Jessica Newell

September 24, 2010

Jessica Newell/Edinburgh

1. Sam McTrusty (Twin Atlantic) – In The City, Manchester.

I have a bit of a love/hate thing with this photo. I like the shot but can’t help but be annoyed by the graininess due to lack of light. Luckily most people seem to like it anyway. It was taken almost a year ago at Manchester’s Roadhouse. Twin Atlantic are a band I love to go and watch and were the first band to ever give me a photopass back in ’08, for which I’ll always be extremely grateful.

2. Biffy Clyro – Empress Ballroom, Blackpool.

I’d been trying to get a photopass for Biffy for about three or four tours prior to this, so it was a real thrill when I finally got to shoot them, especially as I am a huge fan of the band. I somehow had the entire pit to myself, which was a novelty – as were the bouncy sprung floors of the ballroom when 3000 people jumped up and down in unison.

3. Make Sparks – Macsorleys, Glasgow.

For my final college assignment I did band promo shoots. This was the first shoot and remained my favourite. The band were a lot of fun to work with and they make great music too.

4. Pulled Apart By Horses – Hinterland Festival, Glasgow.

Pulled Apart By Horses
are probably my favourite band to photograph. They are utterly mental and this gig was probably the craziest of theirs I’ve shot. I got wrestled to the floor by their frontman Tom and ended up with James’ guitar around my neck at the end.

5. Carnivores – Detour’s Wee Jaunt, Glasgow.

Detour’s latest Wee Jaunt saw gigs in, amongst other places, a stream, a clothes shop, a forest and over three floors of a staircase at Dixon House. It was an afternoon/evening full of surprises and musical treats as we got taken around the city and further afield on what felt like the best school trip you never had, or Christmas without the anti-climax.

Equipment on all was Canon 5DMKII with the 24-70mm f2.8L lens.

Su Anderson

September 17, 2010



I took this photo at Homegame in front of the Anstruther Town Hall. The wandering minstrel that is Men Diamler entertained the crowd waiting to get into the hall with old folk songs. During one of his songs the guy in the catering van surprised everyone by popping out his head and singing the chorus. I think this shot perfectly sums up not just Men Diamler but the whole ethos of Homegame.


At T in the Park this year, Glasgow’s Mitchell Museum performed an impromptu gig outside in the rain for an interview. This shot was of two of the band members tuning up before hand. It was an interesting shoot but really wet – I kept thinking their guitars were going to fill up with water because the rain was almost horizontal!


This one is of Danananaykroyd‘s Calum Gunn at the BBC Introducing stage at TITP in 2009. The band’s a dream for a photographer to shoot because they interact with the crowd and, quite clearly, the crowd loves it. They’re such an energetic band and this shot captures their enthusiasm perfectly. Calum really is an incredible performer.


Over the Wall performing at the Wee Red Bar was interesting to photograph, as is any gig at that college venue. The lack of stage and scant lighting make it very difficult to photograph without flash and let’s face it, no one likes flash at gigs. The red and yellow lighting here was interesting to show the contrast between the two musicians.


This is one of my favourite music images. I photographed Nick Cave at the Corn Exchange and I only had three songs to get shots. Unfortunately the lighting was terrible and I had to push my ISO up as high as I could get. This photo is quite grainy but the expression on Mr. Cave‘s face is worth it.

Claire Thomson

September 10, 2010


1. Jack Penate. King Tut’s, Glasgow. 16 June, 2007. Panasonic DMC-FZ7 – no flash.

I thought I should start off with the first gig I ever took any pictures at. The line-up was Jack Penate, Lethal Bizzle and Officer Kicks. Standing at the back of King Tuts with my wee camera in hand I started to take a few pics of the first support act – needless to say none of them turned out too great! A few drinks in with a bit more confidence I headed to the front to take some more but with no idea what I was doing I was using my flash I had unblurred pics of the Bizzle but the colour was poor! The security came up to me and said ‘Jack Penate‘s management says no flash and only the first three songs’. As I’d never done anything like this I sorta got a bit scared and said ‘OK’ no doubt in a squeaky voice. And though since I didn’t have a huge expensive camera and no flash = no decent pictures…but I think this turned out OK.

