Wednesday, August 24, 2016


REEVES GABRELS electric, acoustic & six-string bass guitar | 2012 to present

Reeves Gabrels | Audio kitchen amp | Messa Boogie speaker cabinet  and Reverend Guitars 'Spacehawk'. 

I first came across Reeve's work when he was a member of TIN MACHINE, in the late 1980s and after which, there was the next decade, with his work along side DAVID BOWIE [RIP], throughout the nineties. 

He first worked with The Cure on their 1997 single Wrong Number single in 1997  and Robert Smith sang on the song Yesterdays Gone, from his solo 1999 solo Album ULYSSES.

There is his solo body of work [Including his band REEVES GABRELS & HiS iMAGiNARY FR13NDS .
It was through a comment on my Facebook Album Photo, was made aware the the amazing AUDIO KITCHEN AMPS and especially, what goes into their being made.  I looked a little deeper and found a video on their website:  and this resonated not only because of the clear passion the maker[s] have for the amps they make, but also its strong connection with musicians, but it also reminded me of my past.

Growing up at home, there was always soldering irons, wires, printed circuit boards, along with, screw drivers, pliers, stripping and cutting tools etc, around the garage/workshop.  I even worked two summers*, in last two years at school, at the Electrical Engineering faculty, of The Institute of Technology, Sydney [aka UTS], where 

my father was the Lab manager. 

A few years later among other projects, I built a 2 RCA in 1 out RCA 'mixer' which combined with two cassette decks, became my first attempts at recording  'multi-track' music.  It may have sounded rough, at  the end, but it was a lot of fun!. 

Bespoke amps I think this is why, coming across such beautiful, hand made amps and where the sum of the parts, literally and figuratively speaking, become greater then the whole. Sometimes perhaps, its not just the music, but also what surrounds it, that can connect with the past, especially if you play, write, perform music yourself.  Coincidentally, it was taking a few test shots, before the band came on stage, that I captured a shot of the amp [see below] 

Who knows, all these years later, as I finally re set-up my little home studio, might put some things together myself, what's the worse that could happen?  Soldering iron on standby! 




[*Excerpt from Institute of Technology, Sydney Reference}: 
Electronics workshops: assisting in the fabrication of connecting leads, of various types, decade capacitance boxes, power supply units: and construction of transistor curve tracers. Assembly of several types of laboratory trainers for student experiments.  Mechanical Workshop: assisting with sheet metal fabrication for laboratory equipment and fitments. Teaching Laboratories: assisting with annual check, repair and calibration of equipment and instruments. Assisting with laboratory alterations.
Blog coming SOON! 


Saturday, July 30, 2016


THE CURE | SYDNEY  | 2016  

Robert Smith | Vocals and Guitar  

Tonight  was  always going to be, one of those memorable nights, where it went way beyond, just getting the photograph a performance.  I was attending with a close friend, who we've been to many shows and long term fans of the band.  We also got to experience, some of the unexpected moments, for example where a couple, offered to share there table in the eatery and then we shared stories as fans of the band, as well as music in general. Its moments like this, that are special and something that you can never plan, but need to embrace.  

Photographing:  It was a joy to photograph the first three songs of performance, partly because I am along term fan and partly because the venue security, other photographers and production crew, interacted in a professional manner.  Creatively, you always have to make the most, of the amount of time, shooting vantage point (That is, the 'pit' area, between the audience barrier and stage) and awareness of where the band members are, something you can connect with at show and/or researching clips from current tour.  

The Band  
Robert Smith | Vocals and Guitar 

Simon Gallup | Bass 

Roger O' Donnell | Keyboards and Tambourine 
Jason Cooper | Drums and Percussion 

Reeves Gabrels | Guitar 

The Show 

Sound and lighting each song had its own unique combination, of lighting design, live camera projection, film and/or backdrop. In many ways, from the way I experienced it, was production design, was more an extension of each song and less about a show, with a set narrative running through it.  

Audience was an eclectic group of people, spanning age groups, lifestyles, cultures and relationships. I expected nothing else, from a The Cure show and where it only adds to the experience, of being at a live show.  

Unexpected moment[s] It was during Love Song, that a member of the audience, moved next to where I was standing and was wearing a wedding dress.  Which immediately reminded me, of the song Just Like heaven video clip The next song started and it was that very song!.  I was during the piano solo, that I turned and saw them dancing, swirling around and the swoosh of the dress, to the rhythm of the music. A few songs later, they had disappeared and so one of the more surreal moments that night.  

Set list

Plainsong | Pictures of You | Closedown
A Night Like This
All I Want
In Between Days
Like Cockatoos
The End of the World
Just Like Heaven
From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea
The Hungry Ghost
One Hundred Years

Encore 1:
It Can Never Be the Same
A Forest

Encore 2:
Shake Dog Shake
Fascination Street
Never Enough
Wrong Number

Encore 3:
Hot Hot Hot!!!
Let's Go to Bed
Sleep When I'm Dead
Friday I'm in Love

Encore 4:
The Lovecats
The Caterpillar
The Walk
Close to Me
Why Can't I Be You?

Boys Don't Cry

 Thanks to and all those that contribute to creating such lists.  

Robert Smith and Simon Gallup 

Post Script

It's a testament to a band, where they can play 36 songs, all of which I knew and where there were still songs, I'd loved to have heard. However, having seen a band many times, have heard most songs before.  


Date 25th July 2016

Location:  Qudos Arena, Olympic Park, Australia

Tour Promoter | Live Nation  all the people I interacted with, could not have been, more helpful, friendly and fun.  Special thanks to 'Primary International International'. 

