Back in 2010 I made a video with one of my favourite bands Brilliant Mind at their practice room ( an old meat storage facility on an industrial estate. I have seen and photographed Brilliant Mind at loads of gigs and even done their first photo shoot.
Before the shoot we had a rough idea of how it would look and shot the video live with me in the centre getting the footage ( we did not have any shot list but I was familiar with the song so done everything intuitively). In hindsight there are loads of things I would change but I am still proud of what we achieved – especially considering we done four takes with one camera. It has a great D.I.Y. feel similar to some videos shot by bands in New York in the late 1960s.
Once I shot the video neither myself or the band had the knowledge and/or software to edit this. So it has been on a hard drive since I shot it. I am pleased to put it out there and make it public.
I did not attempt another music video until 18 months after this at then of 2011 – The Union Choir Your Melodica
“Without People You Are Nothing” – this quote from Joe Strummer has resonated with me. Although I work alone mainly in my photography I could not do it without people to photograph or help me.
Tonight is the opening of my A A D exhibition at The Cluny.
At the time of writing I am so busy as I have to finish up preparations for the exhibition so I will keep this brief
However I want to thank every band that has taken part there are 28 and counting I will name them all and add a gallery soon.
Thank you to the bands playing tonight So What Robot, Retriever and The Union Choir – it is an absolute honour that you are playing the gig as part of the opening.
As ever The Cluny have been absolutely fantastic and always helpful and friendly. Paul Burgess has done a magnificent job with the posters . Digitalab have done a fantastic job with the printing on a very short notice. Mark at Art for Art’s sake has done an amazing job framing everything yesterday morning – an absolute star.
Tonight Daniel Robson and Lewis Norvid are doing the DJ duties – I am super grateful that I do not have to worry about the music I know it will be amazing. A huge thank you to my wife Jill for her help and editing skills. Thank you to everyone who has helped me and publicised he exhibition. Also check this article out by NE;MM it perfectly describes my project http://nemmonline.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/david-wala-a-d-photography-exhibition.html
Also as well as the people I need to use a camera 🙂
The camera that has been used for most of my project
This has been used to take every picture in the exhibition
For nearly two years I have worked on a project called A A D. A project all shot with a medium format analogue ( Hasselblad) camera with the subjects taking the photograph with a cable release. I have a photographed touring and bands from the North East including Howler, Hooded Fang, Art Brut, Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs.
There will be an opening on Wednesday from 6:30pm at The Cluny in Newcastle and a free gig featuring So What Robot, Retriever, and an acoustic set by The Union Choir – please come down. For more information please see the Facebook Event. I also have a Kickstarter campaign with some unique rewards from the exhibition.
A poster for the A A D exhibition at The Cluny in Newcastle
Well I thought I would put together a review of my year in 2012 – mainly for my benefit to reflect on the things that I have done, and to judge how far I will have progressed when I look back next year. I have been lucky to work with some super talented and creative people in 2012- for that I am forever grateful
This was my first full year as house photographer at Newcastle o2 Academy – during the year I shot over 250 gigs there and at other venues. I have also done an array of music videos and photo shoots. I will try to put some of my highlights below.
The year started with me getting busy finishing the edit of the video for the single Your Melodica by The Union Choir. A year later and I still feel very proud of my first music video. I am looking forward to their album this year
Later in January I took on a commission to film Bridie Jackson and the Arbour album launch at their sold out gig at Gateshead Sage . It was a real test we used five cameras and a load of memory cards. We even filmed the two support acts Matt Stalker and the Fables, and Nathalie Stern. I spent most of January, and February editing this. It was a challenge and has led to more people commissioning my work.
Later in the month I did an impromptu photo shoot with Bird Island
At the end of the month I done the last ( for the moment) of my live acoustic High Bridge sessions with Tusk. Which we filmed in my studio – I love this band. I stopped doing these just because of limited time – I would like to do more of these in 2013
During the month I was busy shooting bands
The Maccabees Newcastle O2 Academy 29 January 2012
February kicked off with Howler at The Cluny – where I got hit by of all things an apple thrown from the stage
Howler Newcastle Cluny 1 February 2012
It was a pleasure to do the first promo shots for Symphonic Pictures. I done the last Detroit Social Club photo shoot with Johnny and Dale, it is nice symmetry that I have done the first photo shoot with their new band. I can’t wait for their new EP later this year – they work so hard and have some fantastic tunes.
