The Very Belated That Was The Year That Was 2012


If I recall correctly from a time management course that work sent me on last year, in order for something to become a habit, you need to do it 21 times consecutively in the appropriate time period, e.g. if it’s a daily action, you need to do it for 21 days in a row, if it’s a weekly action, 21 weeks in a row, etc.

Very often in the modern world it can be very difficult to start and maintain a habit. Over the last couple of years, a lot of my blogging has taken place on the 30 minute train to work every day. However, when you factor in being away on work regularly at certain times of the year and the impact of a 2 month holiday to the UK, it goes a long way to explaining how it’s managed to suddenly be heading towards mid-July without a round-up of 2012 being put together.  In the meantime, everyone else has just put up their ‘Best Ofs’ for the first six months of 2013.

The biggest thing to happen in 2012 was Rave closing down at the end of June. As about 80% of my photography was for Rave, its closing has really put the brakes on going to and photographing live music. A such, it has really impacted on this blog, and less frequent photo opportunities has also made it harder to keep the blogging habit going.

Just over 12 months on, Rave’s absence is still felt. I miss those Concert Calendar emails, my speedy responses to all the gigs I wanted to cover, getting the confirmation emails forwarded and getting to see and photograph whole bunch of live shows on a really regular basis. On top of that, I’ve find it increasingly difficult to keep a tab on what’s actually happening in Brisbane. Rave’s concert calendar was the most comprehensive and user-friendly. I keep finding out about shows far too late or even after the event. It’s ever depressing that the street press that’s left in Brisbane falls far short of what Rave provided.

This is the list of everything that I photographed during 2012:

  1. Jim Jones Revue @ The Zoo, Tuesday, 3 January 2012
  2. Metronomy @ The Zoo, Wednesday, 4 January 2012
  3. Deerhoof @ Woodland, Tuesday, 10 January 2012
  4. The Damned @ The Hi-Fi, Thursday, 19 January 2012
  5. Big Day Out @ Gold Coast Parklands, Sunday, 22 January 2012
  6. Laneway @ RNA Showgrounds, Saturday, 28 January 2012
  7. Soundwave 2012 @ RNA Showgrounds, Saturday, 25 February 2012
  8. Jessie J @ The Riverstage, Thursday, 1 March 2012
  9. Neon Indian @ The Zoo, Thursday, 1 March 2012
  10. Black Lips @ The Zoo, Friday, 2 March 2012
  11. Future Music Festival @ Doomben Race Course, Saturday, 3 March 2012
  12. St Vincent @ The Hi-Fi, Saturday, 10 March 2012
  13. Wild Flag @ The Zoo, Sunday, 11 March 2012
  14. Real Estate @ The Zoo, Tuesday, 13 March 2012
  15. Bon Iver @ The Tivoli, Thursday, 15 March 2012
  16. First Aid Kit @ The Zoo, Friday, 16 March 2012
  17. Duran Duran @ BEC, Saturday, 17 March 2012
  18. Dirty Three @ The Tivoli, Thursday, 22 March 2012
  19. Brian Setzer @ The Tivoli, Wednesday, 28 March 2012
  20. Hoodoo Gurus @ The Tivoli, Friday, 20 April 2012
  21. Mark Lanegan @ The Tivoli, Saturday, 21 April 2012
  22. Nicki Minaj @ BEC, Saturday, 19 May 2012
  23. I Used To Skate Once 8 @ The Zoo, Thursday, 21 June 2012
  24. Kirin J Callahan @ Black Bear Lodge, Thursday, 21 June 2012
  25. School of Seven Bells @ The Hi-Fi, Saturday, 23 June 2012
  26. No Anchor @ The Waiting Room, Saturday, 14 July 2012
  27. Tiny Spiders @ The Waiting Room, Friday, 3 August 2012
  28. Chinese Burns @ Beetle Bar, Saturday, 11 August 2012
  29. Texas Tea @ Black Bear Lodge, Friday, 17 August 2012
  30. 4ZZZ Radiothon @ Black Bear Lodge, Friday, 24 August 2012
  31. Parklife @ The Riverstage, Saturday, 1 September 2012
  32. Blues Control @ Black Bear Lodge, Wednesday, 10 October 2012
  33. Texas Tea @ The Zoo, Friday, 26 October 2012
  34. Sixfthick @ The Crow Bar, 10 November 2012
  35. Refused @ Eaton Hills Hotel, 11 November 2012
  36. Harvest @ The Botanic Gardens, 18 November 2012

This time last year, I wrote that 2011 was the lowest number of gigs that I’d photographed since 2007. Obviously 2012 turned out to be even lower, with the 36 gigs being more than half I managed to fit into  2012 (a record total of 75 gigs and festivals).  In terms of acts photographed, 2012 ended up at 169, a long way down on the 296 I managed in 2011.  The 2011 total was so high due to selling out and covering just about all of the major festivals.  2012 was always going to struggle to match 2011 given that the Falls Festival organisers cut their losses after a couple of wet years and stopped putting on Sunset Sounds, Good Vibrations called it a day and I decided not to bother with the great expense and infuriating organisation involved with photographing BluesFest (even though it continues to put on a great line-up).

Although number of gigs and number of acts photographed was well down on previous years, in terms of venues attended, the song very much remained the same, with The Zoo once again being my venue of choice during 2012.

2012 Gig Photo Pie Chart v2

During 2012, 50% of gigs were at three venues: The Zoo, The Tivoli and Black Bear Lodge.  The big change from 2011 was Woodland really dropping down and almost out of the list of venues. Although this started off as a decision to avoid so many late, late shows, changes at the venue changed it from a live venue to what looks to be more of a club (although the upcoming Trail Of The Dead show is at the renamed Coniston Lane venue).

It’s hard to think about many photographic highlights from 2012. Slipknot at Soundwave was a whole lot of fun, getting to photograph the likes of Duran Duran at the BEC and Brian Setzer at The Tivoli is something that the 12 year old me wouldn’t have believed could or would ever happen and being in the photo pit for The Dirty Three always remains a huge thrill, but overall 2012 wasn’t a year with too many photographic highs.

Photographic lowlights and disappointments (other than Rave closing) included having my Splendour accreditation revoked less than a month out from the festival and not getting to photograph one of my all-time favourite bands, Afghan Whigs and the disappointment of having to photograph Nicki Minaj from virtually the back of the floor at the BEC, having put into cover it thinking it would be a great show to photograph, and the “unforgettable” experience that was photographing Future Music Festival at Doomben.  To be more accurate, Future Music was more of a lifetime lowlight rather than a photographic one.  Despite the very tempting line-up for this year’s event, I was glad to stay at home given the atrocious weather on the day and the reports back from unfortunate photographers who did make the trek out to the racecourse and had to endure the worst of humanity.

Deciding on a gigs of the year is another tough decision. Having had my photo pass snatched away at the very last minute, I was forced into buying a ticket to Splendour just to see Afghan Whigs (as if they would be allowed to play a Brisbane sideshow…), and 15 years after the last time I saw them, they were still a revelation.  There’s usually a really good run of gigs at the start of March, often at a rate of a gig per night and often for bands heading south to play at Golden Plains, and this year was no different, with Wild Flag on a Sunday night being a real highlight (although sadly the photos were terrible).

Best photos of the year? Some of my favourites from 2012 are in the following gallery.

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