I Used To Skate Once 8 @ The Zoo, 21.06.2012

Another year, another I Used To Skate Once night at The Zoo. The years just fly by. Despite the recent quiet times and lack of gigs that I’ve been interested in photographing in recent weeks/months, I’m photographing Kirin J Callinan at Black Bear Lodge tonight so end up flitting between the two venues to catch as much as I can and get a few shots of all the bands.

Given its popularity, I Used To Skate is always hard to photograph, with the crowds of people making it difficult to photograph the bands playing on the floor (as all three bands do tonight) and difficult to take unobstructed photos of the artwork. Everything is made so much more difficult thanks to my 28-70 lens which has something stuck in it and won’t focus on anything unless it’s more than 2 1/2 metres away. I probably should have taken the recent quiet time to send it down to Sydney to get fixed but now it’s probably getting to close to Splendour to consider being without it.

Having taken a few shots of The Kramers, gone to Black Bear Lodge to photograph DCM, the opening act supporting Kirin J Callinan, I get back to The Zoo for Sewers only to find that there’s a queue going up the road and it’s one in, one out. Luckily Geoff Corbett, who’s loitering outside, comes to the rescue with a spare wristband which means I can jump the queue don’t have to regret having already turned one down earlier in the evening from Matt from The Outpost.

It’s been a while since I’ve seen Sixfthick but, as ever, they’re in superb form. The only place I can squeeze in to photograph them is at the side against the stage but it’s makes a nice change of angle from normally photographing them from the front. I can’t stay for the whole set, needing to get back to Black Bear Lodge for the headliner (although I probably could have stayed for the duration given the very late starting Kirin J Callinan) but expected it to be a whole lot more raucous than it is; Gentle Ben seems very well behaved and restrained for about the first time ever (unless I missed it after I left). I guess you have to take it a bit easier if you’re playing a mid-week show and need to get up for work the following morning. Time waits for no man, not even Gentle Ben.

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