Scaring Bunnies and Dropping Kicks

I normally like to get all this waffling on about stuff done right after the gig when Im home and comfy in my non-smoking jacket, cravat and ermin slippers.  Its now nearly 24 hours since ‘after the gig’ so I dont know how this will pan out !!  Might just end up being a collection of photos………excited ?  Naw, didnt think so.  Off we go.

Tonights mission – I had already decided to accept it – was to get my sorry ass up to Strathpeffer Pavillion and cover the Frightened Rabbit chappies on their wee Highland sojourn – theyd be supported by Brazil Exists – before hot footing it back into town to my beloved Market Bar to see my beloved Dropkick. I like the idea of F Rabbit sorta kinda being the support act for Dropkick tonight (in my timeline it works……….).  Arrived at Strath in plenty of time to pick up photopass – thanks Richie  :).  Police cones everywhere – parking was scarce and we had to do a bit of walking.

Not long after we arrived – no fanfare or announcement – Brazil Exists just wandered onstage and started playing.  Very very Frightened Rabbity if Im honest.  I liked them – Murray Le Net mentioned that he had some early tracks by them and they sounded quite different.  Will check them out at some point (soundcloud)!  Anyhoo the band were cool and played a tight 35 minute or so set which the crowd seemed to enjoy.  By this time the hall was starting to fill so they got a pretty substantial audience for the last of their slot.  Now round about this time I had started to realise being and getting to the front of this gig to shoot the band was not going to be easy or enjoyable looking at the current situation.  No barrier/pit and a low stage – round about my waist height !!  Teenagers swarming – I was going to have to use my ‘charms’ – grabbed head of security and explained my predicament.  “Follow Me” was the battle cry and he showed me to where I had hoped I would get to – right hand side of hall at the actual steps up to the stage.  I got married here in 2009 so pretty much know all the nooks and crannies that I need to for camera work.  Sorted – Cheers Moray Security – have some free advertising.  Cant say fairer than that – no extras, no complications, no bullshit – hehe.  Nice guys all round

Spent 15 minutes chatting with Pavillion staff – lovely people.  Met a few friends and aquaintances kicking about too, which was nice, and I watched some of the drunken antics of the ‘young ones’.  So much more noticeable when yer sober at these events – hilarious !  Then it was time to go and hang around stage side and wait for the main event.  A sell out (650 people I believe) so Im now worried that Im going to get nowhere fast when trying to get access to the front of the stage to shoot.

Had a good blether with the security guy down there – a Dufftown loon – big lad too and a Nikon user. Ended up with Frightened Rabbit joining me in the small space – wished them all the best and got a few mumbled ‘Cheers’ in return – probably trying to work out who the fuck the guy with the cameras was so I left them to get on with it.

No sooner had they got on the Pavillion stage than Scott Huchison was looking for a bit of tape to fix his guitar strap.  One of the band suggested ‘doing it again’ , as in the entrance,  so Scott headed off amidst laughter asking the audience to ‘do that again but louder’ and came back a couple minutes later to a resounding  (and louder) cheer – the show can now begin.  All worries about stage access went out the window when the stewards at the front ushered me into position like I was some visiting celebrity – I even apologised to some of the kids as I felt a little guilty about it – I wasnt going to be in their way long though.  3 songs no flash as always !!  Strange to be the only ‘Stickered’ photographer down there tho – no press in sight.  Must check my deoderant as this is becoming a common occurence – not complaining mind.

Unlike some of my peers in this game I dont particularly do much research for the gigs – I take photos, Ive probably mentioned all this before – all these words are merely shit to fill in the gaps between pictures.  Dont get me wrong, I do try – honest but I have a life outwith the pages of this thing of mine.  I listen to Frightened Rabbit but Im awful with song titles and have a memory like a big holey thing……what the fuck is that thing again……..erm a calendar, a stove.  Before my spelling is corrected, Im being flippant and,  of course,  mean a collander and a sieve – I experienced a ‘pot, kettle, black’ moment at the gig tonight so need to be extro vugilantish with mine spelling and grammer.  Huge thanks to Susie Dyer who celebrated her 40th FR gig at Aviemore midweek – bloody hell – an uber fan who helped me out with the setlists !!  Shes going for the 50 mark by the end of the year she says  :))

Scottish Wind, My Backwards Walk, Oil Slick & Poke and lots more were all pulled out of the hat for the enjoyment of the predominantly young, hip and trendy Strathpeffer crowd.  I had worn a checked shirt but bottled it for the actual gig scared Id just look like someones embarrasing dad – I opted instead for photographers black – its the new plaid 🙂  The banter between songs was good craic  too – also a refreshing change from some of the more morose, non-commital acts I have seen of late.  No knocking mind, I just prefer to see a bit of chat when folk have paid and travelled to see your band so F Rabbit get my thumbs up on that front !

Made it to the end of the set proper and made a dash for the car and left the band and their fans to the encores (I assume) – I had a date with a beer and those lovely Taylor brothers from the fair city of Edinburgh otherwise knows as Dropkick !!  The Delorean did us proud and Murray and I had made it back down the A9, dropped car and walked into town just in time for Dripkocks first song – those cheeky Galipaygos chappies tried to tell me Andrew and Alistair had specifically waited for me to arrive before starting the set – I doubt that, I just got lucky with my timings.

Joined tonight by Ian Grier on bass and Mike Foy on da drums the Taylor brothers played to a stowed out Market Bar – no Dropkick darts this time but plenty of competitions for punters to win copies of past and present albums.  I didnt win any but I did get my request played – Crisps n Irn Bru.  I was cock a hoop to say the least !!  A fine mix of new and old stuff from the boys tonight and songs from both Taylor brothers some much much older than others.  The newest one introduced as ‘a dirge’ – it wasnt.  As I said Galipaygos were in attendance as well as 2 fourths of The Ball Deep and a Dickie Bills thrown in for good measure !!  Special mention to Mikes ‘this ones for Levon’ sign on his tom in respect to the passing of legendary drummer Levon Helm of The Band (RIP).

So there you go – got there in the end although petered out somewhat – enjoy the photos.  As always theyre fairly low-res to keep my load times down etc but hi rez can usually be found on my flickr pages.

All images contained in this post are
© al donnelly / houdi unless otherwise stated

Copying, displaying, manipulating or redistribution of these images
without permission from the artist is strictly prohibited !!

Finally, it was nice to have Mr Murray Netsound along for the trip last night – good craic and very well behaved if anyones looking for a gig-partner anytime soon.  Mur has just managed 18 gigs in 27 venues across the country over the last 4 days – a record surely !!  Also, hes much more polite than the other one.  Hopefully he hasnt picked up too many swearys from me – I like a rant when Im driving !!   🙂

I shall finish up with a quote from FRabbit from their website…….

“Lets keep pop music alive by getting it out of that dress and into a sweater”

Tidy !


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