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That Was The Year That Was 2010

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Photographer Justin Edwards looks back over the Brisbane live scene in 2010. (This article was originally published on This Is Not A Photo Opportunity.)

Somehow I’ve managed to make it into the second half of February without the traditional round-up of the previous year. Every year I get to this post and start off by saying the year was even more hectic than the one before and 2010 was no different. Year-on-year the number of gigs I’m photographing (and trying/failing to blog about) increases, with 2010, with hyperlinks to the appropriate posts where they’ve been written, looking as follows:

  1. Joanna Newsom @ The Tivoli, Saturday, 16 January 2010
  2. Camera Obscura @ The Zoo, Friday, 22 January 2010
  3. I Heart Hiroshima @ The Powerhouse, Sunday, 24 January 2010
  4. Dirty Three @ The Tivoli, Monday, 25 January 2010
  5. Marianne Faithfull@ The Tivoli, Saturday, 30 January 2010
  6. Brisbane Sounds Media Launch @ The Zoo, Wednesday, 3 February 2010
  7. Scul Hazzards @ Step Inn, Friday, 5 February 2010
  8. Velociraptor @ Browning St Studios, Saturday, 6 February 2010
  9. Grant Hart @ The Troubadour, Wednesday, 10 February 2010
  10. The Cribs@ The Zoo, Tuesday, 16 February 2010
  11. Soundwave @ RNA Showgrounds, Saturday, 20 February 2010
  12. Pains of Being Pure At Heart @ The Zoo, Saturday, 20 February 2010
  13. The Thin Kids @ The Troubadour, Wednesday, 24 February 2010
  14. HEALTH @ Step Inn, Thursday, 25 February 2010
  15. Brisbane Sounds @ The Zoo, Saturday, 27 February 2010
  16. Deerhoof @ The HiFi, Friday, 5 March 2010
  17. Lost & Found Festival @ Rosie’s, Sunday, 7 March 2010
  18. Status Quo @ BCC, Thursday, 11 March 2010
  19. Texas Tea @ The Troubadour, Friday, 12 March 2010
  20. Hunz @ Ric’s, Saturday, 13 March 2010
  21. Mess Hall @ The Zoo, Saturday, 13 March 2010
  22. Pixies @ BCC, Thursday, 18 March 2010
  23. Kid Sam @ The Troubadour, Saturday, 20 March 2010
  24. Massive Attack @ The Riverstage, Tuesday, 23 March 2010
  25. BluesFest 2010 @ Tea Tree Farm, Byron Bay, Friday, 2 April 2010
  26. Henry Rollins @ The Powerhouse, Tuesday, 20 April 2010
  27. Seja @ The Troubadour,Thursday, 22 April 2010
  28. Spandau Ballet @ BEC, Tuesday, 27 April 2010
  29. Wilco @ The Tivoli, Friday, 30 April 2010
  30. Tumbleweed @ The HiFi, Sunday, 2 May 2010
  31. Julian Casablancas @ The Tivoli, Thursday, 6 May 2010
  32. Chris Bailey + Ed Kuepper @ The Troubadour, Thursday, 13 May 2010
  33. Naboo DJ set @ The Zoo, Sunday, 16 May 2010
  34. Batrider @ Rosie’s, Thursday, 20 May 2010
  35. Taasha + Tristian (The Audreys) @ The Troubadour, Friday, 28 May 2010
  36. Richmond Fontaine @ The Troubadour, Saturday, 29 May 2010
  37. Paddington Fair @ Paddington, Saturday, 5 June 2010
  38. Boy & Bear @ The Troubadour, Friday, 11 June 2010
  39. Unconvention @ The Edge, Saturday, 12 June 2010
  40. soundslikebrisbane @ Burnett Lane, Friday, 18 June 2010
  41. Mick Turner @ The Hangar, Wednesday, 23 June 2010
  42. Hope Sandoval @ The Tivoli, Thursday, 24 June 2010
  43. I Used To Skate Once 6 @ The Zoo, Thursday, 24 June 2010
  44. Young Bloods @ The Legion Club, Friday, 2 July 2010
  45. The Gin Club @ The Troubadour, Sunday, 4 July 2010
  46. Mark Lanegan @ The Zoo, Tuesday, 6 July 2010
  47. Sally Seltmann @ The Zoo, Friday, 9 July 2010
  48. Violent Soho @ The Zoo, Saturday, 24 July 2010
  49. Kasabian @ The Riverstage, Sunday, 25 July 2010
  50. Splendour In The Grass @ Woodfordia, Friday, 30 July 2010
  51. Otouto @ Tempo Bar, Friday, 6 August 2010
  52. 3OH!3 @ The Old Museum, Thursday, 12 August 2010
  53. Book Of Ships, Builder’s Arms, Melbourne, Friday, 27 August 2010
  54. Frankly Festival @ The Powerhouse, Saturday, 4 September 2010
  55. Big Sound 2009 – Weds  @ Various Big Sound Venues, Wednesday, 8 September 2010
  56. Big Sound 2009 – Thurs   @ Various Big Sound Venues, Thursday, 9 September 2010
  57. Valley Fiesta @ Brunswick St Mall, Saturday, 11 September 2010
  58. Robert Forster  @ The Powerhouse, Saturday, 18 September 2010
  59. Velociraptor @ Tempo Bar, Saturday, 18 September 2010
  60. Parklife @ The Riverstage, Saturday, 25 September 2010
  61. The Jezabels @ Lightspace, Friday, 1 October 2010
  62. Clare Bowditch @ The HiFi, Friday, 8 October 2010
  63. Smudge @ The Troubadour, Saturday, 9 October 2010
  64. Smashing Pumpkins @ The Tivoli, Sunday, 17 October 2010
  65. Paul Weller @ The Tivoli, Tuesday, 19 October 2010
  66. Sarah Blasko @ QPAC, Thursday, 21 October 2010
  67. sixfthick @ Woodland, Friday, 29 October 2010
  68. Inland Sea @ Woodland, Saturday, 30 October 2010
  69. The Audreys @ The Powerhouse, Sunday, 31 October 2010
  70. Deadshits #1 @ Woodland, Friday, 5 November 2010
  71. New Pornographers @ The Zoo, Tuesday, 9 November 2010
  72. The Charlatans @ The HiFi, Wednesday, 10 November 2010 (see featured image)
  73. Powderfinger @ The Riverstage, Saturday, 13 November 2010
  74. Vegas Kings @ The Troubadour, Saturday, 13 November 2010