2. Dizzee Rascal. ABC, Glasgow. 15 November 2008. Panasonic DMC-FZ7 – flash used.

After my first experience, it was over a year before I found the confidence to take a camera to a gig again, but Dizzee Rascal is great live and I couldn’t resist the urge to try again. I couldn’t quite get the confidence to go anywhere near the front again though – this shot was taken from the bar area. Got to say, the FZ7 with it’s 12x zoom pulled it off quite well considering. I decided though that gig photography was probably going to be a no go unless I got myself a better camera and more courage.

3. Midnight Lion. Hinterland, Sub Club, Glasgow. 3 April 2010. Nikon D90, 18 – 105 mm f/3.5-5.6.

Good Friday wasn’t so good in 2008 and I had a small car crash – don’t worry, no-one was injured – just a bit sore but the compensation let me invest in buying a D90. I shot mostly friends and relative’s weddings and christenings and I didn’t start taking pictures at gigs again till Hinterland this year! It was pretty great having so many photographers at each gig; it meant I could snap away without worry of being shouted at! This was my favourite picture of the day. I just love the light – and the small slither of tongue poking out just makes it for me.

4. Sleigh Bells. Art School, Stag & Dagger, Glasgow. 22 May 2010. Nikon D90, 50 mm f/1.8.

I chose this shot as it was a complete and utter fluke, but I love it! It was heading late into the night with lots of alcohol fuelled males and photographers baying for the attention of the sexy Alexis Krauss of Sleigh Bells who was tearing up the dingy dark Art School stage – I’m guessing there were so many flashes going off that it completely blew out the background!

5. Pooch. Stereo, Glasgow. Charity event for Beatson Oncology Unit. 19 June 210. Nikon D90, 18-105 mm f/3.5-5.6.

And now my final choice…Lola Pooch! Pooch are one of my favourite bands to shoot! Great songs and a front woman that knows how to work it! This was a charity event run by Glasgow Podcart, who I’d like to thank – if it hadn’t been for their musical recommendations, events and online Twitter banter – I’d never have been to half the gigs I have in the recent years or met so many lovely folk like them, AyeTunes & Peenko and so many others that would take too long to mention…

Fiona McKinlay

June 25, 2010



1. General Fiasco at Middlesbrough Music Live

Sunny day, well-lit stage…this was an easy shot, I’m not going to lie. But the colours from the lights, and the reflection of Middlesbrough in his sunglasses make me love it. They were first band on the Main Stage, and it was the start of a very good day. I could switch it for something with a better story for this Top 5, but this is not X Factor, y’know.

Equipment: Canon 450d – Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens

2. Twin Atlantic at T in the Park

I see myself as primarily a music fan, then everything else. So sometimes I shun getting a photo pass to avoid the stress, like T in the Park 2008. There was this horrible point around 5.30pm where We Are Scientists were on the NME Stage, Twin Atlantic were on in the T Break Tent, and Biffy Clyro were on the main stage. My wee brain nearly burst with this monstrous clash, but I managed to see a bit of everyone. Was standing pretty far back and held my wee compact camera as high as my wee arms would stretch. This photo was pretty much an accident, but everybody seems to love it.

Equipment: Fujifilm FinePix F50fd

3. Twin Atlantic at Middlesbrough Music Live

Twin Atlantic are as much of a joy to photograph as they are to watch and hear. I LOVE them, and I got so many good shots during this set that I almost made my entire Top 5 from it. Their rockstar moves can be a bit quick to catch in normal venues with average lighting, but outside in the sunshine is a total win. I think this was the first time I’d seen the boys play outside Scotland, and it was a pretty proud moment watching hundreds of English kids bouncing around and singing along.

Equipment: Canon 450d – Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens

4. Sucioperro at Belladrum

I got a lift to Belladrum 2009 with the lovely Sam Isaac. When we arrived, I found out that his set clashed with Twin Atlantic‘s and Sucioperro‘s. Fortunately for me, though, Sucio‘s van broke down and they ended up playing at the end of the night. I missed most of Sam’s set to see Twin Atlantic, and he had a nap in the car while I watched Sucio so that he had the energy to drive us back south. I am a terrible, terrible friend. Sam’s quit music now, but you should check him out anyway. He made very nice songs. Sorry Sam.