Equipment:  Camera Canon 5D and Lens 70-200mm f2.8 IS 


TBC | PART 2 : The Band   

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

PHOTOGRAPHY OMEGA ENSEMBLE Performance of Beethoven's 7th at City recital Hall, Sydney Australia.

OMEGA ENSEMBLE |  Beethoven's 7th | City Recital Hall


I was recently asked to photograph the soundcheck and performance, of Beethoven's 7th, by the OMEGA ENSEMBLE, at The City Recital Hall, Sydney Australia.
I was introduced to OMEGA ENSEMBLE'S to Artistic Director, founder and Clarinetist, David Rowden, by the Cellist Teije Hylke [ Principal Cellist at Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra ]. Its times like this, I really appreciate, being acquainted with such amazing musicians.

David Rowden | Omega Ensemble Artist Director and Founder 

Omega Ensemble 
Are the current Ensemble in Residence of The City Recital Hall. For more information please check out their website 

City Recital Hall is located in  Angel Place, Sydney | Australia. This is the first purpose built Opera House, since the Sydney Opera House.  It has incredible acoustics, where the only reason for acoustic instruments and voices, to use microphones, is for recording and/or hearing loops in auditorium.  

Soundcheck: It was during the soundcheck, we realised that the click of the camera, would be enough, to interfere with recording and enjoyment of performance. This was particularly so, as it is a small ensemble, as distinct by way of example, from a Symphony Orchestra.   However, sound check's can allow the opportunity, whilst no recording or audience (Cameras can sometimes be a visual distraction during performance), to capture moments, other wise not possible.  This can be anything, from the position you take a photo (whether wide or close up), to capturing more candid moments. 


Ben Hoadley | Bassoon 

Ensemble | Stage Right 

Lisa Osmialowski | Flautist 

Pre-show talk by Eva Frey It such a great idea, where there is a introduction to the music being performed and their composers.  Whether you are familiar with the composers, history or music and the work itself, its a great way to precede a performance.  The way Eva Frey presented the talk, was both informative, animated and inspiring. 

 Eva Frey | Omega Ensemble Development Manager 

Performance Part 1 All the photos taken were taken, just before and at end of performance, due to the concerns over noise levels, during the sound check.  

Petite Symphonie | Charles Gounod [1818-1893]

 I. Adagio et Allegretto II. Andante Cantabile 
III. Scherzo IV. Finale

 Lisa Osmialowski (flute), Alex Fontaine (oboe), Matthew Bubb (oboe), David Rowden (clarinet), John Lewis (clarinet), Ben Hoadley (bassoon), Simone Walters (bassoon), Michael Dixon (horn), Phil Wilson (horn).

Bowing at end of performance 

Nonet in F Major, Op. 31 | Louis Spohr [1784-1859]  

I. Allegro II. Scherzo : Allegro III. Adagio IV. Finale: Vivace
Lisa Osmialowski (flute), Alex Fontaine (oboe), David Rowden (clarinet), Ben Hoadley (bassoon), Simone Michael Dixon (horn), Ike See (violin), James Eccles (viola), Paul Stender (cello), Alex Henery (double bass).
Bowing at end of performance 

Intermission  always a great chance, to talk about the performance, interact with people you know and meet new people. Along with the pre-show talk, adds to the whole of experience of attending a performance.  

Intermission drinks 

Performance Part 2:

Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 arr. Pierluigi Destro | Ludwig Van Beethoven [1770-1827]

I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace II. Allegretto III. Presto – Assai meno presto IV. Allegro con brio

Alex Fontaine (oboe), Matthew Bubb (oboe), David Rowden (clarinet), John Lewis (clarinet), Ben Hoadley (bassoon), Simone Walters (bassoon), Melissa Woodroffe (contra bassoon), Michael Dixon (horn), Phil Wilson (horn) Timothy Brigden (timpani)

Arriving on stage 

Performance date: 11th July 2016

Post Script As musician, who mostly delves in contemporary music, I really enjoy, getting to know more about, see and hear, other periods, styles and types of music. 

Photographic equipment:  Canon 5D Camera and 70-200mm f2.8 IS + 16 -35mm f2.8 and 85mm f 1.2 lenses

DV | P Facebook Album:

Teije Hylkema  will be performing Elgar's Concerto, with the Omega Ensemble, on 5th September, at City Recital Hall

Thursday, December 22, 2011

THE CURCH [BAND] 'Future | Past Perfect Tour Australia' 2011.

My first memories of seeing The Church, were at the local hotel as a support band (it was a long time ago.....) and a few years later the band I was in at the time ('Grinning Sometimes'), were occasionally using the same rehearsal place ('White Room')when they were preparing for the Album 'Hey Day' in.  Now I find myself, sitting in the Enmore Theatre, while they soundcheck for tonight's show,  where they were performing:    

"the critically acclaimed 'Untitled #23', perennial fan favourite 'Priest=Aura' and the iconic 'Starfish'." 

It was a typically magical night, where the songs took you to another place, where the sum of the parts has a beauty and yet have an edge to it.  



Date: 17 December 2011  

The Venue: Enmore Theatre (Australia)  

The Band  

 Steve Kilbey  
 Marty Wilson-Piper 
 Peter Koppes 
 Tim Powles 

 With special guests 

The Show: Songs

'Untitled #23'
 Cobalt Blue 
 Deadman's Hand 
 Space Saviour 
 On Angel Street 
 Sunken Sun 


'Priest = Aura'
 Swan Lake 
 Witch Hunt 
 The Disillusionist 
 Old Flame 


 Under the Milky Way 
 Blood Money 
 North, South, East and West 
 A New Season 
 Hotel Womb 

The Church facebook page:

The Church Website:

The Photos  

Text TBC

Additional Photos: 'David Vagg | Photography' Facebook Page