As one of Live4ever’s longest serving photographers, Gary Mather has been a regular in photo-pits for years. With a bit of unexpected time off right now, he’s gone back through those extensive archives and picked out some of the best shots from some of the best gigs we’ve featured on these pages during the past decade. Here is ‘K’ through to ‘O’:
K is for: Kasabian
“Kill me if you dare, hold my head up everywhere/Keep myself right on this train/I’m the underdog, live my life on a lullaby/Keep myself riding on this train/Keep myself riding on this train.”
One of the Premier League’s greatest moments was when Leicester City defied all the odds and lifted the league title, just slightly beating that other sporting phenomenon that was Serge Pizzorno’s amazing goal on Soccer Am. It’s no secret the Kasabian lads are huge Leicester fans, and it set the scene for a riot of a hometown gig at the King Power. Pavarotti flooded the stadium with an iconic Nessun Dorma, followed by a monologue from Claudio Ranieri. The King Power was at boiling point and opening up with Underdog just set it off!
L is for: LIFE
Hull’s LIFE are a band I discovered a couple of years ago at All Points East in the tiny Jaegermeister Stage. Frontman Mez Green is just a blur of anger and disdain at the the decline of this great nation, the chemistry between him and the crowd seems to feed that raw emotion and you are left physically and emotionally battered and bruised (in a great way ).
M is for: Midway Still
For those that check out my stream I imagine you are thinking, ‘M is for who?’, and why wouldn’t you! Midway Still were one of my indie rock/punk bands from back in the 90s, heavy on the guitars with a hook to get you from the go. I loved ’em! I love what I do, there is no accolade or reward but it’s nights like this, shooting the bands I idolised as a young scallywag in a backstreet pub, that makes the effort all worth the while. Little fact: if anybody knows the old venue Boardwalk in Manchester I saw Midway Still play there, supported by none other than Radiohead.
N is for: Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
It’s no secret my favourite band in the universe is The Wonder Stuff, and it’s because of these guys I found The Neds. I have seen this jump by Jon more times than I can remember, and being lucky enough to capture it with the camera was such a bucket list moment. When you are a kid in the mosh pit trying just to keep on your feet I could never have imagined 20 years or so later I would be on the other side of the barrier.
O is for: Otherkin
A band I only managed to photograph just the once. ‘Man I have got to see that band again’ was the feeling I got on that one occasion. Sadly, and an all too familiar scene, the band succumbed to mounting bills, the pride of releasing music that you’ve laboured over for months to the deflation of struggling ticket sales (their own words) and decided to call it a day. I love this photograph because it just sums up the gig, and if this is my lasting memory then I will settle for that. Another fantastic live band gone way too soon.