Photos by Marty Moffatt: Blog en-us Photo Products and Services (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:39:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:39:00 GMT Photos by Marty Moffatt: Blog 84 120 Thunder Christmas shows Dec 2019 Most years Thunder put on a Christmas show or two and, with a real Christmassy party atmosphere, run through a set comprising some of their own songs and a few specially selected covers.  This year's shows, at Birmingham's O2 Academy on the Friday night and Manchester Academy on the Saturday night were two of the best yet.  Here is a selection of images from those two shows.


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:55:02 GMT
The Big 3-0 Tour FM, GUN and the Dan Reed Network each celebrated the 30th anniversary of one of their finest albums in 2019, and got together for a combined co-headlining tour to showcase those albums.  This was the Bristol date on that tour, in December.


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:47:35 GMT
Steelhouse Festival July 2019 We come back to this festival year after year because, whatever the weather, it is one of the most enjoyable open air festivals anywhere.  And this year the weather gods smiled and we had perfect festival conditions.


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Samantha Fish in Southampton May 2019 Taken on behalf of Peter Noble


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Joe Bonamassa at the Royal Albert Hall 2019 E5240018E5240018

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Call of the Wild Festival 2019 A brand new but excellently run festival held in Lincolnshire Showground.  Here is a taste of the three days..

thetreatment-MM-172thetreatment-MM-172OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Tue, 31 Dec 2019 10:46:17 GMT
Dan Reed - supporting Thunder on their 2019 tour E5090041E5090041

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Thunder - 2019 - Please Remain Seated Tour E1220438E1220438

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Thunder - 2018 - Xmas Show PF210008PF210008

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Tequila Mockingbyrd - 2018 - Bilston Shot on behalf of Down The Front Media


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Stone Broken - 2018 - Birmingham Shot on behalf of Down The Front Media

stonebroken2018birmingham01_resizestonebroken2018birmingham01_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 22 Feb 2019 12:20:46 GMT
Halestorm - 2018 - Birmingham halestorm2018birmingham06halestorm2018birmingham06OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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STEELHOUSE 2018 A gallery of all the bands who played at the Steelhouse Festival in 2018, many of them having to brave the pouring rain to play.


P7280333_resizeP7280333_resizeDan Reed Network 2018 Steelhouse

Individual galleries of each band can be accesses here:-

Dan Reed Network


Fragile Things

Glenn Hughes

King King

Mason Hill

Massive Wagons

Myke Gray

Myles Kennedy

Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons

Stone Broken






]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 22 Feb 2019 11:36:16 GMT
Journey - 2018 - Madison Square Garden, New York P6140397P6140397

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Thunder - 2018 - Caerphilly Castle MM1A1649MM1A1649THUNDER @ Caerphilly Castle, July 2018


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) thunder Fri, 22 Feb 2019 11:24:53 GMT
The Goo Goo Dolls - 2018 - Bristol Shot on behalf of Down The Front Media

googoodolls2018bristol041googoodolls2018bristol041The Goo Goo Dolls 2018 Bristol The Goo Goo Dolls

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 22 Feb 2019 11:20:57 GMT
Dare - 2018 - Manchester dare2018manchester16dare2018manchester16


Dare - 2018 - Manchester

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Foreigner - 2018 - Royal Albert Hall foreigner2018rah009foreigner2018rah009OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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King King - 2018 - Southampton MM1A3166MM1A3166

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The Unravelling Wilburys - 2018 - Wantage MM1A9571MM1A9571OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Bad Touch - 2018 - Planet Rockstock festival (with Mollie Marriott) MM1A2017_DxO_resizeMM1A2017_DxO_resize

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The Dead Daisies - 2018 - Bristol DD2018bristol014DD2018bristol014OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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The Treatment - 2018 - Bristol MM142862MM142862OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Thunder 2018 Monsters of Rock Cruise MM1A7142MM1A7142

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Sons of Apollo - 2018 - Miami MM1A6319MM1A6319

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Thunder - 2017 - Xmas Shows MM162621MM162621Thunder 2017 Xmas - Saturday

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King King - 2017 - Planet Rockstock festival MM1A2075MM1A2075OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Thunder - 2017 - Planet Rockstock festival MM1A2863MM1A2863OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Bigfoot - 2017 - Manchester MM141814MM141814OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Rewind South - 2017 Rewind Festival South 2017

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Steelhouse Festival 2017 MM1A6257MM1A6257OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Featuring sets from:  Broken Witt Rebels  :  Hand of Dimes  :  Inglorious  :  Jared James Nichols  :  Last In Line  :  Monster Truck  :

Skindred  :  Stone Broken  :  Tequila Mockingbyrd  :  Texas Flood  :  Trucker Diablo  :  Wayward Sons





]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 13:05:57 GMT
Imelda May - 2017 - Bristol MM1A4159_resizeMM1A4159_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Thunder - 2017 - UK Tour behind the scenes MM214478_resizeMM214478_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Joe Bonamassa - 2017 - Royal Albert Hall MM206433_resizeMM206433_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Thunder - 2017 - UK Tour MM214606MM214606OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Cats In Space - 2017 - UK Tour supporting Thunder CIS2017tour017_resizeCIS2017tour017_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Inglorious - 2017 - Monsters of Rock Cruise (2 sets) IMG_0112IMG_0112

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The Amorettes - 2016 - Planet Rockstock Festival PC030145_resizePC030145_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Zucchero - 2016 - Royal Albert Hall zucchero2016rah_small019zucchero2016rah_small019OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Dare - 2016 - Warrington MM011565MM011565OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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FM - 2016 - Warrington PA010476PA010476OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Bigfoot - 2016 - Steelhouse Festival IMG_0926IMG_0926OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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VEGA - 2016 Steelhouse Festival IMG_0778IMG_0778OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Tax The Heat - 2016 - Steelhouse Festival IMG_0439IMG_0439

