September 22nd marked my first year anniversary of shooting for Ragged Words so it's fitting then that I was photographing for them on the same night a year later. It's been a great year & I've had the opportunity to shoot some amazing gigs... & many many more are lined up for the rest of this year.
So, it was Thursday evening & I was at the beautiful Bush Hall to photograph Danny & The Champions of the World midway through their UK tour. They were supporting recent release 'Hearts & Arrows' which has been described by Dave Simpson as an attempt to 'sound more like Springsteen than the Gaslight Anthem do'. It's a bit of a departure from their last album for sure. About five songs in to the set, the photographer next to me leans in and shouts 'I guess that's all that folk stuff out of the window then!'
Not that the audience seem to mind. They were singing along, cheering & lapping up all the onstage posturing. Danny looked like he was having the time of his life & there was a certain infectious quality about the performance, I found my feet tapping between shots & I really enjoyed photographing them.
My only criticism was that yes, they do sound like they're from New Jersey & not South London. It's odd. Somehow though, Danny & his Champions can just about pull it off because live, they are good enough to be forgiven.
I'm not sure I can forgive support act Marcus Bonfanti though... He looks like an English Avett Brother, speaks with an estuary twang and sings like he grew up having his heart broken on a daily basis in south Louisiana. He's technically very good & I absolutely cannot fault his blues influenced guitar playing. I think it's the fake American accent when he sings that bugs me the most... and a lot of the cliched lyrics. He's funny though, I'll give him that... "This song's about I girl I used to see... yeah, I know, another one. This one didn't break my heart though, she just broke a load of my stuff...'
Forthe full set of photos go to RaggedWords.