-> -> ->

As in previous years, I managed to meet my target for the year of 52 gigs (i.e. an average of one a week), and meet it easily, with Gig 52, 3OH!3 at The Old Museum coming before mid-August. As last year, I’ve struggled to keep on top of it all though, partly due to not keeping on top of it last year and starting the year with a huge backlog of photos to edit and blogs to write, partly due to working on setting up Collapse Board.

Counting up the number of acts I’ve photographed during 2010, the total is 285, even more than the 259 deemed scary last year. Last year’s total was swelled thanks to the end of the year’s ATP adventure resulting in 60 bands being photographed in 10 days. Although I went back to ATP, just for the three days of the Belle & Sebastian-curated Bowlie 2 weekend, and I did consider applying for a photo pass, I decided that I didn’t really have the time to edit photos from a three-day festival, even if I managed to get a pit pass, and so decided that would just go, relax and see some bands. It was good and there weren’t many times when I really wished I was in the photo pit with a camera in my hand.

In terms of venues, there was a big change in the make-up from previous years. In the last two years, The Zoo has been like a second home, with all the other Brisbane venues way behind. This year it ended up with The Zoo tying with The Troubadour, at 12 gigs a piece, although The Troubadour comes out top on alphabetical order.

Some words about The Troubadour: The Troubadour was the first place I saw a gig in Brisbane, back in early 2005 when I spent over two weeks on an East Coast tour with The Hauntingly Beautiful Mousemoon. We drove up from the Gold Coast, drove two vans up the middle of Brunswick Street Mall, loaded in via the front steps, ate at that disgusting pizza/fried food place near 299, had a wander around whilst a few of the band went to do an interview at 4ZZZ, went for food at Asian Fusion on Wickham Street and were transfixed with Shaolin Soccer on the TV, the band played the gig and we then drove back to the Gold Coast straight after. It was also the first time I’d ever been stopped and breathalysed anywhere in a dozen or so years of driving.

My first gig after moving to Brisbane was at The Troubadour: Gentle Ben & His Sensitive Side supported by The Exiles and Texas Tea opening the night. I was so impressed by Texas Tea  bought a copy of their demo CD for $5. Over the five years I’ve been in Brisbane I’ve had so many good nights at The Troubadour, both seeing bands and just hanging out after shows. It was the one safe port of call in the Valley and will be much missed.

The every year plan to try to get some bigger gigs has largely successful this year, with more gigs at The Tivoli than ever before as well as getting to photograph an ever-increasing number of the major festivals. However, I only managed one show at the BEC (Spandau Ballet & Tears For Fears) and only a couple at the BCC (Pixies and Status Quo).

The full breakdown for 2010 is shown in the pie chart on the next page. -> -> ->

On top of the gigs I photographed there’s another 10 gigs I went to as a non-photographing punter, including ATP’s Bowlie 2 weekend back in Minehead, Laneway and Pavement at The Tivoli.

Photographic highlights of the year? Probably just getting to do a few of the festivals and having a really good time doing it, especially BluesFest, which was a great long weekend down the coast. Although Bob Dylan doesn’t do photographs, and hasn’t for at least 20 years, I’m hoping that I get the chance to photograph it again this year. Am open to offers…

Overall gig of the year was probably a tie between BluesFest, Soundwave and Splendour In The Grass, which really benefited from the much superior location up in Woodford. Other highlights were Massive Attack, Hope Sandoval, Dirty Three, Sixfthick and the Vegas Kings’ last show, which was so much better than Powderfinger’s last show on the same night.

There weren’t many musical lows in 2010, it was a good year for gigs, although the very average double-header of Kasabian and Little Red deserves a mention.

Photographic lows? Usually it’s any gig with rubbish/no lighting, but this year there was a noticeable increase in the number of gigs with contracts and/or first three, no flash rules, even at the smaller venues that usually don’t get affected by such stipulations. Peter Hook (and Friends) deserve a special mention for their show at The Tivoli, where the contract wanted me to sign over copyright of the photos I took to the band to do what they wanted with them. I didn’t sign so I didn’t photograph him. I bet Anton Corbijn and Kevin Cummins didn’t get treated like that when they were producing their iconic images of Joy Division.

I usually finish up these posts with a selection of personal favourite photos from the year, but it’s been really hard to do with so many blogs yet to be written; every time I write a catch up blog I find an image or two that I really like.  The photo of Tim Burgess from The Charlatans at the top of this post is a personal favourite from the more recent blogs I’ve written. Maybe I’ll update this post properly when/if I ever finish off the photos and blogs for 2010.

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