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 11:23:01 GMT
Thunder - 2016 - Ramblin' Man Festival IMG_0338IMG_0338OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 11:19:17 GMT
Thunder - 2016 - Steelhouse Festival IMG_0084IMG_0084OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 11:16:17 GMT
Sixx AM - 2016 - Download Festival P6110335_resizeP6110335_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Inglorious - 2016 - Download Festival inglorious2016download16_resizeinglorious2016download16_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 10:38:49 GMT
Foreigner - 2016 - London foreigner2016london046_resizeforeigner2016london046_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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The Treatment - 2016 - Oxford thetreatment2016oxford17_resizethetreatment2016oxford17_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Terrorvision - 2016 - UK tour supporting Thunder terrorvision2016tour069_resizeterrorvision2016tour069_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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King King - 2016 - UK tour supporting Thunder P2180271_resizeP2180271_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Michael Monroe - 2016 - Monsters of Rock Cruise P2240076_resizeP2240076_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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X-Yngwies - 2016 - Monsters of Rock Cruise P2260266_resizeP2260266_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 10:27:08 GMT
SOTO - 2016 Monsters of Rock Cruise P2250057_resizeP2250057_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Tyketto - 2016 - Monsters of Rock Cruise set 2 P2240617_resizeP2240617_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 10:22:11 GMT
Tyketto - 2016 - Monsters of Rock Cruise set one P2230763_resizeP2230763_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 10:20:13 GMT
Monsters of Rock Cruise - 2016 P2220443_resizeP2220443_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 10:18:07 GMT
Thunder - 2016 - UK Tour P2180872_resizeP2180872_resizeOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 10:13:07 GMT
FM - 2016 - Oxford ~$48~$48OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 21 May 2018 10:07:41 GMT
Journey - Hollywood Bowl - June 2015 P6213720_resizeP6213720_resizeJourney 2015 Hollywood Bowl

Journey - Hollywood Bowl - June 2015

During a vacation in the US a few months ago, we got tickets to see Journey play a special one-off show with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl.  This venue is a very prestigious one, with many world famous artists playing as guests of the LAPO.  Usually, these guests get to play two or three songs.  In this case, the opening night of the summer season, the LAPO allowed Journey to play a full set with them - I believe that's the first time that has happened there.  It was also the first time in Journey's career that they have played with a full orchestra. 

Because of my previous work with Journey I was able to get a photo pass for the event, but all photographers were severely restricted in that all photos had to be taken from level with the mixing desk, which was probably some 50 metres from the stage.  This was a restriction imposed by the venue and Journey had no control over it.

Because I was on vacation I only had my tiny travel camera and lenses with me.  It was a struggle from that distance but given the circumstances I don't think these came out too badly.  And actually, during the fireworks, being that far back turned out to be a benefit as I could get the whole Bowl and fireworks in shot.

The show itself was amazing.  Journey's music translates very well to orchestral arrangements, and the LAPO is one of the best orchestras in the world.  The band looked to be having fun, and the event also raised huge amounts for charity.



]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 11 Dec 2015 15:46:41 GMT
Warner E Hodges Band 2015 Bristol P9055858_resizeP9055858_resizeWarner E Hodges Band

Bristol September 2015


Warner E Hodges Band

Warner is more often seen as the guitarist in Dan Baird's Homemade Sin and in Jason & the Scorchers.  However, he also has his own band, which gives him a showcase to demonstrate how good a guitarist he is.  This particular gig was in a marquee at a cider festival in the West Country, which didn't make for the greatest lighting or atmosphere, but the band sounded great.  Well worth catching if they come to play anywhere near you.



]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 11 Dec 2015 14:30:20 GMT
Tyketto @ Camden Underworld - 28th July 2015 Tyketto are a band with a bunch of great songs and a quality of performance that never falls short of excellent.  To those who know them they are a must-see band.  To those who don't... well you are missing out.

They were doing just a few dates this time around, and the only one I could physically get to was the London date, at Camden Underworld on Tuesday night. 

The Underworld is a nice venue for atmosphere, as it is small and intimate and usually filled (as it was on Tuesday).  Unfortunately it is also probably one of the worst venues in the UK to photograph at.  There is no photo pit, the only place to effectively take pictures is from the side of the stage, and the lighting is generally either red or black (non existent), with an occasional spotlight hotspot to white-out any detail.  

Here are a few shots of the show - I converted them all to black and white simply to avoid the worst of the red lighting.


Tyketto - Camden, July 2015



]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:59:07 GMT
Ramblin' Man Fair - 25th - 26th July 2015 I spent last weekend as a regular fan at this new festival in Kent.  I didn't even try to get a photo pass, because with UK festivals unless you are working specifically for a major publication the answer is almost inevitably no.  Also, as it was the first festival here, I wanted to experience the whole thing, not just see everything from the photo pit.

The festival itself was fantastic (at least the Saturday - more on the Sunday later),  Everything was pretty well organized but laid back, the sun was shining, and each of the bands we saw put in brilliant performances.

I took my new Olympus EM10 MFT camera for it's first workout as my sole camera at this kind of event (I usually have two huge Canons).  The Olympus is half the size and less than half the weight of just one of my Canons, so is much more convenient to carry around in the crowd and attracts much less attention.

Anyway, despite not working in any official capacity I did take a few pics of several of the bands we saw.  Here are my pics of FM, taken from various locations in the crowd as I wandered around....

P7255009P7255009FM @ Ramblin' Man Fair - July 2015

FM @ Ramblin' Man Fair - July 2015 

Considering how far back from the stage I was for most of the day I think the Olympus fared rather well.

I took lots of pics of FM because I could and because they are friends of mine.  I shot several other bands too (including The Scorpions, Camel, Saxon, Blue Oyster Cult, Toseland, Jason & the Scorchers, No Hot Ashes and others), but not nearly as many pics.  I will post those pics when I've got around to editing them.

If Saturday was all the best in terms of weather at a British open air festival, Sunday contained some of the very worst weather.  It was windy and raining for the whole day, from before breakfast until we finally decided enough was enough and departed, around 4pm.  It was so wet I didn't take my camera out of its bag.  It's a shame we didn't get to see some of the bands scheduled for later that day, and I felt sorry for those who had already played in the pouring rain (including an excellent set by The Quireboys) but there is always next year.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) FM Ramblin' Man Rock Music Fri, 31 Jul 2015 14:39:21 GMT
Concerts in 2015 Here are a few more concerts, from the first few months of this year...


