Alter Bridge, Belfast Ulster Hall (21st June 2017)… and an editorial rant

You may notice something about this review… the lack of review! For those who want to enjoy Kerri’s superb photos, please just scroll down and bathe in the awesome. If you want to know why we didn’t review the show, then read on.

Essentially it boils down to a ridiculous policy put in place on the night. We know it wasn’t the band, so must assume it was the venue who decided on it, but it was this – after three songs (no flash), photographers were to quit taking pictures. So far, so standard.

As this point they were to pack their cameras away, leave the venue and deposit their cameras into their cars. After which they would be readmitted.

For those who don’t know the Ulster Hall, it’s not exactly right next to convenient parking. Realistically you can expect a 20-minute round trip to go to your car and back. Then there’s the issue of leaving thousands of pounds-worth of photographic equipment in your car. We’ve already had more than one of our staff who have had their vehicle broken into and the kit lifted.

Oh, and how about those who decided to dodge the parking issue and use public transport? They didn’t have a car to leave their stuff in. The venue had no solution to this issue. She was told simply that she would have to leave.

So Kerri did her photo duties and headed home after barely fifteen minutes of the show as she was unable to get back in. In fairness, she then turned the images around for us in record time and you can enjoy them below.

This policy is similar, but worse, to that which I’ve encountered at Glasgow Academy where photographers are forced to leave via the rear fire exit after the three songs, and can’t get back in without their camera, though there is an option there to leave it in the cloakroom… if you don’t mind your 3-minute escape to the car at the end of the gig being turned into a 30-minute queue to get your camera back.

I’ve contacted the Academy about this policy several times and never had a reply. I’m going to email Ulster Hall and see if we have any better luck.

At the end of the day, the people attending these gigs with their cameras and review notepads are professionals (or at least should be acting as such). Therefore there should be an element of trust between them and the venue in that rules will be adhered to. If someone gets caught with their posh camera out after the three songs, taking pictures, it’s easy enough to have them identified and their publication barred in future. Most serious photographers wouldn’t take that risk. So why this “leave the venue” nonsense? It demonstrates a lack of trust on behalf of the venue and as an editor with superb staff as well as a being jobbing photo-snapper myself I find it borderline insulting as well as inconvenient.

So our apologies to you guys, the fans, for being unable to bring you the report. Our apologies, also, to the kind folk at Cosa Nostra PR who organised our guest list and to the band themselves who I’m sure played a blinder (as they always do).

In the meantime… feast your eyes.

All photos by Kerri Clarke of Exposing Shadows Photography.

Alter Bridge: official | facebook | twitter | myspace | youtube | flickr

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Johnny Cupcakes
Johnny Cupcakes
June 22, 2017 3:32 PM

Are you seriously getting butt-hurt over a gig you were admitted to for free on the premise that you would review and then didn’t bother to review? Wise up.