English Beat @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, NYC - 2.6.09 (16)

English Beat @ The Fillmore at Irving Plaza, NYC – 2.6.09

February 11, 2009 | Concert Photography

Last time I saw English Beat, it was at the Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY. They put on a great live show and I really wanted to photograph the band. Thankfully Dave Wakeling and the English Beat wrote me back and I got the okay to shoot the show. So thanks to Dave for hooking up a poor bastard like myself. While this set was REALLY HARD to shoot, I still had a blast of a time photographing The Beat.

English Beat are celebrating their 30th anniversary. So the band is as old as I am. Yikes haha. Anyway, they started off with a long version of “Whine and Grine” and that meant for us photographers, a long time to talk pictures! The band played a lot of stuff off their first album “I Just Can’t Stop It.” Songs like “Two Swords,” “Hands Off She’s Mine,” “Rough Rider,” “Twist & Crawl” and Smokey Robinson’s cover “Tears of a Clown.” Dave also sang a few General Public songs as well like “Tenderness,” “Never You Done That” and the Staple Singers cover of “I’ll Take You There.” The sold out club was grooving to the beats and everyone was having a great time. I was happy to see that ska is still pulling its weight and selling out clubs. And people say ska is dead…fuck off!

Like I said above, this set was extremely tough to shoot. I didn’t want to resort to using my flash because I’ve been training myself not to use it. Since the majority of the time, you can’t anyway. The lighting was dark blues, and very smokey. Half the members of the band weren’t in the beams of light and tough to get photos of. The backlighting was really strong, and no front lighting. Just blues. The backlighting was so strong it was blinding at times. I did manage to get better pictures as the set went on. I think I shot 5 or 6 songs for English Beat. I found shooting from the side and in the front row beyond the security gate the best spot for this type of show. On the side, you aren’t directly facing the backlighting so I’ll have to remember that for next time. I was just happy to be there and shooting the show.

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