Thunder, Wembley - June 2015 (supporting ZZ Top) thunder2015wembley063_resizethunder2015wembley063_resizeThunder @ Wembley Arena
June 2015


FM, London - May 2015 FM 2015 LondonFM 2015 London   

Romeo's Daughter, London - May 2015 002002   

FM, Bristol - May 2015 FM 2015 BristolFM 2015 BristolOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   

Romeo's Daughter, Bristol - May 2015 Romeo's DaughterRomeo's Daughter   

Joe Bonamassa, Hammersmith - March 2015 JoeBonamassa-MM-12JoeBonamassa-MM-12

Tax The Heat, March 2015 ~$10~$10  

Thunder, Hammersmith - March 2015 ~$28~$28   

Thunder, Birmingham - March 2015 ~$96~$96   

Thunder, Leeds - March 2015 ~$59~$59   


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) FM Rock Music Thunder Thu, 23 Jul 2015 13:51:35 GMT
Round-up of some of 2014 concerts I didn't get around to doing individual blog items for each of these shows, but here are a few of the highlights from 2014, in no particular order...

Trans Siberian Orchestra - Hammersmith

Trans-Siberian OrchestraTrans-Siberian OrchestraTrans-Siberian Orchestra - Hammersmith Apollo, London January 2014

Tyketto - Wolverhampton

Tyketto 2014 WolverhamptonTyketto 2014 Wolverhampton

Foreigner - Bristol

Foreigner 2014 BristolForeigner 2014 BristolForeigner - Bristol Colston Hall - April 2014

FM - Bristol

FM 2014 BristolFM 2014 Bristol

Magnum - Oxford


Magnum - Bristol


The Temperance Movement - Oxford


Journey - Atlanta


Journey - Raleigh


Thunder - Calling Festival

Thunder 2014 Calling FestivalThunder 2014 Calling Festival

Ultimate Eagles - Silverstone


Ultimate Eagles - Highlights from the UK Autumn tour


Limehouse Lizzy - Swindon

Limehouse Lizzy 2014 SwindonLimehouse Lizzy 2014 Swindon


Danger DangerDanger Danger







]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Foreigner Journey Lizzy Magnum Rock TSO Thunder Tyketto Tue, 30 Dec 2014 10:22:07 GMT
Thunder Xmas shows - December 2013 thunder2013xmas-show032thunder2013xmas-show032

It's become something of a tradition in recent years.  Whatever else they may or may not be up to, Thunder have done a couple of shows in the run up to Christmas each year, and these shows tend to be something special.  With guest musicians and different arrangements of Thunder songs (the classics and some lesser known songs) plus the Thunder treatment to covers of some other classic songs, it's a musical extravaganza and a real party atmosphere from the first minute to the last.

Not only that, but both shows are recorded and the result is a live CD sent to everybody who bought a ticket for either show. 

I photographed both shows in December (as in previous years), to provide images for the CD booklet.  Here's a selection of about 80 images from the shows...

Thunder 2013 Xmas shows

A few of these might find their way onto the CD, but the CD also contains a few exclusive pics you won't find here.  Regardless, I hope this give you some idea of what a fabulously enjoyable experience the Thunder Christmas shows are.


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music Thunder Sun, 09 Feb 2014 18:36:01 GMT
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - London Hammersmith Apollo Trans-Siberian OrchestraTrans-Siberian OrchestraTrans-Siberian Orchestra - Hammersmith Apollo, London January 2014

Earlier this month I was fortunate to be allowed to shoot this fabulous show from their World tour, comprising great rock music, ten of the greatest singers I've heard in a long time, and a lights and pyrotechnics extravaganza to make any concert photographer drool.  Not only that, because there was no photo pit, the TSO management gave me a front row centre seat from which to take pics.  Here are some of the results...

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - London Hammersmith - January 2014

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Jeff Scott Soto Rock Music Fri, 31 Jan 2014 17:07:38 GMT
Tax The Heat - Portsmouth November 2013 Tax The HeatTax The Heat

Tax The Heat - Portsmouth November 2013

These guys were supporting The Union on their Autumn tour.  Unfortunately I only managed to shoot one of their shows, which is a pity because they sounded amazing and have a bright future ahead of them.  I'll be looking out for their future shows. 

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Tax The Heat Fri, 27 Dec 2013 13:28:25 GMT
The Union - UK Autumn Tour theunion2013nov-tour11theunion2013nov-tour11

...And here's the rest of the tour...

The Union - UK Autumn tour 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) The Union Fri, 27 Dec 2013 13:23:09 GMT
The Union - Sheffield November 2013 The Union @ Sheffield November 2013The Union @ Sheffield November 2013

The Union - Sheffield November 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) The Union Fri, 27 Dec 2013 13:19:22 GMT
Limehouse Lizzy - Swindon October 2013 Limehouse Lizzy @ Swindon, Oct 2013Limehouse Lizzy @ Swindon, Oct 2013

Limehouse Lizzy - Swindon October 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) limehouse lizzy Fri, 27 Dec 2013 13:15:45 GMT
Firefest X - Nottingham 2013 ff2013-sun07-legends104ff2013-sun07-legends104

This was the tenth anniversary of Firefest melodic rock festival, and the fourth that I've covered as official photographer.  Twenty bands playing over three days, and my job was to shoot the whole set of each band.  Firefest has an amazing atmosphere each year, with fans coming from all over the world to experience the premier festival for this genre of music.

Anyway, here are my galleries of pics from the Firefest 2013 shows.


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) firefest Fri, 27 Dec 2013 13:12:11 GMT
MelodicRockFest 3 - September 2013 mrf3-sun10-eclipse72mrf3-sun10-eclipse72

In September I flew to Chicago to cover a three day melodic rock festival, featuring some 31 bands over the three days.  I was on a very tight timetable, arriving just a few hours before the first band took the stage on Friday, and heading home almost immediately after the last band had played on Sunday night/Monday morning.  I did manage to shoot the whole set of 29 of the 31 bands, the results of which can be viewed here...

