The Unholy Five

So here's a few photos of the last concert I went to last week. Sanctimony and the presentation of their latest studio album - Unholy Five. In the photos - Sanctimony + support (Bloody Heels and The Factor)

4 Bloody Heels

This was an important date and kind of a turning point for the band. For one - 4th anninversary of the band. And also the first concert as a four piece and without Sheen on guitar. I can't recall how many times I've photographed them live so far but I can say for sure that these guys have on stage chemistry and presence that a lot of bands can only dream about. And to be honest I was a little worried about hearing them parting ways with a fifth of their heels.

So according to science cutting the amount of guitarists in half means doubling the responsibilities of the one that remains. Right? RIght! But does it mean that the performance will suffer? I'd say no.  Yes stagefright bites but Harry on guitars showed us he can handle it like nobody's business. Seriously.. their music is what I would call heavily guitar driven with lots of very pronounced and accentuated guitar riffs and passages. Ones that are usually performed by two guitarists. But yeah. Shreds like a boss! Can't say much more here other than cannot wait to see them live next time.

So I had these photos lying around for a while on my pc.  Way too long actually. I have been making a lot of my concert photos black & white lately but not this time. The lights were great this time, so much that I even considered leaving them all in color but then I gave in and made some b&w.  Less than I actually do. And a little less photos overall than I usually do. Well long gone are the days when I returned 100+ photos from every concert but still this is less than usual.

Those old days were fun though. Hundreds and hundreds of photos and no F clue what to do with them. It was all about doing what I love and just having fun. And I still do! Just a little more thought and common sense goes into it. 

Take care, do what you love and love what you do! Until the next time!

Positivus 2015 Day 3 review + Gallery

The third day brought yet another surprise which was Elliphant performance on Nordea stage. I knew her only from the collaboration which she did with MØ who was a real favorite of mine from last year's Positivus. It turned out that I liked her much more than I previously thought. The spot wasn't really favorable though at 14:15 but she carried it out like she was headlining the festival.

After that we went to an interview with Public Access T.V. which as they joked turned out to be nothing like public access tv. They choose what they want to do and play and they do it very well. There was no rockstar attitude at all though, just four cool guys that plays music.

Third day on the main stage was opened by Fenech Soler - an electropop band from England. And a good one I'm gonna add. A word electropop probably raises a lot of eyebrows but that's not the case here. Just a great performance from them and very easy to dance to. A great way o open the third festival day on the main stage.

Next on Nordea stage was Public Access T.V. that we saw before in the media tent. Being formed only in 2014 they performed very well and looked way more experienced than they are. I definately couldn't tell that they are playing together for only a year.

The next one was probably what I would call the most colourful performance this year. Whatever you listen to everyday, with Basement Jaxx it's really hard to not start moving with the rythm of their music. Seeing them live is one of those things that I was not looking forward to but I'm glad thad I did. The saturated combination of their music plus their outfits, lighting and stage antics was quite a sight to see. I'd say the ultimate dance party of this year's Positivus happened right there.

After a couple of conferences and meet and greet's I went to see Indiana on Nordea stage. It was her first festival performance in europe and she was obviously very excited about it. With her unique voice, compositions and genuienly nice and likable personality she captured her audience until the very last song. She was also one of my favorite discoveries in Positivus this year and I'm pretty sure she will return and possibly on a bigger stage.

The second before last on Lattelecom stage was St. Vincent. Although not as extraordinary and unusual as some of her music videos, her performance was great and didn't leave any doubt about her confidence on stage. Just overall a very solid performance.

The last concert on Nordea stage was in my opinion a perfect close to the festival on that stage and at the same time warm up for the grand final  This four piece rock band from California didn't get the biggest crowd ever but it seemed like they could handle it without breaking a sweat. Their show just screams Rock And Roll in their own unique way and puts a smile on your face. They are born for performing on stage.

The last but definately not the least to step on stage this year was none other than Robert Plant. Receiving a message "No photos allowed" just before the concert was a real dissapointment for me but from the other side I thought that I'll be able to enjoy the concert even more. And oh boy I did! Seeing such a legend in front of you and hearing these songs is a really extraordinary feeling. The thing that surprised me the most was not Robert's performance. It was great as expected. The surprise for me was the arrangement of his songs and the way he performs them live nowadays. It's not just a case of blandly playing them just like Led Zeppelin did. But instead The Sensational Space Shifters add their unique layer of sound on top of it. So much that at times you almost miss what song it is until they're a minute into it. But it's all good. It sounded fantastic and I'm glad they're doing  this way.

Positivus 2015 Day 2 review + Gallery

The second day as always started with a lot of different activities like film showings in Ādažu Čipsu cinema, collective exercising and yoga classes, stand up comedy etc. They really managed to pack the morning with activities for almost every taste and the weather in the morning was amazing so sitting in the tent city wasn't really justifiable. So I decided to put my camera down for a moment and go check out what is happening around at the time.