They were also the first band to take part in my AAA project ( more details of this project can be found in a earlier post) – here is an image from the shoot
In February I also started work on the Natasha Haws video for her first single Stepping Stone. It is a beautiful song. It was a real pleasure to work on this
Some of my live shots from February
Those Furious Flames Newcastle Academy 4 February 2012
Shinedown Newcastle Academy 10 February 2012
Blackout Kerrang Tour Newcastle Academy 12 February 2012
Metronomy NME Awards Tour Newcastle Academy 9 February 2012
Brand New Newcastle Academy 16 February 2012
Melanie C Newcastle Academy 26 February 2012
Bridie Jackson and the Arbour Gateshead Central Bar 29 February 2012
Gem Andrews Gateshead Central Bar 29 February 2012
March was a relatively quiet month – I was shooting a load of gigs and editing videos. The highlight being at the end of the month when the summer came to the North East coast and we filmed a live session by Fantasy Rainbow ( I just wish we could have better sound ). We were all blown away by the sheer talent of his performance. All the videos from this session are from one take. Ollie just got out of his car played his songs and left
Some pictures from March
Black Stone Cherry Newcastle Academy 20 March 2012
Killing Joke Newcastle Academy 13 March 2012
Ajimal Newcastle Lit and Phil 19 March 2012
You Me At Six Newcastle Academy 27 March 2012
In April we filmed a gig at historic Morden Tower featuring the mighty Watchers and the Chapman Family. It is great to have had an opportunity to film at a venue that is steeped in history . It was great that two of the best live bands around kept it loud for their sets. I am especially proud that the NME picked up the Watchers video for their powerful song Cut The Ribbon. Looking forward to more great things from them in the coming year.
I also filmed the last song of the night Kids by the Chapman Family
This was also a fun shoot with Darren Hubbard of Distraction Records for Narc magazine. Outside the public toilets on the Bigg Market.
Some of my live shots from April
The Futureheads Gateshead Sage 8 April 2012
Brilliant Mind Newcastle Cluny 6 April 2012
The Watchers RPM Courtyard Newcastle Record Store Day 2012
Architects Newcastle Academy 10 April 2012
May started with a trip to London to shoot the Dan Sartain at The Lexington – which was wow. One of my gigs of the year
Dan Sartain The Lexington London 5 May 2012
I made a video for the Greeting Committee single Show Me The Lights of Home. It was a real fun shoot in adverse conditions – it was a rainy bank holiday weekend when we shot the outdoor footage. We all made the most of it and we made a mad video – of which I am immensely proud. We all put a lot of time and effort in planing and making the video on a very limited budget. I should also thank again Dan Horn for teaching me so much during the location shoot – and doing a great job as the man in the cow suit
A promo shot we took during the second day of the location shoot
I visited paris at the end of the month and got to see and shoot the mighty Howler – I think the shot below my favourite live shot of 2012
Howler Paris Fleche d’Or 26 May 2012
The first weekend of June was the weekend of Evolution Festival on the banks of the Tyne my image of T-E-E-D featured in the NME
T-E-E-D NME June 2012
Summer is a perfect time for outdoor location shoots – even in the North East of England.
We turned the inside outside with So What Robot to tie in with their single release Work and Play
We also got lucky with some early morning sunshine for a shoot with Tusk who have since signed with local innovative label Tiny Lights
You would think it was sunny on Tyneside during June – this shot is from a sunny June morning with Gem Andrews. I was also privileged to photograph Gem’s debut album Scatter cover in 2011
I also done a shoot with OFF! – it was such a buzz to be in the company of such legends – a little nerve-wracking but mainly very exciting
They also took part in my AAA project
Some Live Shots from June
July was the month I restarted my Instamatic for the People project of casual portraits of individual musicians taken with an instant print camera. One of my favourite bands Howler
relaunched this project .
Brent from Howler, and the rest of the band looking at the Instamatic for the People book
They also were happy to take part in my AAA project – here is the contact sheet
I also done another shoot with So What Robot I love working with these guys – we come up with ideas – then workout how to make it happen. They are always willing to take a risk
Some live shots from July
August was a surprisingly busy month with photo shoots and video making, but not so many live gigs to shoot
The first Sunday of August was spent in an Italian Restaurant doing a location shoot of the band Bison Hunting served up on a plate. It was such a fun shoot . I am so happy that our ideas worked practice as well as in theory here is one:
They also took part in my AAA project
I also done a shoot with The Watchers – we done the shoot at sunrise hoping to catch some golden light – but all we caught was some clouds and rain. However that did not stop us and we got some strong images.
So pleased they have taken part in the AAA project
For the shoot I did with Retriever – we did get that golden sun we were hoping for
They also took part in my AAA project on a different day at their practice room
Ollie Catt or Fantasy Rainbow also took part in my AAA project – he liked the images so much that he used them as his press shots and were featured in magazines and on websites
On the same night I took some shots of the Jacuzzi Boys – who were super friendly and definitely wanted to do some interesting shots. I photographed them for my Inatamatic for the People project and took a band portrait which is one of my favourite shots of the year and when writing four month on they are still using the shot as their Facebook page profile picture
I also done some shots with Franz Nicolay – the last time I saw him was when he was playing with the Hold Steady.
He also took part in my AAA project
I also made two videos in August the first for Sonner for their epic We Go Forth Tonight single – it was great working with them and I hope you like the video we made.