MRF3 Galleries


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) MRF3 Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:59:32 GMT
FM - Stourbridge July 2013 fm2013stourbridge054fm2013stourbridge054

FM - Stourbridge July 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) FM Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:52:13 GMT
The Union - Derby June 2013 theunion2013derby004theunion2013derby004

This was a one-off show to record a live DVD, showcasing The Union in full flow.  The resulting DVD, which sounds and looks great (and also has a few of my photos included) can be purchased from here.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) The Union Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:48:27 GMT
Tracer - Bristol June 2013 1O1A149509-31O1A149509-3

Tracer - Bristol June 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) tracer Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:35:57 GMT
Journey - UK tour May 2013 Journey 2013 UK TourJourney 2013 UK TourJourney 2013 UK Tour

A selection of images from Journey's UK tour in May 2013, supported by Whitesnake and Thunder.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) journey Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:30:35 GMT
Whitesnake - UK tour May 2013 whitesnake2013tour008whitesnake2013tour008

A selection of images from Whitesnake's UK tour in May 2013, with Thunder and Journey

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) whitesnake Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:28:23 GMT
Thunder - UK Tour 2013 thunder2013tour033thunder2013tour033

A selection of images from Thunder's UK tour in May 2013, supporting Whitesnake and Journey



]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) thunder Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:26:00 GMT
Danny Vaughn - Bilston April 2013 dv2013bilston001dv2013bilston001

Danny Vaughn - Bilston April 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Danny Vaughn Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:22:58 GMT
JSS - London April 2013 jss2013london011jss2013london011

Jeff Scott Soto - London April 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) JSS Jeff Scott Soto Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:19:16 GMT
JSS - Birmingham April 2013 jss2013birmingham034jss2013birmingham034

Jeff Scott Soto - Birmingham April 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) JSS Jeff Scott Soto Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:15:46 GMT
VEGA - London March 2013 vega2013london010vega2013london010

VEGA - London March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) vega Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:11:13 GMT
FM - London March 2013 fm2013london023fm2013london023

FM - London March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) FM Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:09:33 GMT
FM - Wolverhampton March 2013 fm2013wolverhampton026fm2013wolverhampton026

FM - Wolverhampton March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) FM Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:07:27 GMT
VEGA - Pontypridd March 2013 Vega 2013 PontypriddVega 2013 Pontypridd

VEGA - Pontypridd March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) vega Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:04:36 GMT
FM - Pontypridd March 2013 FM 2013 PontypriddFM 2013 Pontypridd

FM - Pontyprtidd March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) FM Fri, 27 Dec 2013 12:01:40 GMT
The Treatment - Nottingham March 2013 The TreatmentThe Treatment

The Treatment - Nottingham March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) The Treatment Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:59:19 GMT
The Australian Pink Floyd - Swindon March 2013 tapfs2013swindon054tapfs2013swindon054

The Australian Pink Floyd - Swindon March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:56:28 GMT
The Union - Spring tour 2013  


Rehearsals for the tour

Newcastle - 17th February 2013

Leeds - 18th February 2013

Nottingham - 19th February 2013

Due to illness, some of the shows had to be postponed for a month, and took place in March...

Wolverhampton - 26th March 2013

Bristol - 27th March 2013

London - 28th March 2013

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music The Union Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:53:16 GMT
The Union - Walton castle February 2013 theunion2013walton008theunion2013walton008

This was a special exclusive and very intimate acoustic show, for fans who had pledges via

The Union - Walton Castle February 2013



]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) The Union Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:44:17 GMT
Thunder - Xmas Shows - Manchester December 2012
Thunder Xmas Show 2012 - FridayThunder Xmas Show 2012 - FridayThunder Xmas Show 2012 - Friday

Thunder - Xmas - Soundchecks

Thunder - Xmas - Friday show

Thunder - Xmas - Saturday show



]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) 2012 Thunder Xmas Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:36:56 GMT
Limehouse Lizzy - Plympton December 2012 IMG_1348IMG_1348

Limehouse Lizzy - Plympton December 2012

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Limehouse Lizzy Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:36:30 GMT
Limehouse Lizzy - Oxford November 2012 Limehouse Lizzy 2012 OxfordLimehouse Lizzy 2012 Oxford

Limehouse Lizzy - Oxford November 2012

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Limehouse Lizzy Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:36:11 GMT
Halestorm - Bristol October 2012 IMG_0915IMG_0915

Halestorm - Bristol October 2012

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Halestorm Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:35:49 GMT
The South - London September 2012 The South 2012 LondonThe South 2012 London

The South - London September 2012

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) South The Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:35:21 GMT
Romeo's Daughter - London September 2012 rd2012london054rd2012london054

Romero's Daughter - London September 2012


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) daughter romeo's Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:34:53 GMT
Just catching up Apologies for the lack of updates to this section of my website recently.  It's not that I've had nothing to report.  On the contrary, I've been simply too busy to keep my blog updated.

Rather than try to remember the details of each gig I've been to since my last post - Firefest 2012 !!! - I'll just post the concert galleries here, in the order they occurred.  watch this space...  

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Fri, 27 Dec 2013 11:15:18 GMT
Firefest 2012 Photo slideshows from all the bands at this year's Firefest....




Dante Fox





Mitch Malloy



Work Of Art

Robin Beck

Johnny Lima



Danger Danger

Stage Dolls

Lillian Axe

Brighton Rock

Royal Hunt






]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Sat, 03 Nov 2012 22:59:34 GMT
Journey - way out West and other adventures Last month my wife Sue and I took a vacation in the US.  We had planned to spend some time in Las Vegas, but also to do some travelling around the surrounding desert areas to see some of the sights.  More importantly, we had arranged specifically to go at this time because it co-incided with the opening two shows of Journey’s huge US tour this summer.  Journey were playing in San Bernadino on 21st July, which is a few hours drive south-west of Las Vegas, and the following night they were playing in Stateline, Lake Tahoe which is a few hours drive north-west of Las Vegas.  On paper, it looked a relatively straightforward trip between the two.

We made arrangements for me to get passes to shoot the two shows, picked up some of our US friends en route (Val and Barb) and headed down to San Bernadino a day early.  We met up for a drink with Ross (Valory, Journey’s bassist) and said hi to some of the other band members, and caused some consternation in the hotel when Ross tried to convince some of the hotel guests that he was the band’s manager and I was Ross Valory.  Some were taken in completely, while others struggled to get their heads around the idea of an English bassist in Journey.

At the show itself, Journey were supported by Loverboy and Pat Benatar.  I’d seen Loverboy a couple of years ago at Moondance Jam and, while they sound fine, they are not the most exciting band to photograph.  I also had some trouble picking up my photopass, due to a mix up about where they were, and I didn’t get into the venue until they were about to hit the stage, so didn’t even attempt to shoot them.  Pat Benatar, on the other hand, I would have liked to shoot, but talking to one of the other photographers outside he told me he had been asked to sign a contract handing her exclusive rights to all photos he would take (he refused to sign).  I had heard of these rights grabbing contracts and the problems they cause for photographers so decided not to even try to shoot Mrs Benatar.  In the event, the photo pit was completely empty for her set.   Her show was, actually, very good.  She sounded on fine form and really got the crown warmed up.

