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Music Robot

OK this post has little to do with photography but if you have followed this blog for a while you will know that music; new, vibrant, unusual, creative music is a spur (another passion there, Spurs) to us over here at OSP Towers. Each year we get to photograph at Britain’s festival for new and often unsigned bands down on the south coast in Brighton at The Great Escape. This is like a pilgrimage to the unknown because you rarely have an idea what you are going to get but you know some of it will be good. Our interest in photography is often a mirror to that, we like the things that are maybe a bit challenging and unusual rather than obvious. We do get the delight in seeing beautiful images but unless there is a bit more we get bored ever so easily. No, Ansel Adams is not one of our favourite photographers, much in the same way that we can appreciate Coldplay but just don’t care about the results.

This is a huge diversion from the point of this post but that what passion does for you, gets you off on tangents.

We find the music that excites us on the music blogs that feature new bands and artists, we don’t mind much what genre of music it is but more often than not avoid anything that has ‘rock’ in the name (especially if it is preceded by the word classic)  I have just heard about a new site called Music Robot that is an amalgamation of the very best music blogs in the country featuring new music. Seems to be in part organised by our most favourite source of new music The Recommender and brings together a number of bloggers who make recommendations of the best new tracks, the site is clean and easy to use and you can listen to the tracks on Music Robot or go to the originating blog for more info and detail. There is a chance to vote for your favourite tracks and this generates a sort of chart, not sure this is too important to me but some will really like it as it highlights the best, or at least most potentially successful tracks on the site.

This is what they say about themselves:

We are a new music discovery service. Consider us a fresh style of music website that shares the genes of a blog collective and an aggregated music chart.

The best-established music bloggers in the UK regularly uncover lots of fantastic new music on their respected websites, so we pull their selections onto Music Robot. We then ask the public to vote for the tracks that they’ve fallen in love with.

Those votes then boost that track up our chart, so if an artist gets a number one on Music Robot, you will know that not only do the best music bloggers love them, but the public agree.

We have hand-picked 15 of the raddest music blogs, all of which have been selected because of their influence and importance in the UK music blog community. Music Robot wants to put these hard working taste-makers front and centre on our site, alongside the awesome tuneage, because we believe they’re key commentators for emerging music.

Together we bring you Music Robot, the home of the new cutting edge. 

If you like finding new music and are prepared to go beyond the dull outpourings of the main stream the Music Robot should be bookmarked in your smart phone, tablet and computer.

On a photographic note, as this is a photography blog, I usually find that new bands use imagery very well, the photography is often usual and stimulating, I suppose they want to stand out from the plethora of other bands and the images they use is just part of the game.

Here are some images from the current Music Robot site

The Great Escape 2012

This last weekend, well Thursday onwards, I was photographing for one of Britain’s most respected music bloggers, The Recommender at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton. This annual festival is a showcase for new and emerging bands so no headliners you will of heard of but lots of bands that may grace much larger stages in years to come. My job was to cover the events The Recommender attended and these included some bands, radio interviews and an event part hosted by The Recommender called Blogup where most of the UK and some international bloggers got together to talk about what they do.

On getting my delegates photo pass I was a bit disappointed to learn that photographers had to sign up to a list of terms and conditions that included no flash. When I shoot bands I prefer not to use flash but from past experience I knew that this festival has gigs in what you would struggle to call unlit basements, rooms over pubs, garages, shops as well as established venues like The Dome, Digital and Audio. Most of the places The Recommender trailed me to had basically no lighting at all. If I was lucky there was a 60w bulb pointing vaguely in the direction of the front of stage. This might be an exaggeration but not much. My pictures were therefore often more about atmosphere than sharpness.

I started at The Recommender showcase event on Thursday afternoon at The Green Door Store, a venue under the arches of the railway station. 3 Brighton bands and a fantastic guy from Denmark who went by the name of Rangleklods. The lack of light and no flash meant that my 5D MkII was cranked up to 6400 ISO (later in the weekend I pushed to the max of over 25,000)

If you click on the pictures it will take you to links where you can hear the artists if you are interested and where music exists on line

Rangleklods at The Recommender Showcase Green Door Store

On the same bill were local Brighton Band

Us Baby Bear Bones

Cave Painting are a Brighton band tipped for success considered to be inventive indie, like dare I say Coldplay perhaps (I am sure they would hate that)

Next it was over to Horatio’s at the end of the pier, this is a soulless hole that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone, all the visual excess of the end of the pier, charmless and tacky. It is where the NME choose to hold their showcase gigs usually putting on the rising stars. First up were Peace, (rubbish name if you are trying to google them ) sort of indie darlings in the Foals, Maccabees style. Lighting at Horatio’s is better than some of the other locations but still pretty awful photographically

Another band with a name it is impossible to google is Friends and they were next at this NME showcase

Rounding up the NME showcase was Niki and The Dove, electronic duo from Scandinavia

Last up for the evening was White Arrows

Next day the first interview for The Recommender was with Shell Zenner for Amazing Radio this is a great station if you are into new bands.

Then non-stop onto Blogup for the free drinks on the beach at Life and bloggers doing what they love, hearing the sounds of their own voices. Here is The Recommender and Joe Sparrow of A New Band A Day Blog

The evening ended with a walk across town to see Alt J and Django Django and possibly the worst lighting of the event for me. Both bands were exceptional though


Django Django

What was left of the festival was taken up with video work so nothing else to show here which is a bit of a shame, some of that can be seen over at

The Recommender