This week we’re back at the First Direct Arena in Leeds and it’s my first opportunity to see how the venue works with an actual moshing area next to the photography pit. Elton was all seated, so people could enjoy the show and join in with ‘I Remember when life was young’ without working up too much of a sweat. Fans of Vampire Weekend are far more hardcore…well you’d think that from the name and actually the first time I saw them I assumed they’d be some kind of rocky, metal, grunge band. I was slightly disappointed to find they’re more your Twilight variety of vampire – more moody than Marilyn Manson mean. In this instance they were supported by indie folk band Noah and the Whale so I guess that was a bit of a giveaway. Anyhow the venue was pretty packed, I’m guessing there were fans on both sides of the billing and the combo definitely worked.
I’ve photographed Noah and the Whale three or four times now and over the years they’ve grown and grown. On the tour bus at Leeds festival they did us a wee bit of acoustic stuff and honestly they couldn’t have been more lovely. I would happily have turned out to see them solo and they didn’t disappoint – strong songs, great vocals and musicianship.
As for the Vampires well they were good too. They’re big in the States and I’m sure will go home with plenty of new friends here in the UK.
Being at the Arena made a change from the usual smaller scale venues in Leeds. No lighting issues to speak of and Y Magazine have already picked up some of my Vampire shots plus one of Elton, so all good really. Plus I got a small added bonus, my very own Noah plectrum. Another one for the collection.