I did make my way into the pit for Journey’s show, after some lengthy discussion with the venue security about my desire to shoot the whole show.  Despite the fact that my pass, signed by the tour manager, specifically stated that I was going to shoot the whole show, they still only wanted to let me shoot the first three songs.  It took the intervention of the band’s own security guy to settle the matter.   

Journey were magnificent.  Whatever you might think about changes of singers in a band (and Journey have attracted more comment and discussion about that than just about any other band) there is no doubting the quality of Arnel’s voice.  He sounded great, and the band sound about as tight as they have ever been.  Arnel had the aid of a teleprompter for some songs, not because he doesn’t know the words, but because the band told me they are really mixing things up on this tour, changing the setlist every night and moving new songs in, some of them rarely played.

Here are a few of my pics from that show...


After the show we headed back to our hotel early, because we had worked out we needed to be on the road for the trip to Lake Tahoe by about 4.30am.   It was an eight hour drive through the desert non stop, and the problem was that we’d promised to be in Lake Tahoe to attend another friend’s (Cheryl’s) birthday party, which was starting at 1pm.

It was a looooonnnngggg drive, but we made it, with literally 5 minutes to spare.  The party was fun, we met up with lots of friends there who we hadn’t seen for years (since a previous Journey tour in fact) and even Jonathan (Cain, keyboards) popped in to wish Cheryl happy birthday.

That night’s show in Lake Tahoe was, if anything, even better than the previous night.  Again I missed Loverboy and most of Pat Benatar’s sets while I was sorting things out backstage.  Talking to Jonathan at the band’s pre-show meet and greet he suggested that I get a few shots from up on the side of the stage, and he got that organised for me.

As Journey came on I was stood on the side of the stage, with Les and Barb (Neal’s parents), and got a few shots from among the speaker stacks and behind Deen (Castronovo, drums), while the other photographers fought for space in the photo pit.   Then, once they’d all left I came down to the pit and had it pretty much to myself  - it really is a privilege (and a luxury) for a photographer to get that level of access, and it isn’t something I take for granted.

The energy, and obvious enjoyment, among the band on stage was evident.  Any nerves from their first show of the tour last night were gone, and here was a band already firing on all cylinders only two shows in to a long tour.  I can’t remember the actual setlist offhand (when I’m photographing I don’t really take that much notice of it) but I do recall there being several different songs to the previous night.

These are my favourite pics from the Lake Tahoe show...


We stayed in Tahoe for a couple of days, doing some sightseeing, and then dropped Barb off in Reno before heading back to Las Vegas for a couple more days and finally heading home.

Despite being mainly desert for hundreds of miles around Las Vegas, the whole area is very photogenic.  If you’re interested in some of the sights on offer, here are some examples. 

First, Red Rock Canyon.  This beautiful canyon it literally about 15 minutes drive from the centre of Las Vegas and is well worth a visit or two.  Once there, a 13 mile one way driving route around the canyon takes you to all the fantastic viewing spots.  In particular, the visitor centre is as good as any I’ve seen anywhere.


Next, the grand-daddy of canyons, of course the Grand Canyon.  We took a coach trip to see this.  It’s about a 3 hour journey, including a stop at the Hoover Dam, another photographer’s dream location.  We decided not to go to the Skywalk – a glass walkway over the edge of the Canyon – as everybody else was going there and in any event cameras are not allowed actually on the walkway (which sort of defeats the object for me).  Instead we got dropped off at Guano Point, a mile or two away, which offers in my view (based on the research I’d done beforehand) better views of the Canyon itself.  You can see for yourself here...


Interestingly, while we were there we were talking to one of the security guards at the Canyon and he was telling us how dry it had been lately, and how he hadn’t seen any rain on duty there for years.  Literally thirty minutes after that conversation, the sky went black and the heavens opened... and we got drenched.  Apparently, it rained so hard they had to shut the Skywalk for a couple of hours, further vindicating our decision not to go there.

Finally, here are a few pics from our various desert journeys, including from Las Vegas to Lake Havasu (site of the famous London Bridge, which was transported brick by brick from London to Arizona), Las Vegas to San Bernadino, San Bernadino to Lake Tahoe, and finally Lake Tahoe back to Las Vegas.



]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Journey Rock Music Sun, 02 Sep 2012 18:01:21 GMT
The Union - Download 2012 theunion2012download004_resize


Working with The Union is always a pleasure.  Not only are they great musicians with great songs, but they are really nice guys too.  Before and after a gig they are just regular guys you'd be happy to spend an hour or two with in a pub.

I was at Download 2012 on the Saturday, primarily to photograph them.  They were appearing in the tented Stage 3 late in the evening. It was unfortunate timing as it turned out because they took to the stage just a few minutes before the main festival headliner Metallica were due on the Main Stage, so a lot of the casual festival goers had already headed over to the Main Stage area.  It was their loss, as The Union once again put on a fabulous set of quality songs for the few hundred that were there.   

Here are a few pics from that show...

The Union at Download 2012

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Download Rock Music The Union Thu, 28 Jun 2012 07:08:05 GMT
Halestorm - Download 2012  

halestorm download 2012halestorm2012download017_resize

I was at Download rock festival on Saturday, working with one of the bands playing there (I’m the official photographer for blues rock band The Union and try to cover most of their major shows).  My pass allowed me access all areas to Stage 3, where they were playing, but not to the other stages (there were five of them).

One of my favourite bands was playing on Stage 2 – a hard rock band called Halestorm who have one of the best female vocalists I’ve heard in years and her brother the drummer who is an absolute lunatic on stage – both of them are very photogenic.  I couldn’t get into the photo pit, so instead I located myself in the crowd, about 20 yards from the stage and got out my trusty 70-200. 

Pro cameras usually aren’t allowed in to these festivals but my credentials meant I had my gear with me and it gave me a good opportunity to get a different view of the band.  Usually I’m in the pit looking up their noses.  When you are in the pit the dynamics of the images come from the different angles you can get close up and the foreground/background differential.  When you are further back you lose that option but are compensated by the compressed perspective you get with the telephoto lens and you can concentrate on facial expressions and band member interaction.

Anyway, here are the shots ...

I got to meet the guys briefly afterwards in the artist/media area backstage (and got ‘em to sign their latest album for me, which I’d conveniently brought with me just in case).  They seemed really cool, and I hope to be able to shoot them properly when they tour the UK in September.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Mon, 11 Jun 2012 08:45:40 GMT
FM - Manchester 9th March 2012  

FM Manchester 2012
















The day before my weeklong tour with The Union I went up to Manchester to see FM in concert.  As usual it was a fabulous show by FM, ably supported by Romeo’s Daughter, played to a full house.

