Sundae on the common

Ben & Jerry's always put on a nice festival - and this year was no exception. With great food, good music and a whole host of activities for the kids, the festival was sure to be a crowd pleaser.. The nice people at CAKE sent me out a press pass and so, I went along to shoot me some bands - my highlight being The Human League (Showing my age?) What do you mean you "DON'T KNOW WHO THE HUMAN LEAGUE ARE"... here, get informed - The Human League are an English synthpop band. Formed in Sheffield in 1977, they achieved popularity after a key change in line-up in the early 1980s. They have continued recording and performing with moderate commercial success throughout the 1980s up to the present day.The Brute Chorus Originally an avant-garde all male synthesizer-based group from Sheffield, the only constant band member since 1977 is vocalist and songwriter Philip Oakey. Since 1987, the band has essentially been a trio of Oakey and long-serving female vocalists Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley (who joined the band in 1980), with various additional musicians. The Human League have influenced many electro-pop, other synthpop, and mainstream acts including Madonna, Moby and Little Boots. They have been sampled and covered by various artists including YMO, Ministry of Sound, Craig David, George Michael and Robbie Williams.

Since 1978, they have released nine studio albums, twenty six singles (including 8 UK top 10 singles with 2 number one singles in the US/UK) and played over 350 live concerts. The Human League have sold an estimated 20 million records worldwide.

Philip and Jo on stage at the 2009 "Sundae on the common" festival The Human League

The were ably supported by "The Brute Chorus" (above) and "Camera Obscura" (below) amongst many others... Carey Lander - Camera Obscura

Much toooo much ice cream was consumed, waddled home on the bus...

See you next year, cows!

It's Festival O'clock!

Me rockin' outWell then, as per my last few posts, it's time for me to log off, pack up and roll out! I've only got me a page and a half of camera gear to take! (And a small bag of clothes) I'm off on what promises to be MANIC! A four day festival in Spain with some amazing bands and artists to boot (No, not literally) THIS post will give you a list of bands - you might find one you like? What I had originally intended to do was to run around like a complete madman and shoot something of each and every one... What I'm actually going to be doing is covering the head liners mostly. I met up with a mate, Kev, today and he's kindly loaned me his 70-200 f2.8 IS lens which is super kind of him... You can read more about what I'm going to take HERE So, in short, I will be snapping like a mad man for the next few days and trying to fit some sleep and some staying out of the sun in between all of this. The weather is predicted to be pretty darn toasty! So I will be taking a water bottle with me and hopefully, somewhere in the backstage area, I'll be able to refill it often!

A little FIB history...

The 2003 edition abounded in variety and top quality with performances by Blur, Moby, Echo & The Bunnymen, Suicide and Beth Gibbons & Rustin Man – as just a sampling of the diverse styles and sounds on our stages.

In 2004, we celebrated the Festival’s tenth anniversary in the company of great and influential artists like Kraftwerk, Brian Wilson, Pet Shop Boys, Lou Reed, Wire and Einstürzende Neubauten, providing a spectacular overview of music history. This led to 2005 when we were blown away by the brilliant performances of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Richard Hawley and Yo La Tengo.

2006 was another record-breaking year for FIB Heineken, with tickets selling out two months in advance. On that amazing third weekend of July, 40,000 people crossed the Festival’s threshold every day to groove to and cheer for Depeche Mode, Morrissey, Pixies, Madness, Franz Ferdinand and The Strokes.

Firmly consolidating FIB Heineken’s reputation and status in both Spain and Europe, 2007 was another record-breaking banner year, with more that 150,000 people attending over four days to bask in the magic of Devo, The B-52’s, Arctic Monkeys, Iggy & The Stooges, Wilco, Amy Winehouse and Rufus Wainwright.

FIB Heineken 2008 continued to set the standard of distinction and quality thanks to artists like My Bloody Valentine, Morrissey, The Raconteurs, Siouxsie, and Morente Omega with Lagartija Nick – not to mention the tremendous and showstopping concert Leonard Cohen put on, which is no doubt indelibly etched in the memory of everyone who was there.

So, that pipe dream of days gone buy has become a reality; that perfect place where once-in-a-lifetime experiences inspired by music are the norm has grown and developed and finally become a near-Utopian parallel reality governed by the values and passions of thousands and thousands of young music lovers from all over the world. Pure hedonistic pleasure and both personal and cultural enrichment join hands in the celebration of life that is FIB Heineken.

I will tweet when I can, and I will post daily form the hotel - so make sure you've signed up via RSS to get those updates that nobody else gets to see! (RSS BELOW)

Shooting a festival? With what!

Washington Square...So, I went into a little spin yesterday and realised that I didn't actually have the kit I needed for the festival that I have coming up next week. I will usually take two bodies to a gig, one for a longer lens, one for a wider lens. I wonder though, is that just indulgent? I mean, It's not like I'm shooting for commissions, I shoot for myself / press sometimes / promoter sometimes and I think I could get the shots with one camera. So, anyway, I had this spaz off yesterday and tried to hire a 70-200mm f2.8 IS and a 17-40mm ...but then, upon chatting to many many hire companies I was horrified to learn that nobody had one in stock! - I tweeted a few times and a friend came to the rescue with the offer to loan his lens - thanks Kev. Well, I wandered home and @bigcrustyape popped in last night with his mum... He and I talked shoots, the women talked babies... I decided that I am taking two bodies, the Canon 30D and the Canon 5D Mk2 (My main squeeze) and, in that case, I will take the 10-22mm for the 30D and I will have the 70-200 for the 5D Mk2.... LONG and WIDE! An example of a long shot at a concert might be something like this... Dave Matthews Band

and.. an example of a wide shot may be something like this... 10cc | Indigo2 London

Now, the Canon 30D may not have a super ISO rating and anything over about 800 in the right light is starting to look pretty darn grainy, but during the day for big, sweeping festival crowd shots - I think it will be OK... It's amazing how "bad" something becomes when we get and use something "better" - What am I on about? Well, I used to shoot music stuff with the 30D 100% of the time, now I use it very infrequently because of how good the 5D Mk2 is, it makes me think the 30D is a sub standard camera, but, it's not. (My shaking hands don't help, but hey)

So, My kit list for the 2009 Benicassim festival will be as follows...

Canon 5D Mk2 - With battery grip Canon 30D - With battery grip Canon 10-22mm ef-s f3.5 Canon 50mm f1.4 Canon 24-70 f2.8 Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS Canon 100-400mm f4.5 IS

Two sets of batteries for the Canon 5D Mk2 - Thanks to Three sets of batteries for the Canon 30D, again, thanks to the guys at Manfrotto 190XProB Tripod for those sweeping beach shots at 6am when everyone else is asleep on the sand... MacBook Pro to edit / upload / modify / surf / tweet / etc! Many Sandisk 4GB Extreme III CF Cards Filters, Cleaning kit, Chargers, Cables, USB Keys, Water! thinkTANK Streetwalker HD camera bag to fit everything in! (And maybe my thinkTANK SpeedRacer for little trips out)

I am very much looking forward to shooting Benicassim 2009, Very much...

Sime x

Festival Internacional de Benicàssim

So, Some most exciting news for me! A friend is PM'ing the HD MTV feed and was asked to provide a stills photographer for the duration of the festival. I will be shooting for her - Stills to go out in the breaks on MTV and for the organizers as well. I have to say, with a line up like the one below... I'm pretty flamin' stoked peeps! PRETTY FLAMIN' STOKED!... Lineup as follows! Festival Internacional de Benicàssim