One of the first shows that I shot on the second day was Ghostpoet on Nordea stage. Also a fairly recent addition to UK music scene, Ghostpoet gives his audience lyrical insights into different topics wrapped in a very interesting electronic shell which was definately one of the more unique and distinctive acts in Positivus this year.

Next up an hour later on Lattelecom stage was the only latvian act on the main stage - Dagamba. Joined by State Chamber Orchestra Sinfonietta Rīga and Latvian University Mixed Choir Juventus it was also probably the most unique act in the festival. Dagamba together with orchestra and sixty choir voices created an experience you rarely get in a festival like this.

In-between concerts there were also press conferences and meet and greet's happening in the media tent which I tried to go to as often as I could. Right after Dagamba we had a chance to meet Obaro Ejimiwe a.k.a. Ghostpoet in person and ask questions in addition to a standard interview.

Next on Nordea stage was one of the more popular latvian bands The Sound Poets which as always gathered a lot of people in front of them. No real surprises there, just a very solid performance and audience engagement was as expected singing along and dancing to their songs especially the better knows ones like Kalniem Pāri.

The next band really surprised me in a very good way. Didn't really do my homework and check them before so I was blown away by their performance and also kind of by their name. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard is definately one of the most funnily unique band names in this year's Positivus line-up. The rain during their performance not only didn't ruin it but in fact made it even better. They're good, check them out on youtube. But remember - they're better live than on the record.

Afterwards on Nordea stage we saw Peace which was also very good. The indie rock quartet from Worchester, England fitted the festival format perfectly although I think for Positivus there's no real defined format as such. In recent years we've witnessed different acts like Kraftwerk, Ellie Goulding, The Kooks, Kasabian, and much more so I'm really happy that they are not trying to fit in a box that they probably shouldn't. I'm all for a good amount of diversity and that's what we get with Positivus.

Ewert And The Two Dragons from Estonia as always pulled the audience into a performance that was very easy to sing along and dance and kind of resembles a very interesting and catchy fairy tale at times. They are one of the estonian bands that I would definately recommend in an instant seeing live if you can.

One of the few performances that I saw on Palladium stage was Laime Pilnīga. One of the most authentic latvian rock n' roll bands today period! Every time I see them live I can't help but think that they're a bit underrated. Their sound and ability to rock the crowd was a very healthy addition to Positivus line-up.

Warpaint was actually one of the bands I most anticipated seeing. Some of my friends were extremely excited about seeing them so I decided I have to see them too. I intentionally didn't check them out before so I heard them for the first time live standing one meter right in front of the stage and it was amazing. All the girls did an amazing job at pulling their audience into their music and kept them there and left wanting for more. Simply great live.

Next was the artist that doesn't require any questions for many people. Charli XCX took the stage so convincigly that you would think that she has done it for 20 years. In fact only since 2008. But her stage presence is so commanding and captivating that it doesn't matter if you liked her music before or not. The crowd in front of Nordea stage was massive and after photographers 3 song limit it was really hard to break through. She really deserves to play on the main stage next time.

The next band also probably doesn't need any introduction. Kasabian is one of those bands I'm most happy that I've seen live. It's good that Positivus main stage area doesn't have a roof because after their performance it wouldn't be there anymore. Being formed 18 years ago their experience really shows through. I've rarely seen such a convincing and captivating live show. It really draws you in, makes you sing along and do as they say. They made the crowd sing, clap, jump and even sit down before a song which was amazing to see. Illuminated by the amazing stage lights I witnessed one of those shows that I will never ever forget. If you have a chance to see them live, do yourself a favor - do so!  

Positivus 2015 Day 1 review + Gallery

Last friday it was the time for 9th Positivus festival which as always took place in Salacgrīva, Latvia. It's by far the biggest music festival in Latvia and over three days (17-19th of july) festival was visited by around 30 000 people in every of three days.

The festival was was traditionally opened by smaller latvian bands slowly transitioning to bigger bands and headliners in the evening. One of the first of the bigger bands warming up the main Lattelecom stage was Everything Everything. Their performance was very good and compelling. In my opinion very fitting for the opening show on the main stage.

Next up exactly two hours later was Jungle. Being formed only two years ago they surprised me by how convincing they are on the stage and actually until I found it out today I thought that hey had been performing for a lot longer.

One of my biggest surprises of this year was swedish electro-pop group Kate Boy. They're definately one of those bands that I will continue listening to after Positivus. Just like Jungle they're active for only two years but are quite sophisticated in my opinion in their sound and performance on stage.

On the same Nordea stage as Kate Boy two hours later stepped a guy that took a lot of people by surprise. Without a big supporting band, just with his microphone and a couple of instruments Jack Garratt left a lasting impression not only as a great artist and songwriter but also a genuienly nice and down to earth guy.

For a lot of people the main event happened already in the first evening. Placebo as expected gathered a huge crowd and delivered a very powerful performance. Even not being a big Placebo fan I really liked their show and I think they are one of the bands that are even better live than on the records

One of the last bands playing on friday night was Pienvedēja Piedzīvojumi which really belongs on festival stages. And they proved it once again gathering a respectable crowd despite playing at the same time as Placebo.