money for rope

I usually avoid taking live photos of bands, for several reasons. For one, my cameras/lenses/preferred films generally don't allow for fast, low-light photographs without a flash. And I feel that using a flash is far too obtrusive for the crowd and, more importantly, for the band. Also, I don't want to draw attention to myself by constantly setting off a blinding flash.

So what was different this time? Well, nothing had changed in terms of my equipment; I still had to use a flash. But Money for Rope are so wildly frenetic on stage that I doubt they'd really notice the flash, let alone be distracted by it. By the time they played I had a few drinks under my belt too, which helpfully removed any issues regarding self-consciousness on my part.

The great thing about the stage at the John Curtin is that it's big enough to give a band like MFR, with their two drumkits, room to go mental, while also allowing the crowd to get right up in their faces as they do so. Even though Jesse didn't have a flash on his camera, him being there (and me not being the only one with a camera) also made me feel a little less conspicuous.

Apparently my flash wasn't bright enough for a lot of the shots. (I really do need to read the very complicated manual for my flash.) It's such a shame because this one, for example, would have been killer had it worked. Reaffirmation that working as an amateur photographer is a constant learning process, and each roll of film has at least a few disappointments.

But the shots that did work look beautiful in their dirty monochrome glory. I love the details that characterise this band as completely loose, from the grimy fingerprints you can see on the guitar to the beads of sweat that cover the bare skin (click to enlarge - it's pretty impressive). Because of this aspect of the images and the band, I think that the dusty, scratchy imperfections in the film (or the scanning) are a perfect match. I don't really have much of a conclusion here, except to say that seeing this band live is an impressive experience, especially when you push your way to the front and see all the chaos up close. So, you know, do it.

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