Equipment: Canon 450d – Canon EF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens

5. The View at T on the Fringe

I hadn’t shot anything big and outdoors before this happened at Meadowbank Stadium, and some other photographer in the pit told me my lens would not live up to the challenge. He pretty much scoffed at me for trying. Some photographers have a habit of doing that kind of thing, especially if they’re old enough to be your dad and have equipment that cost them a few thousand pounds that they need to make themselves feel better about. Oh well. I was pretty pleased with what I got!

Equipment: Canon 350d – Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8-4

James MacKenzie

May 28, 2010




I was asked through my friend Neil, who had recently joined the band, to take their first promo shots. It seemed daunting at first because I was aware of there being 10 members in the group. Oh dear. Armed with only one flash gun, we headed to Sloan’s pub in Glasgow, and we were kindly allowed to use the stairwell to the ballroom. The amount of fun arranging 10 people into a band photograph was incredible. It gave so much texture to the final shots…I just had to be extra alert for people blinking!

Equipment: Canon 350d – 18-55mm kit lens – Cheap flash gun through large umbrella.


This is a shot of my sister, Margaret. She was showcasing her art at the West End Festival in 2009, and I was ‘roadie’ for the day, carrying her canvases etc. I took along my camera to capture, well whatever stuck out really. I didn’t take very many photos in the end, but I captured this very candid shot while we were all sitting in a group with friends. I don’t usually take these kinds of photos, but this one had a great atmosphere to it, and I loved the detail that came out in the smoke.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 18-55mm kit lens – Natural light.

3. RED LIGHT EXIT’s ‘Fraggie’

This was one of my first commercial shoots. I hadn’t ever planned on doing commercial photo work, it just sort of happened. An abandoned school of over 10 years, in the hills of my nearby village of Kilmacolm, had taken my interest. The electricity is even still running in parts of the building, and I decided to take the band to investigate. This shot was created by having Fraggie stand in front of the camera, with the other 2 band members on either side, clutching handfuls of paint flakes from the school’s gym hall. We counted down from three and they threw the paint at his head! A quick shutter speed coupled with ‘random’ posing gave amazingly dynamic results. We repeated it for all three members of the band. This one definitely turned out as my favourite.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 1.8 50mm Canon lens – cheap flash gun through large umbrella.


I have a love of creating compositions from different photographs, and manipulating pictures to look a little more surreal than could be achieved in real life. Most of the bands I shoot are experiencing their first ‘proper’ photoshoot, and this band was the same. I wanted something really dynamic that had an almost blockbuster movie feel to it. I took the band to The Lighthouse (Rennie Macintosh) in Glasgow and captured this shot of them against a plain blue wall in one of the conference rooms. In Adobe Photoshop I added a striking sunset sky photograph behind them, and created some ‘flaring’ outlining the members, to somewhat authenticate the sunset, but also maintaining a ‘fake’ dreamworld look.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 1.8 50mm Canon lens – cheap flash gun through large umbrella.


This was my first ever glamour shoot, organised by my entrepreneurial friend Jamie Young. My portfolio was missing pictures of female models…infact, it was missing females almost altogether! This was a perfect chance to change that. On a sunny Saturday afternoon we took three amateur models along with a stylist/makeup artist, to Cosmopol and the Classic Grand in Glasgow. This shot is from Cosmopol, which has a very retro seating area with 7-inch vinyls glued to the wall. The girls were all quite nervous but ended up doing a brilliant job posing in borrowed vintage clothes from nearby shops. This shot turned out as my favourite from Cosmopol.

Equipment: Canon 350d – 1.8 50mm Canon lens – cheap flash gun through large umbrella.

Michael Gallacher

May 7, 2010




Camera- Nikon D90
Lenses: Nikon 50mm 1:1.8D
Nikon AF-S 18-200 VR
(rarely use a flash at gigs)

This was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. I’ve tried to choose five completely different photographs, from small intimate gigs with acoustic guitars to all out rock gigs with everything cranked up to 11.