FM live at the Academy Manchester - 9th March 2012

FM are a melodic rock band who had some success in the 1980’s, but split up in the 90’s and then got back together about 5 years ago.  This mini tour of theirs was to celebrate 25 years of their debut, and perhaps most successful, album ‘Indiscreet’, which they performed in its entirety during the show.

I had a photo pass, but there was no photo pit and the crowd were packed into the hall like sardines, so I had no hope of getting anywhere near front centre stage.  Instead, all these shots were taken either from the back of the hall (camera held way up over my head), or from in front of the speakers at the side of the stage (good job I have good earplugs).

Given the difficulties of the shoot, I think these came out quite nicely.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) FM Manchester Rock Music Tue, 20 Mar 2012 10:46:23 GMT
The Union - UK tour March 2012 For the past week I’ve been on tour with The Union, a bluesy hard rock band led by Luke Morley and Pete Shoulder.  They’ve been on a double headline tour with another band called The Answer.

The tour took them to Ireland, Scotland and most of England, and I caught up with them for most of the English shows, namely Wolverhampton, Nottingham, Newcastle, Manchester, London and Bristol – six shows in seven days.

The Union continue to grow as a band... they’ve always had terrific songs and musicianship, but now they’ve added the complete band performance, and it was notable how many people I overheard leaving the venue afterwards discussing how fantastic the band were.  Many of these were fans of The Answer who had not heard The Union before, but were now completely smitten.

Anyway, I shot all six shows and here are the results.  Click on the relevant link to view the slideshow of the complete show.


































































]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music The Union bristol london manchester newcastle nottingham wolverhampton Mon, 19 Mar 2012 09:00:52 GMT
Voodoo Six - Birmingham February 2012












I first met the guys in Voodoo Six when they supported The Union on tour a couple of years ago.  A great bunch of guys who just love to play live.  On this occasion I caught up with them at the Birmingham HMV Institute where they were supporting Edguy.  Their latest single 'Falling Knives' has been getting a lot of airplay on Planet Rock lately, and sounds even better live.  Full of high energy songs the show flew by, and I look forward to seeing them again soon.  Anyway, here are the pics...  

Voodoo Six - Birmingham February 2012

The lighting was so shockingly bad for photography (just red lights and nothing else) I had to convert the entire set to black and white to get any usable shots.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Voodoo Six Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:21:33 GMT
Dressed To Kill - January 2012













I know tribute bands aren't to everybody's taste, but there are some mighty fine examples out there of how to give the fans something close to the real thing.  Dressed To Kill, a tribute to KISS, are one such band.  Obviously they can't compete with KISS for pyrotechnics and stage show, but musically they do a great job, and their costumes and makeup are pretty close to the real thing.

In January they came to The Furnace, in Swindon, and for a couple of hours the audience were treated to the full KISS repertoire.   As usual the lighting at the venue was patchy and challenging, but it was an opportunity for me to put my new lenses through their paces.  Here are the resulting pics...

Dressed To Kill - January 2012

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Dressed To Kill Wed, 22 Feb 2012 22:56:37 GMT
Thunder – Christmas Shows December 2011

Thunder - Xmas 2011

Although no longer a recording band, and despite a farewell tour in 2009, Thunder are way too good a band to disappear completely.  They resurfaced in July 2011 for a one off appearance at High Voltage, and by most people’s reckoning were the best band at the festival.  Buoyed by their continuing popularity even in retirement, they decided to put together a special Christmas show in December.  That sold out within hours so they added a second date, at the same venue, Nottingham’s Rock City.

Thunder Christmas shows in past years attained almost legendary status among fans, and it was no surprise that both shows were packed to the rafters.  Fortunately, as sole photographer allowed at the show I had the best seat in the house, with a photo pit all to myself.  That, combined with the lighting skills of Scampi and a new toy (er.. new camera) to play with, made these two shows possibly the most enjoyable shows to photograph I can remember.  I hope the pics reflect some of that.

Each show followed a similar format – starting with an acoustic set comprising a mix of Thunder tunes and covers of other well known rock and soul songs, and following that with a full on electric set of mainly Thunder songs.  Highlight for me was a magnificent cover of Wings’ ‘Live and Let Die’ (the James Bond theme).  Brilliant.

The aftershow party, that I left at 4.30am, was pretty enjoyable too!

Here are the pics…. (of the shows, not the after show party)

Thunder Xmas Show – Tuesday 20th December 2011

Thunder Xmas Show – Wednesday 21st December 2011


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music Thunder Sat, 07 Jan 2012 14:00:22 GMT
Saint Jude – Birmingham 18th December 2011 Saint Jude - Birmingham 18th December 2011

I first saw Saint Jude when they supported The Union a year or so ago. Lead singer Lynn Jackaman is charismatic and has a great powerful voice, and their album ‘Diary of a Soul Fiend’ still gets frequent plays on my car stereo.

Now managed by Thunder’s Danny Bowes, they embarked on their debut headlining tour in December. I managed to catch one of the shows, in Birmingham. Saint Jude attracted, and wowed, a sizeable crowd, and it was fun to shoot them, despite the challenge of very dark stage lighting and the usual ‘three songs no flash’ restrictions imposed by the venue.

Here are my pics of the show

Saint Jude – Birmingham 18th December 2011

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music St Jude Sat, 07 Jan 2012 13:22:06 GMT
Uriah Heep – Bristol 5th December 2011

Way back in the 70’s, when I first started to get into rock music, there were probably three bands who stood out and defined rock music in the UK – They were Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin.  For most rock fans, every other band was usually compared to one of these as the benchmark.  I remember when I first came across Uriah Heep and started to look out for their back catalogue, the local music rags of the time always described them as a kind of poor man’s Deep Purple.  They were never popular with the press, and that’s a tragedy, because I for one always enjoyed their music.

Unfortunately, blighted by multiple changes of lead singer and other lineup changes, they never really made the breakthrough into mainstream rock culture in the way that the other three bands mentioned above did, despite selling around 30 million albums.  However, unlike those other bands, they’ve continued making new music and toured extensively right up to the present day.  This year alone they have played over 120 shows in more than 20 countries.  And with 23 studio albums they have plenty of material to play.