I also made a video with a completely different style and as much fun – super proud of this
Some live shots from August
September was mainly about live gigs and editing videos.
I did take this promo shot of Sonner when we were filming extra footage for their video in early September
Some live shots from September
During October I was busy with photographing and filming gigs.
I took this shot for Narc magazine of Fearbox
I took this shot and others from the Soundcheck before The Union Choirs gig at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle.
Some live shots from October
November was my busiest month of the year for gigs.
This is a digital shot used to test the lighting ( a modern day Polaroid )
I am also excited by a series of themed portraits that we have done with the super creative Peculiar Disco Moves. Here is one image from the series more will follow in 2013
I also made a video with The Prison Library of their song Certify which is part of their No Fireworks EP release. It was a challenging shoot as it was in a working studio so we were limited with the space and how we could light the room. However I love the energy of the song and the way that we have captured it.
You can see the video here
As it was the end of the month it was also the last gig for Sonner . They played a storming set at Plugged Inn in Sunderland. Here is their goodbye picture
In December Rizzle Kicks were kind enough to stop their sold out gig O2 Academy Newcastle while I changed my memory card and pose for some shots… busted. Super cool guys. I never knew that I could still blush
Some live shots from December
Well that is my year in review – certainly fun, and very proud of my work . Thank you to everyone that has helped me out and worked with me throughout the year.
I am working at something I love doing and I hope I can keep moving forward in 2013
Although I have filmed some acoustic performances from some of the North East’s most exciting bands since September, I have never made a music video. The performances that I have filmed are stripped back live acoustic sets. To my relief the bands I filmed,and other people have liked them.Some of these videos can be see
One of those bands was The Union Choir who asked me to make a video for their single Your Melodica. So we met at The Cluny before one of their gigs in November to plan the video. Over the coming weeks we came up with a concept for the video a mixture of performance and narrative.
From my photography I do have knowledge of lighting, composition, and experience shooting gigs and bands – it seemed a daunting task for a first music video but we managed it one step at a time.
We planned the performance shoot to be at the end of November in a room where we had recorded some of the acoustic sets called the High Bridge Sessions – but to give it a different look we put the band in front of the windows. This shoot took careful preparation as we decided on the key shots for each part of the song – on the day we were there from 2pm and I think the real filming took about 5 hours – and we ended up being there until the building closed at midnight. It was a hectic day but the band were willing and patient to hang around and make sure that we got all the shots – without complaint.
Here is a time lapse we made of setting up the performance footage
That video will always remind me of the fun we had on that day – thanks to the three people ( Dan, Andy, and Jill) who helped with the filming and setting up it was a fantastic team effort.
We then planned the doll shots in Newcastle and South Shields – Jill even knitted a doll in the image of Jon from The Union Choir – I feel details like this really give the video a more personal feel and was definitely worth doing. It was great that the band could find some actors – thank you Ashleigh, Liberty, and Rachel.
The editing took days it was especially time-consuming to synch the video. I sent different cuts of the video to the band for approval and we finally came up with the final edit. It is a pity there was other footage that could have worked but there was only 4 minutes of video – there was also footage that was good in theory but when viewed on-screen was not suitable.
It was so good to be able to photograph at Rebellion Festival. It was an intense day I worked none stop from 1pm until the New York Dolls wrapped up the day at 2 o’clock on Sunday morning – it was intense but so much fun I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It was all things punk including sticks of Blackpool punk rock – I hope to be there next year.
The following night I was photographing the National Society For Epilepsy event at Newcastle Cluny. I shot the previous event back in April – it is a fantastic showcase for the leading North East bands but more importantly it is a worthwhile cause. The Sunday night was headlined by Ever Since The lake Caught Fire who delivered a short sharp set and left the crowd wanting more. The images are in the National Society For Epilepsy gallery
Ever Since The lake Caught Fire National Society For Epilepsy Weekender Newcastle Cluny 8 August
I done a photo shoot with Union Choir for Narc magazine which proved to be fun. It was outdoors on a typical rainy summer’s evening in South Shields. The first location had to be abandoned because of too many chavs hanging around the bandstand. We then ended up in another nearby park.
The band were really co-operative and it was easy to work with them they seemed on the whole to be relaxed in front of the camera – I was expecting five members but there was actually eight. Overall I am pleased with the shots and have put some of them in the Portrait Gallery. Check out the band at the Union Choir Myspace.
I have also updated my published work section including recent shots of Carl Barat, Adam, Green, and Jesse Malin. I am also pleased that The Doors Alive are using my photographs from Newcastle Academy from back in January to promote their forthcoming tour. I also please to see my Evolution images used by Culture Deluxe magazine
My photographs from Evolution Festival published by Culture Deluxe Magazine
The Doors Alive advertisement NME 14 August 2010
My Instax For The people has gone quiet this month I have added a few images to the gallery but I need more people so if you see me with my Instax camera you know I could be looking for you to participate in my project.