A tight-knit community of Sydney’s emerging live-music photographers is being exhibited at Somedays Gallery in Surry Hills as part of Head On Photo Festival.
After a summer of getting up close and personal in the pit together, 12 photographers have collaborated to present Australia’s vibrant music scene from their perspectives.
Wide Eyed Live Volume 2 is a dynamic show that features acts of all genres across a gamut of music venues. Josh Groom’s work swings from FKA Twigs at Laneway (in that outfit you couldn’t peel your eyes away from) to Robbie Williams at the Allphones Arena. Jared Leibowitz captures Sticky Fingers’ Dylan Frost smoking backstage after a sold-out Melbourne show, a pair of undies and a note on his shoulder from a die-hard fan. Rohan Anderson went to extreme lengths to photograph the Wombats’ invite-only performance on The Island, hanging off a roof to get the perfect shot.
The photographers range in age and output (some shoot for online publications, others for print) but their shared passion for their work is clear. They also succeed in conveying the fervour of music fans. “We don't get loads of weekend festivals in Sydney so [they] go nuts for the day festivals like Laneway and Soundwave,” says featured photographer Adam Davis-Powell (who, with a youth part-spent in Glastonbury, has got good gig-going credentials himself).
But Sydney offers one-of-a-kind gig opportunities that even one of the biggest rock festivals in the world can’t compete with: an unlikely-sounding “hardcore harbour cruise”, for instance.
“Listening to hardcore music on a boat, drinking beers and swaying from side to side might sound like a bad idea,” says Davis-Powell of record label UNFD’s boat cruise in January, “but it was one of my favourite shows of the last few years.”
Wide Eyed Live Volume 2 runs from May 6 to 30 at Somedays Gallery, Surry Hills.