Sunday, June 29, 2014

Jagwar Ma - Guilty as Charged

Last night they played the Park Stage at Glastonbury to a crowd of thousands, but a couple of weeks ago Jagwar Ma performed in front of what is likely to be their smallest crowd this year, in The Old Crown Courts in Bristol.  The Aussie three piece are hard to pigeonhole with a psych/electro/indie/rock sound moulded by the Sydney synth scene, and in such an intimate setting (three people deep from the front row to the sound desk) they rattled the roof of the old, crumbling, building.

I was there to shoot the event for Nokia, who put on the gig as one of their #LumiaLive sessions featuring rising stars in unique settings.  I love the challenge that these Lumia Live sessions present, with the usual bright, flashing, lights of a live performance paired with the less than standard locations - there's no getting a media pass to get side-of-stage here, as the audience filled the judges bench, jurors stand, witness boxes and gallery.  I had to climb around furniture and crawl between feet to get the angles that I was after, but that's what I love about these shows.  I also took portraits of the band in just about the creepiest location that I've ever used for a shoot - the dark old jail cells in the basement beneath the courts.  

Jagwar Ma played a storming set and frontman Gabriel Winterfield even managed to make light of the fact that, what with the previous gig that they played in Bristol being aboard a boat, perhaps the person in charge of their bookings was making a joke at the expense of their nationality.  The band are based in the UK now, however, and with Noel Gallagher hanging his hopes for independent music on them they look set to maintain their rapid trajectory.

As usual, pioneering French music film makers La Blogothéque were on hand with a dazzling amount of kit to film the performance…check it out below.

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