I made a comment in a recent blog about how easy it it to lose touch with the local music scene.Â When you start of photographing the usual route is to start with the local scene, build up a portfolio and Â hope that it leads to bigger and higher profile opportunitiesÂ but when that happens those gigs can easily take up all of your time and energy.
However, when the Incremental Records launch night came up I was really keen to cover it thanks to Before Hollywoodâ€™s excellent 42 song, triple CD compilation, â€˜Strandedâ€™. The launch night included bands who Iâ€™d first heard on the CD and who had been wanting to catch live for a while, particularly Nova Scotia who had one of my favourite tracks on â€˜Strandedâ€™ and who I kept managing to miss, despite them playing regularly around the Valley.
Ambitious Lovers kicked off the night and you canâ€™t help but think that thereâ€™s DIY and then thereâ€™s DIY. Theyâ€™re probably as shambolic a band as youâ€™re ever likely to see. They sounded a lot more together on â€˜Strandedâ€™ and obviously could do with a lot more pre-gig practice but maybe thatâ€™s not the point.
After Ambitious Loversâ€™ ukuleles and home-made percussion lo-fi folk, the night has an immediate change in musical style with Turnpikeâ€™s frenetic, spiky straight-up punk.
Sometimes you can watch a band and see how much they are enjoying the night, sometimes, like tonight, you can watch a band and see the ever growing frustration as they try to deliver the set that they know they are capable of delivering. This is more than obvious tonight watching Mt Augustusâ€™s Cameron Smith battle broken guitar strings, culminating in him throwing his guitar to the floor at the end of their set. And for the second time in as many Zoo gigs I manage to miss getting a good photo of someone throwing their guitar to the ground; luckily for Cam, and unlike Vegas Kingsâ€™s Ben, it was thrown body first. Although you could see the increasing irritation, it doesnâ€™t take anything away from a really excellent set of acoustic indie folk.
After such a long wait I enjoyed finally seeing Nova Scotia; sure theyâ€™ve probably got a fair few well worn copies of â€˜Slanted & Enchantedâ€™ and â€˜Crooked Rain, Crooked Rainâ€™ but there are far worse bands to be influenced by then Pavement.
More photos from the night are on flickr.