Although I’ve seen them several times, this month was the first time I had the chance to photograph them in concert.  Here are the pics…

Uriah Heep – Bristol 5th December 2011

It was a great, honest, rock gig.  No pyrotechnics, lasers or huge stage set.  Just good music and a wonderful rapport with the audience.  Very ‘eavy, very ‘umble.  For more information on Uriah heep, visit their website

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music Uriah Heep Mon, 19 Dec 2011 05:22:26 GMT
Tyketto – Southampton 2nd December 2011

Danny Vaughn has one of the best voices in rock. That is without question.  For a few gigs this month, he teamed up with his original bandmates in Tyketto to show us that the band also have a tremendous catalogue of great songs.  Tyketto were a popular rock band in the early 90’s but, apart from resurfacing every now and then to play a few live dates, they haven’t released any new material in a while.  Now Tyketto are back together and working on a brand new album, and that can only be good news for the melodic hard rock scene.  Here are a few pics from Tyketto’s show at The Brook in Southampton a couple of weeks ago.

Tyketto – Southampton Dec 2011


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music Tyketto Mon, 19 Dec 2011 05:13:14 GMT
Tips for concert photography with point and shoot digital compact cameras Quite often I’m asked specifically for advice on using point and shoot cameras at concerts.  A few years ago, the stock answer would have been…. don’t.  Cameras were usually not allowed in, without a photo pass.  In recent years, however bands have become much less concerned about people shooting with ‘non professional’ cameras.  Pro cameras are still usually banned without a photo pass but I guess most bands, managers and venues have realized that banning tiny point and shoot cameras is pretty much unenforceable.

However, while you can now come to a concert with a P&S camera, without feeling guilty, the vast majority of people who do so take pics without appreciating the specific problems that a dark concert hall environment presents, and as a result they end up with images that are disappointing.

I’ve therefore started to collect together a few hints and tips specifically for users of point and shoot cameras in concert environments.  Whilst it probably won’t suddenly enable you to take award winning images from the back of the venue, and I would not advocate you applying for a photo pass or shooting in the photo pit with one, these tips may help you to produce images you will be proud of and which act as a reminder of the event.  Here are a few to start with…..

  • Digital compacts tend to have a very small sensor, which suffers badly from pixel interference (excessive noise or grain) when its sensitivity (ISO) is increased.  The better compacts allow you to select an ISO without having the camera automatically select it for you, and a little experimentation here can improve the quality of the resulting images.
  • In fully automatic mode, the camera makes compromise decisions for you, which usually means raising the ISO and/or reducing the shutter speed, to get enough light in for a decent exposure. This results in well exposed pictures, but which are really grainy because of high ISO and blurred due to a slow shutter speed.
  • If your camera doesn’t have manual settings your biggest problem is going to be keeping the camera still while you take the shot.  Because the light will be low (it may not seem like it but the stage lights are not that bright, and the level of light reaching the camera falls off rapidly the further away from the stage you are) your camera will by default try to use a longer shutter speed, resulting in a lot of blurred pics.  One thing you could try is changing the camera mode to ‘sports’ mode or whatever the equivalent is on your camera.  This is still an auto mode, but biases the settings in favour of a slightly faster shutter speed.  It will improve your chances but only a little.
  • Once you’ve mastered adjusting the shutter speed to get the best results, then you can look at adjusting ISO and aperture settings to improve the shots even further.  To start with put your ISO at the highest you can without the images appearing too grainy.  For SLRs this is usually around 800-1600 ISO (maybe a little higher with newer cameras).  For point and shoot cameras it usually means up to about 400 ISO (any higher and the grain/noise deteriorates the image too much in my opinion).
  • Switch off your flash if you can.  If you are in the photo pit, flash will probably not be allowed anyway.  If you are not in the photo pit, the flash will not be powerful enough to reach the stage (unless you are in the first couple of rows), it will draw the attention of security people to you, and it will often override your shutter speed so that it that works against getting the shot you want.  You are also more likely to just light up the backs of the heads of the people in front – and this doesn’t make for an attractive concert shot!
  • Another issue I find with digital compacts, especially when used on auto mode, is that when you press the shutter there is a delay of anything up to a second before the shutter actually activates, meaning you often miss that ‘moment’.  This is because, when you press the shutter, the camera then has to focus, and calculate what aperture, shutter speed and ISO to use to get the correct exposure, before it actually takes the picture.  Better cameras reduce this shutter lag, and you can improve things further by taking the camera off auto mode and pre-selecting a shutter speed or aperture etc.  Less calculations for the camera to perform means it can operate quicker.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music Fri, 16 Dec 2011 08:26:44 GMT
Camera settings and techniques for concert photography – Part 2 There are probably as many opinions about best techniques for concert photography as there are photographers, and the hints and tips shown below are just some of the things that work for ME.  At least as a base point.  I wouldn’t say I adhere to my own advice all the time, and once you have a few decent shots in the bag you can start experimenting and trying different things.  Some will work and some won’t but the important thing is to learn from it, ready for next time.

I’ve had the privilege of shooting at least 400 concerts in the past five years, for a wide range of different bands.  At least half of these have been shooting a whole show (with the band’s approval), rather than just the usual three songs.  Anyway, my point is that I’ve learned through trial and error (and that means a lot of mistakes, with over 200,000 photos taken at concerts) what works for me and what doesn’t in different concert situations.

Concert photography is a difficult skill to master simply because to get the best results you often need to push your camera to its limits, and to do that you need to know what those limits are and how your camera will react to certain settings in any given situation.  And as well as coping with the technical limitations, you then have to think about things like composition, anticipating specific moments on stage, and being aware of other photographers and the audience around you etc.

In no particular order, here are a few more nuggets of advice/experience/suggestions/anecdotes – call it what you will – based on responses I’ve given by email to people asking me for advice…..

