Sinead O'Conner at the Royal Festival Hall, London. Dec 2013

High salutations, pilgrims.

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I was asked how Ms O’Conner’s gig went , and for the life of me, this clip from ‘Father Ted’ came to mind, and also this classic episode!

Anyway, I’m just here to show shots from the night and not review the show, so here’s some I made earlier:

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Thought of the day

Ọwọ́ ọlọ́wọ́ ò lè yó ẹnu ẹlẹ́nu/One cannot be fed to satisfaction with the hands of another

In other words: [Take responsibility for your life.]

Yoruba Proverbs

 

Marcus Miller at the Royal Festival Hall (EFG London Jazz Festival 2013)

Greetings, pilgrims!

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Apart from seeing Bob James and David Sanborn during the London Jazz festival, the one musician I’d been looking forward to seeing live is Marcus Miller.  It is always a pleasure to photograph him and get to hear his compositions. Unlike four years ago when we could photograph the soundcheck and main gig, this time we had restrictions of only shooting the first two songs from the stalls, but who am I to complain? I get to listen to Marcus Miller and get to take his picture with his band.

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Speaking of his band, mark my words: you’ll be hearing much more each of them in years to come in their own professional right:

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Lee Hogans on trumpet

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Brett Williams on Keyboard

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Robert Sput Searight on drums.

My one regret, though, was not being able to get a decent shot of the amazing guitarist, Adam Agati.  Maybe next time.

As for Mr Miller, I salute you!

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Thought of the Day

Tí ọ̀rọ̀ ò bá tó ọ̀rọ̀ a kò gbọdọ̀ fi ìtàn balẹ̀.

In other words: If a matter is not serious enough, one shouldn’t go into excessive details about it.

Yoruba proverb.

Carleen Anderson at the Royal Festival hall (EFG London Jazz Festival 2013)

High salutations, pilgrims!

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What can I say about Ms Carleen Anderson,  pictorially speaking:  if you can’t get a decent shot of her within the first 3 minutes of her first number, then you are fresh out of luck!  She is just so visually giving as a subject.  Covering all 3 songs of her set would have been overkill, so I settled just for one track.  Great performance from her, though. I wouldn’t expect anything less from her. :-)

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Thought of the day

Àt’oore àt’ìkà, ìkan kì í gbé.

In other words:  Neither acts of kindness nor those of wickedness shall be lost. [We reap what we sow]

Yoruba Proverbs

Remember Shakti at the Royal Festival Hall, London

Dominus vobiscum pilgrims!

 

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After my last pictorial encounter with John McLaughlin, I decided that the best cause of action would be to photograph the Remember Shakti gig either from the side stalls or the back of the auditorium at a ram packed Royal Festival Hall.

Apart from Zakir Hussain and Mr McLaughlin, the newer members to the group was Shankar Mahadevan on vocals, Mandolin Shrinivas on…mandolin, and finally Selva Ganesh on the mridangam. For a more comprehensive review, please read  The Telegraph’s Ivan Hewett’s review.

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Thought of the day

Mímì lẹpọ̀n àgbò ńmì, kò lè já.

In other words: The ram’s testicles are merely dangling, they can’t fall off. [Don’t give up!]

 

Bob James & David Sanborn soundcheck at London Barbican (EFG London Jazz Festival)

High Salutations, pilgrims!

You wait months for a couple of legends to be on stage at the same time, and then you’re offered  with three!

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I’ve always been a huge, HUGH fan of Bob James.  Then I heard his collaboration with David Sanborn on the 1986 album ‘Double Vision‘, and I was hooked.  So, you can have an idea of the kind of anticipation I had to see these giants on stage together, touring with a new album called ‘Quartette Humaine‘ and then to also find out that Steve Gadd would be on drums. THE Steve Gadd! Yessir,  no ‘24-hour man-flu now going 48 hours‘ was not going to best me in battle to see these guys!

If you’re familiar with my blog, you know that of all the venues to photograph at, The Barbican is the most challenging.  This is due to the seating plans of the auditorium, and I think the convenience for photographers was the last thing on the architect’s mind. If I had been at the main performance, this is the kind of angle shots I would be able to get:

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So, whenever possible, we try to get permission to photograph during sound-check.  It’s the only practical way to get a variation of shots, especially when it’s a quartet size and upwards.   The downside , however,  is that the musicians are dressed casually because it’s just a rehearsal. But, hey! It is what it is.

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Meeting David Sanborn was a real honour.  He took the time out to talk to myself and another photographer, and he was just giving. So much so that when management wanted us not to shoot during rehearsals, he responded by saying, “Nah, leave them alone. They’re with me!” There with me?!?!? Do you know how rare it is for photographers to have a musician stick up for them??? I salute you, Mr Sanborn.

