Posted by jongatward on November 25, 2012 at 11:55 AM
"Panic Room" Gig
A fantastic gig at Manchester's'Sound Control' by 'Panic Room' half way through their winter tour to promote their new album 'Skin'. It was a good time to see them as their performance was full of energy, passion and humour but was also very tight and together. All this helped by the wonderfull venue of' Sound Control' and excellent mixing desk engineering giving spot on sound with dramatic and atmospheric lighting.
As this was a new band for me, each track was a revelation showcasing the bands breadth of their song writing and musical styles, from wistful atmospheric semi-acoustic numbers to thrash-metal guitar riffs. The powerful but restrained vocals of Anne Marie Helder layering the emotion and atmosphere over Paul Davies intricate, dark and driving guitar work, held together by the rhythm of Yatim Halimi's bass and Gavin John Griffiths drumming. Add in the depth, soaring melodies and sometimes orchestral keyboard playing of one of the bands main song writers, Jonathan Edwards, and the mix for one of the most compelling rock bands around is complete.
As for photographing this energetic band, the evening was a joy with many dramatic set pieces offering great photo opportunities to capture a band in its element, as well as glimpses of the shear fun of it all that the band were obviously having. A few technical hurdles to overcome on the night, as while the LED stage lighting at Sound Control offered dramatic effects which were great to watch, the spread and height of lights behind the band with low intensity 'front' lighting forced a juggling act to avoid shadows or flare. Careful framin to use the performers as natural 'light blocks', multi-shot bursts to capture rapidly changing lighting sequences and some sensitive 'post-production' techniques to lift the shadows without 'blowing out' the highlights gave some pretty stunning shots that I hope capture the energy, emotion and fun of the whole gig.