1. I was lucky enough to go and see one of my favourite bands Yo La Tengo last year, this was shortly after stumbling into the world of gig photography. There was no three song limit for the two photographers who were there. About 15 minutes into a rendition of ‘I Heard You Looking’, Ira Kaplin started to spin his guitar around and move to an empty part of the stage. I was almost motionless, was away in my own wee world, then snuck back into the pit and just clicked away not even thinking about exposure or ISO settings.

2. Just before Christmas 2009, Snowgoose played at the Captain’s Rest, supporting BMX Bandits. I try and go to every Snowgoose gig as I love the music and Anna who sings in the band has a beautiful voice. At their last gig this snap was used for the flyer much to my surprise and indeed the band’s surprise as well.

3. I’d only heard of Thrice a few days before the gig. I was well impressed by them. They played what seemed a really long set of songs. Some band’s songs all sound the same, but for Thrice this was not the case. I chose this photo as it was a mistake – I did not mean to take it but when I loaded it up on the computer, it actually looked quite good.

4. Nazareth at Glenrothes. This was at the end of a long tour so a home town gig was going to be something special. I was actually surprised how many songs I actually knew from the set. This photo is my ‘guitar hero’ photo – the guitarist is in the middle of some ‘widdly diddly’ guitar solo. As you don’t see his face it would work well I feel as a big tour poster or something similar.

5. The stroboscopic, the quadrophonic The Twilight Sad. The gig was being heavily promoted for the use of a quadrophonic sound system. It was also another one of those gigs that I’ve found myself at this year where the lighting engineers have just bought in strobes and want to use them any chance they can in every song. It might seem a bit of a nightmare to take photographs in but as I’ve said to a few folk, just listen to the music, watch the band and take photos in time to the music.

Amy Muir

April 30, 2010



1. Flood Of Red. I took this at Sonisphere Festival last year. I’m good friends with the Flood Of Red boys, they were pretty much the first band that I ever photographed and we’ve supported each other over the years. The drummer Graham asked me to take a photo of the crowd with him and the rest of the band included. It had just started to pour with rain and everyone piled in the tent to see them play. They’re all great musicians and I felt very proud of them at that moment.

2. Bert McCracken portrait. I took this photo of Bert McCracken from the band The Used down in London last year for Big Cheese Magazine. It was inside the Garage venue, just after they had finished sound checking before the show. I did a few group shots and individual shots. Bert was so photogenic, so easy to photograph. I remember being really, really nervous (being a fan of the band) and the venue was boiling hot. My flash then refused to work with bass player Jeph Howard as he commented on my Tegan and Sara t-shirt which made me even more nervous!

3. Jordan Buckley, Warped Tour. In 2008, I spent six weeks in Canada and America travelling. I was lucky enough to photograph Warped Tour (something I’ve been dying to do for ages) for Alternative Press Magazine. This shot was taken at one of the three dates of Warped Tour I photographed at, in Elkton, Florida. I had the time of my life. I always love photographing Every Time I Die, they have so much energy and they always keep me on my toes with my camera. This is Jordan’s signature move, climbing on a speaker, thrusting his guitar in the air then jumping down.

4. The Drummer, The Secret Machines. This photo is probably my most well known one, is it also one of the first proper live photographs I took that I actually liked. It was taken in Moshulu (now Warehouse) in Aberdeen in 2006 on my (then) brand new Canon EOS 350D with a standard lens. I didn’t really know any of the Secret Machines material, I didn’t even have a photo pass. I just stood at the barrier and the lights were incredible. I don’t usually do a massive amount of editing on my photographs, but with this particular one, I virtually did not edit at all.

5. My Ruin portrait. I took this outside of the Cathouse in Glasgow, 2006 and was one of the first proper photo shoots I had done with a band. Tairrie B, the singer of My Ruin had contacted me after a friend of hers had recommended me. Tairrie was so lovely, and has kept in touch ever since saying that I’m one of her favourite photographers. I really appreciate this as she took a chance on me when I was only 19-years-old.  Also, it’s always nice to know the band that you’re photographing, you develop a nice connection.