A Place To Bury Strangers @ The Garage.

Thursday 10 May 2018 – A Place to Bury Strangers @ The Garage, Islington.

A Place To Bury Strangers (APTBS) are a three piece band from New York, with an expat New Zealander, Dion, playing bass. They are one of my favourite bands and are touring their new LP ‘Pinned’. This will be the third time I have seen them, though I only seem to have one blog post; six years ago from a gig in Brighton, just before my fiftieth birthday.

I have not been to The Garage in Islington before, but really liked it. Similar to the Dome in Tuffnell Park, it is a decent sized venue, with a big bar and good beer on tap and in the fridge. Venues must be learning that good beer sells. I will definitely come to gigs here in the future, being right outside the tube station on my home line also helps a lot.

We arrived at the venue just as the support act, American duo Buck Gooter took the stage. I had not heard them or even heard of them prior to this morning. I tried a couple of songs on the internet at work and was not overly excited, or particularly impressed. Their first track was very typical of what I had listened to, and I was not looking forward to an entire set of it. However…. They did have two distinctive styles one quite yelly, techno industrial sort of thing with the singer going mental on stage, which was mildly entertaining for while. The guitar player had a much mellower voice and I preferred the songs he sang. It was OK in the end and I mostly enjoyed it.

APTBS hit the stage on time and into a mass of strobes, smoke and noise. The first track ‘We’ve come so far’ was a sonic blast. Playing up for the gig photographer every move in the guitarists inventory was pulled with Oliver Ackermann smashing his guitar at the close of the song. Brilliant 🙂 What an opening!

I stayed up the front for the first four songs, they are an impossible band to shoot with a pocket camera, light, movement and smoke, and very dark. Hectic. There was so much back lighting and smoke that even from the front left of the stage I could not see the drummer, and barely grabbed a couple of fading shots of the bass player.

Mid-way through the set the band descended into the crowd, by this time I was right at the back on a low set of stairs with El. About two thirds of the way in to the crowd they set up instruments and played two songs surrounded by fans, concluding with Dion the bass player, crowd surfing while continuing to play. We could not see any of it, though I was expecting this at the end of the set, so was unprepared.

The previous times I have seen them they have concluded with a storming version of my favourite song ‘I’ve lived my life to stand in the shadow of your heart’. I was pretty disappointed by it tonight, it was not too long, and didn’t go into the manic feedback, droney finale it is known for. It was disappointing to think that was the end of the show. However, there played two more songs, ending on a brilliant long, feedback, droney, mad version of another older track ‘Ocean’.

They were fantastic again, though I am glad I took earplugs!


A place to bury strangers @ Komedia in Brighton

A place to bury strangers are a band from New York and have been a favourite for a while now. It was great their UK tour coincided with my birthday week so I nipped down to Brighton to see their show at Komedia.

The venue holds about 400 but disappointingly it was only half full, but I did get to take my camera in and as I was not really getting in anyone’s way I shot off and on through the set. The lighting was really no friend to any photographer, totally back and side lit and for virtually all the show it was strobing. Very hard conditions, I took a lot of photos, deleted loads and kept the rest, this is the best of a bad bunch.

The show was great, sound was good for the first three quarters and then for some reason vocals were dropped so low in the mix as to be virtually inaudible. They did play a bunch of my favourite tracks including a great version of “I live my life to stand in the shadow of your heart”, though not the full 20 minute noise fest version which I was hoping for !

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The support band was Sealings,  I had never heard of them but liked their set.


Day 252, Wednesday 12 September 2012 – Brighton

I am using another laptop this week and thought the last blog post I was writing in MS Word had been saved to Dropbox but it hadn’t, so missing a post, for now anyway. Not that it was particularly exciting of course, but for the sake of my records I will post it later.

Another highlight of my birthday week; heading to Brighton to see (and hopefully photograph) my current favourite band, New Yorkers (by way of Auckland for the bass player) A place to bury strangers.

It seems that going anywhere in the southern part of the UK by public transport means a trip through one of the main transport hubs in London, and the ride from Brentwood to Brighton was no exception. The bus I was taking left Brentwood at 9:45 and went all the way into central London to Victoria bus station before heading back out again to the coast – not that I was in any particular rush, just needing to be there before the gig tonight.

The journey was OK, a wee bit tedious, though it is always good to see a bit more of the English countryside. The bus got us to Brighton on time in the early afternoon. It was sunny but with a very strong wind – which was naturally a head wind for the longer than anticipated walk along the water front to my hotel for the night – the Brunswick Square Hotel, which funnily enough was on Brunswick Square.

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I decided to mooch for a while and leave the hotel a couple of hours before the doors opened and do my waterfront sightseeing on the way. I am conscious that I have a massive run in four days time and I need to be doing some decent resting rather than hours of sightseeing. Naturally while I rested the weather turned to crap 🙂

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The cloudy and windy skies made for quite a good walk along the front, at least I got some decent photos – I was getting sick of all those clear blue skies in Spain ! As I was going to a gig I decided to take the big Canon rather than the little Panasonic GF1 I have been using. I am so glad I did, I love that Canon and I think it loves me back, I was pretty happy with the images I got this afternoon, though it is a lot more to lug around than the GF1!

The hotel is probably a mile up the road from Brighton Pier and it is a pretty good walk from a photographic perspective, I should probably have taken a bit more time than I did, but I wanted to eat before the show and with doors opening at 7:30 I couldn’t muck around too much.

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The Pier is an interesting beast, so typically English, I don’t think there is any other country in the world who could do this as well, I arrived too late to see any fun fairaction but I did like the almost closed feel to it as well.

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Helter Skelter – I am not sure if I have ever seen one of these in New Zealand!

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And a double rainbow !

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I had pizza and a couple of reds at a local Italian restaurant before heading up to Komedia Brighton to see what was happening at the A place to bury strangers (APTBS) gig. I wanted to see if there was a support act – there was a band called Sealings, what time the bands came on – and most importantly, if I could take my camera in- I could – Yes !

I went to a local bar and had a drink before heading back to the venue for 8:00 just before Sealings came on. The venue is pretty cool, small, low ceiling, good size bar and good view of the low stage, it would be a favourite if I lived here. Sealings were pretty good, a young trio – made a lot of noise, which is always good. The lighting was very dim with most of it being back lit, a nightmare to photo and not having shot a band for a while it took a bit of experimentation to get back into the groove, though I was happyish with the results.

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APTBS came on about 9:30 – I love noise restrictions ! they played for an hour or so and were pretty loud, though not as bad as I expected. They were also fabulously awesome, playing most of my favourites, with a good chunk from Exploding Head, definitely my favourite album, with a searing version of “I lived my life to stand in the shadow of your heart” which is such an awesome track. The whole show was lit from the back and side of the stage and mostly by strobes, it was a brutal to shoot, a lot of the shots I did get were shooting bursts and hoping to get exposure and timing to coincide. I was also shooting wide open and at max ISO so it was never going to be pretty, especially as Dion (bass ) and Oliver (guitar) barely stood still for half a second the whole show.IMG 1693

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I will post some more gig shots in another post.

It was a good night 🙂