A quick catch-up post. Back in February I was fortunate to be asked to be one of the official photographers for the new Outlines Festival.
Outlines is the smaller, winter version of Tramlines and for a first festival it was a great success. Lots of bands playing on a cold, dark winter's night across 6 different (thankfully!) indoor venues in Sheffield.
I then popped over the road to Skate Central. This was completely new venue for me to shoot at and I have to say I loved it. It is a roller skating rink inside a large casino (!) where the first third of the rink was roped off and converted into a music stage. The other 2/3 of the rink was available for punters to skate around and lots of people did that while Gang of Four played on the stage. It was just a shame that the lighting on the stage was so red.
After Gang of Four finished I headed over to the highlight of the night for me - the fabulous Roots Manuva at Plug. He was a real showman and had the audience in the palm of his hand. It helped that his wife is from Sheffield so he treats Sheffield as his second home and so could relate really well to the crowd.
He also endeared himself to the crowd by mistakenly calling the festival Tramlines on numerous occasions in the first 15 minutes before finally understanding what the crowd had been repeatedly trying to tell him that this was Outlines and not Tramlines!
At one stage he was given a flat cap and proudly pretended to be a Yorkshire man (and also, bizarrely pretending to shoot himself with two bananas).
It was a barnstorming set full of classics and his fantastic newer stiff and I enjoyed it immensely.
The only negative was that during the allotted first 3 songs I and my photographic colleagues had to photograph him from the pit at the front of stage he spent most of the time leaning over the front of the stage. Although this was great for him to get closer to the crowd, this put him into almost complete darkness making it a real challenge to photograph him. But I managed to get some decent shots. Once the 3 songs were over I managed to sneak into the crowd with my camera and got some much better photos - including capturing the moment he threw his flat cap into the crowd!
Finally, I headed over to The Harley for the last band of the night, the wonderful electro-art-pop of NZCA Lines. I got there in time to see them sound-check and they were dressed very smartly in modern, London hipster clothes. They then went off stage and took some time to come back - the Harley is pretty small so shouldn't take them long to get back on stage. I was confused why they were so long coming back, especially as they were late finishing their sound check and it was at least 15 minutes past their advertised start time. Finally they reappeared resplendent in futuristic white one-pieces that matched their magnificent 70s and 80s inspired electro.
So an excellent first Outlines Festival was over for me. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the already planned 2017 festival.