  • Always make sure your shutter is fast enough to capture the action, even if that means compromising on exposure.  There are exceptions to this if you want to produce a particular ‘arty’ shot but, usually, too slow a shutter speed will result in disappointingly unsharp images.  You can, to a degree, fix an underexposed but sharp image, but you can do nothing with a well exposed but blurred image.
  • Personally, I find that if my shutter speed is less than 1/60th of a second then the majority of my images will be completely useless.  They may be well exposed but they will be blurred or at least too ‘soft’.  Between 1/60th and 1/125th I will find probably half of them acceptably sharp, but if the light is good enough for me to go above 1/125th (and especially above 1/200th) then nearly all of them will be sharp enough.  Of course, you can’t just set your shutter to 1/200th all the time, because very few concerts are lit well enough, and you’d find all the images far too dark to use.
  • I generally start by setting the camera at 1/125th and the aperture as wide open as it will go.  I take a few shots and check them, then adjust the shutter speed up or down depending on whether the images are too dark or too bright.  If I can also stop down the aperture a little without compromising the exposure I will do that as well.
  • After every few shots it’s a good idea to check an image or two on your screen and then tweak the settings by maybe increasing or reducing shutter speed or selecting a different aperture or ISO to improve the brightness or sharpness of subsequent images.  It’s a constant process of adapting to the specific venue and the stage lighting you are presented with.  Eventually it may become second nature and you will sense subtle changes in the general lighting levels between different songs and can adjust accordingly, but it doesn’t hurt to check now and then – as long as you don’t do it at a moment when you should really be concentrating on what is happening on stage.
  • Facial expressions often make a photo, but they are fleeting and if you wait until you see the perfect expression before shooting, the chances are you’ve already missed it.  Also, in the pressure cooker of shooting three songs in the photo pit, jostling with lots of other photographers, you don’t always have the luxury of choosing your moments, and the temptation is to fire away as much as you can.  However, observation and anticipation will help to improve your timing.
  • My approach here is NOT just to fire away without any thought for what is going on.  NOR is it to wait until I see the perfect moment before clicking the shutter.  Instead I would recommend watching and waiting for those moments where you ANTICIPATE something about to happen on stage – some interaction between band members, a particularly emotive part of the song, the guitar solo, a pause in the singing, where perhaps the vocalist might move away from his mic stand…etc.  Anything like that.  Then you can fire off short bursts of 3-4 clicks of the shutter, hoping that among them you with have caught THE MOMENT.  Review your images later and you will be surprised at what you’ve captured.
  • If a performer is looking at you, or at another band member in shot or at his instrument, it usually is a more interesting shot than if he’s looking out of the side of the frame.  If they are looking out of the frame, try to leave more space in the image in the direction they are looking, so that they appear to be looking into that space.
  • Never use images containing unflattering expressions.  The band and their management won’t thank you for it and may object to you photographing further shows.
  • In general photo passes are hard things to come by, especially for more established bands.  You either have to be shooting on behalf of an accredited publication, or else know somebody in the band or its management.  Sometimes, freelance photographers like me can get photo passes but it depends on how good a portfolio you can show and who you approach, when and how (and often what mood they’re in) so it’s a little hit and miss.
  • If you do manage to get a photo pass, DO NOT abuse the privilege.  Always be aware of the audience around you – they have paid for their tickets and don’t want to see you stood in front of them all night.  Also, do not do anything to distract the band members on stage.  This includes obvious things like not using flash, but also try to limit your movements around the photo pit to between songs, or at least don’t go scuttling across from one side to the other just when the lead singer is at the front of the stage during a particularly emotive part of a song.  He/she will not be impressed.  Finally, take note of what Security say.  When they say it is time to leave the pit, don’t argue, just leave quietly and quickly.

I’ve just scratched the surface here with a few selected items, and will add more nuggets soon.  For those budding concert photographers out there I hope this helps.  For the more experienced, I’d be very interested to hear if you have any useful nuggets of your own, or even if you disagree with the approaches I’ve suggested.


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Rock Music Fri, 16 Dec 2011 07:17:13 GMT
Magnum – The Robin, Bilston November 2011

Another trip to The Robin, at the end of November, this time to see Magnum.  Always a great show, this was no exception.  Here’s my slideshow of the gig.

Magnum – Bilston, November 2011


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Magnum Rock Music Mon, 12 Dec 2011 10:33:46 GMT
Heather Findlay – Bilston November 2011

My second chance in two weeks to photograph Heather in concert.  This time I was shooting on behalf of Midlands Rocks, and you can read the review of the concert, by David Waterfield here.

It’s quite difficult to categorise Heather’s music.  Imagine the looks of a young Stevie Nicks and the voice of Christine McVie (and speaking as a Fleetwood Mac fan that’s not a bad combination), with music that is original, sensitive and highly listenable.

]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Heather Findlay Rock Music Thu, 08 Dec 2011 01:58:20 GMT
Limehouse Lizzy – Oxford Nov 2011 Time Read from Limehouse Lizzy
As tribute bands go, Limehouse Lizzy are one of the very best in the world. Keeping very close to the feel and the sound of Phil Lynott’s Thin Lizzy, it is obvious that these four guys on stage love what they do.

As for the photography, I thought I’d struggle to get any decent shots. The lighting was quite low, often bathed in red light and with so much fog on stage you could barely see the band at times. However, after a little tweaking Lightroom, my grey, contrastless pictures transformed into what turned out to be some of my favourites ever.

The atmosphere on stage, and the graininess of my pics reminded me of the concert images I used to drool over as a teenager reading Sounds and NME a few decades ago. It helped that the band consistently struck the archetypal rock star poses all the way through the show.

Limehouse Lizzy – Oxford November 2011


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Kimehouse Lizzy Rock Music Wed, 23 Nov 2011 03:38:56 GMT
Firefest photos for sale  

In conjunction with the organisers of Firefest, I can now offer for sale a number of images from this year’s festival.  Fifty percent of the profit from all sales will be channelled back to Firefest to help fund future festivals.

Together with fellow Firefest photographer Sue Ashcroft, we captured all of the bands on stage this year – all eighteen of them over three days.  Selected images from those shows have now been brought together and are available as fine art prints ready to be mounted and framed, or as a range of other photo products, from keyrings and mousemats to large printed blocks ready to hang straight on your wall.

Here’s the link….  Firefest Photo Products for sale

The photos in the ‘Prints’ gallery  all have a white border and text identifying the festival, the band and the photographer and are all sized to 16”x12”.  The photos in the ‘Showcase Products’ gallery have no border or text and are designed to be printed on a range of products at different sizes and aspect ratios.  For each image, only the products suitable for it will be available to purchase, so you can’t for instance print a panoramic image onto a square block print etc.

Ordering and purchasing of the photo products is automatically handled through the galleries, and delivery is usually within 3-4 days.

At the moment, the galleries contain only my own images.  Sue’s images will be added shortly and, if there is enough demand, we may add similar galleries of images from previous festivals.


]]> (Photos by Marty Moffatt) Firefest Rock Music Mon, 21 Nov 2011 02:58:46 GMT