21 April 2015

Getting Intimate with Lay Low

I discovered the music of Lay Low in Reykjavik during my trip to Iceland last year.   It was the final day of the trip, actually nearly the final stop before heading to the airport.

It had been an awesome trip, but after the 8 hour drive from Hofn the day before I was tired and rather irritable.

We were in this little gift shop, and I was sizing up a pair of slippers.  Music was playing in the background and suddenly a song came on that I rather liked.   It was Lay Low, and as luck would have it, they had her most recent album "Talking About The Weather" there to buy.   I had to wait until arriving home to listen to it, but it didn't disappoint.

Fast forward the best part of a year and I saw that Lay was playing a gig in London.   So I thought I'd try my luck to try and get a photo pass and sent a message via Facebook.  Normally with these things you contact the agent or promoter.   It must be an Icelandic thing to be able to talk directly with the artist - Emiliana Torrini emailed me directly after I'd taken photos of her Brighton show last year.

The reply came from Lay Low that I would be on the guest list and could photograph away as much as you like.

The venue was The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington in the frozen north of London.   It was a tiny basement venue under The Three Crowns pub.   Just for your culinary information, awesome burgers, bloody awful tea.

The warm up acts were Chaz Thorogood and Gitta de Ridder, both rather excellent singer / songwriters & guitar players.

Chaz was playing in the dark.   Even at f/1.8 and 3200 iso I was struggling to get a fast enough shutter speed.   During the interval I asked the sound tech (venue was too small for a lighting tech) if he could turn on the front of stage lights.   Much better lighting now for Gitta and Lay!

I think the audience max'ed out at around 40 people, which was kinda about right (at least for me) for the venue.

I was very thankful for not having an DSLR and the rather noisy smacking mirror mechanism that comes with them.   It was very noticeable from the other photographer there.   I'm not sure I'll ever go back to a "normal" DSLR camera.   In a few years I'm sure we'll be referring to mirrorless as the norm.

Enough inane technical camera talk.   Here are the photos from the evening.  I'll post Gitta and Chaz later.

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