Most recently, Ryan’s been covering the London Metal 2 the Masses gigs – in fact, he’s their official photographer under the guise of ShotIsOn Media! He also pops into the occasional gig in London and grabs some photos for us when he’s there. Here’s his roundup of 2017…
Best New Album: Wolves in the Throne Room – Thrice Woven
Best New Band I Discovered: Lots to choose from this year. I’ll go for Elder Druid, from Northern Ireland, as my favourite discovery this year. (They formed in 2015, but I only found out about them when I saw them play in London in July)
Best Live Show: Hard to pick, but I’ll go for Black Spiders’ last ever London gig at House of Vans (here’s a shot I got from inside the crowd). Black Spiders have been one of my favourite bands since I first heard them on a Classic Rock magazine cover CD in 2008. I’ve seen them plenty of times before but this being the last time I’d ever see them as a band made it a bit special. Black Moth were supporting and I’m pretty sure it was a free gig too, which was great.
Worst Thing That Happened: Chris Cornell’s death. He was a fantastically talented artist and his music inspired many of the bands I enjoy today. With his diverse back catalogue, it’s hard to find anyone that wasn’t a fan of at least some of Cornell’s music.
Best Thing That Happened: The “Fell on Black Days” charity gig at The Dev, Camden. It was great to see so many talented musicians from various bands come together and play some classic music in honour of Chris Cornell, including some of the lesser heard tracks. There was a great vibe the whole night and I met loads of wonderful people.
Best Picture I Took This Year: It’s really hard to pick just one out of the hundreds of gig photos I have taken in 2017. I’m going to opt for this one of Butcher in the Fog, taken at The Dev, Camden. I always try to capture movement and energy when I’m shooting a live band and I feel this shot is a great example of the look I’m usually going for. Plus The Dev is one of my favourite venues to shoot in as the close space and low lighting allows me to get creative with the flash.
Overall View Of The Year: Music-wise, it has been a good one for me. Since I moved to London towards the end of 2016 I’ve seen lots of new bands, made some new mates, heard tonnes of new music, and I’ve slowly been building a bit of a reputation as a half decent gig photographer in the London rock/metal scene.
Most Looking Forward To In 2018: Nothing too specific. Just carry on going to loads of gigs and continuing to build my photography business (which is pretty much the same thing I was looking forward to in 2017).