And on that light note, here are a few more shots taken during the sound-check:

Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
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Scott Colley
Bob James
Bob James
David Sanborn
David Sanborn

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Thought of the Day

Bí orí ṣe tó ló ṣe ńfọ́ olórí /

In other words: As a head is in size, so it aches the owner. [Challenges are not unusual; everyone has it.]

Yoruba Proverbs

Hugh Masakela and Larry Willis at the Royal Festival Hall, London Jazz Festival

Top of the morning, pilgrims!

Hugh Masakela and Larry Willis at the Royal festival November 20

Friday saw the start to this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival.  With so many gigs to choose from, it was a no-brainer as to which show I’d want to photograph.  Step right up, South African trumpeter titan Hugh Masakela, performing on stage with American pianist Larry Willis.

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It was amazing to hear their rendition of  Herbie Hancock’ s Canteloupe Island .  That said, after this track, I had to leave the auditorium immediately.  It’s no fun when there are a group of photographers  all kneeling down to get the shot and trying not to irritate the punters (we always do!), and most importantly, not put the musicians off.

For a  more concise review, have a read of John Fordman’s review in The Guardian.

Next stop: Bob James & David Sanborn.

Thought of the Day

Rírú omi òkun kò ní k’ẹ́ja má sùn, kó má han’run.

In other words:  The storms of the sea won’t stop the fish from sleeping and snoring. [Keep hope alive]

Yoruba Proverbs

Rick Ross at the Indigo2, London

Pax Vobiscum, pilgrims!

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I’ve just returned from the Rick Ross gig at the Indigo2 where I couldn’t figure out where the first ‘song’ ended and the second ‘track’ began.  It didn’t really matter; before I realised it, all of the photographers were chased out of the pit, as is customary.

As hard as I’m trying not to  reinforce the stereotype to the obvious, there was the obligatory plethora of wholesome choice swearing & showboating chest-thumping at such ‘hip-hop’ gathering: young whipper-snappers strutting around with a £7.50 beverage and making sure that the drink lasts; DJs’ & MCs’ screaming at the crowd to “make some noise”; you get the picture . That didn’t bother me because I have come to expect this form of  subcultured tribalism (yes, I studied a semester of Sociology at Uni!) within this genre of music at concerts.

No, what really made me mad was that I missed an approved date (sanctioned by the missus, may I add!!) with Ms Halle Berry. I’d been informed that Rick Ross would be coming on stage at 9.10. With that information, I gathered that I could catch Halle in her film ‘The Call‘ showing just around the corner within the o2 Arena.  My idea was to  book the 9.15 screening of film, probably miss the ads and trailers but will definitely be ready for the start. I was an idjit to believe Rick Ross, like any of the current generation of hip-hop artists, would come on stage at his given time slot. 9.15 my a**e (Hashtag: #takingtherick)! He finally made an appearance at 10. 10pm, thus crushing any hope to see Halle for some time to come. Oh well…

And as for 5 minutes I spent at the gig? Meh:

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I will say, though,  that this dude has no scruples in showing off his rotund belly and red pants! I’ll give the show a C+ For showmanship!!

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Thought of the day:

Bí a bá yin ìrèké tó dùn, ó yẹ ká yin etí odò tó ti hù.

In other words:  If we praise the sugarcane for its sweetness, so we should the riverbank as well.

Yoruba Proverbs

 

 

 

 

 

Ace Hood at the Indigo2

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Salutation, pilgrims.

So, how would I review Ace Hood’s gig for the 4 minutes I hung around to take his pictures? Well:

Young man comes on stage finally at 10.15 pm (No surprise there, then!).

Crowd goes wild.

Young man shoots off lyrics laced with hyper-profanity.

Crowd goes wilder.

There’s a drum kit on stage. (That’s a plus from me!)

Young man with ‘hype-man’ waxes more lyrics while hopping from one end of stage to other.

I leave after 2nd second song.

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Ace-Hood-19th-of-September-Indig02-Akin-Aworan--3940That’s it!

Thought of the Day:

Tí ọ̀rọ̀ bá pọ̀jù ìsọkúsọ lẹ̀dá yóò máa sọ.

 

In other words:  If a person talks too much, he will talk out of turn. [Moderation and tact in speech]

Yoruba Proverbs

Matt Schofield Trio at the Indigo2, London

Matt Schofield. © Akin Aworan
Matt Schofield. © Akin Aworan

Wotcha,

Before Joe Satriani came on, the warm up act was Matt Schofield. I have always loved Matt’s work, and I rarely put a blog up when it comes to the secondary acts. With him, I make an exception. :-)

The Matt Schofield Trio. ©Akin Aworan
The Matt Schofield Trio. ©Akin Aworan
Matt Schofield ©Akin Aworan
Matt Schofield ©Akin Aworan

Thought of the Day

Ibi tí a ńlọ là ńwò, a kì í wo ibi tí a ti ṣubú.

In other words: We should be focused on where we are going, not where we have fallen

Yoruba Proverbs