Powderfinger + Whitley at The Tivoli

Powderfinger

May was a bit of a lean month for photographing gigs, not helped by Cosmic Psychos cancelling their tour and Rave not being able to get a reviewer for Don Letts, both of which I was down to cover.

And things haven’t improved much in June, with Barry Adamson, who I was really looking forward to seeing, cancelling his show at The Zoo due to “unavoidable promotional commitments”, my emailed requests for the first week of the month – The Thrills at The Zoo and I Killed The Prom Queen – being missed when the gigs were assigned, and no one wanting to review Angus and Julia Stone. However, no one requested to photograph Powderfinger at The Tivoli and so having been offered it and having never seen Powderfinger before thought “what the hell, why not?”

So, I get to The Tivoli and find out that I’m only down to photograph support act Whitley… So I photograph Whitley for my allotted three songs (one of which lasts about a minute) and he plays solo, sat on a stool, singing with his eyes shut…

Whitley

Whitley

The lovely Tivoli desk staff try to find someone to ok it for me to photograph Powderfinger, and about 2 minutes before they come up I get a call from the PR to say that as long as I signed the contract then I’m good to photograph. So yay for that.

The downside of photographing tonight is that they’re filming it for live broadcast to Big Pond mobile phones, with the full gig also being available for download the following day (for the bargain price of $2.95 I believe….). As such, the photo pit and the stairs are off limits to allow camera men to move around and so we get to photograph from a tiny bit of space at the bottom of the stairs, right against the stage. Although it’s a very side-on view, and means that there’s not the variety in angles that you would normally get from photographing from a photo pit, the worst thing is that the view of singer Bernard Fanning is largely blocked by guitarist Darren Middleton’s mic stand… The gig has been split up into an “acoustic” and an “electric” section (note to Powderfinger: acoustic generally doesn’t mean electric bass and electric guitars…), with an interlude in the middle. Our three songs to photograph in were from the “acoustic” part of the set, meaning three songs of “stool rock” (amazingly there isn’t a wikipedia entry for Stool Rock…).

Powderfinger

Powderfinger

Powderfinger

Powderfinger

Powderfinger

Much is made of Powderfinger in Australia; arguably they’ve been one of its biggest bands for much of the last 10 years. Being fairly new here, I’m not quite sure why. They’ve got that earnest, down to earth thing going on, they’re pretty competent musicians and seem like nice guys, but in trying to compare them to something from the UK I keep coming back to Del Amitri… or a less edgy Travis… whatever that is…

The recent Drowned In Sound review for Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends’ makes the comment that “…Coldplay remain resolutely no-brow, a rock band version of Jack Vettriano; art for people who don’t like art; crowd-pleasers for people who don’t like crowds; music for people who don’t like music”.

If that’s the case I’m not sure where it leaves bands like Powderfinger….

And on a related note, you can enjoy DiS’s review of Bernard Fanning’s ‘Wish You Well’, the Number 1 song in last year’s Triple J’s Hottest 100 (as voted by the Australian people as their favourite song of the year…), here.

Some more photos on flickr.

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2 Responses to “Powderfinger + Whitley at The Tivoli”

  1. [...] bookmarks tagged powderfinger Powderfinger + Whitley at The Tivoli | This Is Not… saved by 15 others     OpenMicDocumentary bookmarked on 01/13/09 | [...]

  2. [...] it was.  Interestingly, I was looking on my blog for a link for a recent post and found that back in June 2008 I had requested to cover a show of theirs but that they couldn’t get anyone ….  Am guessing that a couple of years on that’s probably changed and there would be no [...]

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