seen the band several times (by the time of typing this, 33 times), I don’t even try to photograph them equally, but adjusting my activities to the venue; its lighting conditions and the place where I am standing there. As some of you know, I use film camera, so there are some restrictions. Anyway, eventually, I hope, I have created a decent collection of pictures of everyone in the band: Andrew O’Neill (guitar and vocals), Andy Heintz (vocals and musical saw), Marc Burrows (bass and vocals) and Jez Miller (drums and vocals).
At the Ruby Lounge I even managed to take some photos of the drummer –something that is always the biggest challenge. For some reason, however, he tried to vanish from my pictures:
Sometimes a bit out of focus shot or shots with a lot of movement without any sharp spot can be nice. At least I find some of my shots at The Ruby Lounge very nice even though technically they are far away from even a decent one (see below). The latter one of these two made its way to my book as I see in it some kind of timeless charm. The first one belonged to those where I haven’t seen too much potential until I paid attention to Andrew’s face under all that hair. I made the face slightly lighter and thought that the picture is good enough to share here.
At The Ruby Lounge I also managed to take my first decent shots of Andy and his saw – or at least of the bow. The actual saw is there somewhere in the darkness:
The last photo is – to my opinion – one of my best shots during all these years that I have photographed the band. It is so called lucky shot as I didn’t have time to focus my camera, but just press the shutter release button and hope the best.
So these were my first steps photographing this band. I will publish the next collection of shots from the 2015 tour sometimes in November (update, you can find it here and the third part is here) and the last one in the end of the month/early December.
Photos and text © Katriina Etholén
PS. My photobook of the band is available here.