Wolfmother vs 15 Minutes of Fame

Wolfmother - 2008

Having been in Mildura when Brisbane’s Andy Warhol exhibition at GoMA started in December, with a set of Velvet Underground covers by Robert Forester, I was able to make the closing night show, which featured a 45 minute set by Wolfmother.

Times have changed since I first photographed Wolfmother back in May 2004 at The Hopetoun in Sydney. Back then they were the opening band on a bill with The Ross Orbit Stack and Vanlustbader headlining. This was their fifth ever gig and the first gig that I photographed in Australia, using a single roll of HP4 for the whole gig and only taking 6 or 7 shots of Wolfmother… Before there were afros, ipod adverts, double-neck Gibsons and Grammy Awards they looked like this:

Wolfmother - Hopetoun, Sydney . May 2004

As with any gig at The Hopetoun no one battered an eyelid at me taking photos; this time there was a contract to sign, the bottom of which was torn off and was given to the photographers as a receipt. One of the clauses was that I had to provide any photos that I might have taken if the band’s management requested me to do so. No mention of payment or anything. Based on recent experience, it feels like this is becoming a standard clause on concert photography contracts.

Although the $20 included entry to the exhibition, which closed off just before the band started, the place seemed fairly empty until the last half an hour. By the time they came on stage the place was packed. The set included some new songs, which made a bit of a change considering they have been playing the same set for much of the last four years. Although Andrew Stockdale has apparently been recording demos with Resin Dogs’ drummer Dave Atkins it hasn’t heralded a move away from a 1970s rock sound into hip-hop… The song definitely remains the same…

Wolfmother = GoMA Setlist

The fact that this was their first gig in 9 months really showed. They were pretty ragged, especially Andrew Stockdale’s voice, which was all over the place and coming nowhere near hitting the high notes. Still, the crowd lapped it up as you’d expect, even a pretty woeful cover of Lou Reed’s ‘Perfect Day‘, with Mick Ronson’s string arrangement replaced by widdly-widdly guitar playing…

There was a photo pit at the front but it was very crowded, with about ten photographers and four or five burly security guys. Additionally, lighting didn’t seem as good as when I photographed Buck 65 at one of the first ‘Up Late’ gigs. And on top of that I just seemed to be having one of those nights when my timing kept being off…

More photos on flickr.

Andrew Stockdale

Chris Ross & Myles Heskett

Chris Ross

Chris Ross

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