I went to see Sheavy at Distortion last night. I haven’t seen them in almost five years. Last time I really had a chance to talk to Steve Hennessey, he was taking off to Minnesota to do a course, and he was loaning me a boom mic for my video productions. 

Heavy as F***, as usual! Not to mention tight. Steve’s voice was going in my ears just like the albums. I saw him pumping himself up right before the guys went underway as Evan was tuning his guitar. Celestial Hi-Fi was the first song I think? I played this song with them back in 2000 when the guys got back together at the Cornerstone. I still remembered the riff. 

As I walked up the stairs, around 11:30 to Distortion, the place was already filled with a crowd - a good sign for whole night. It was refreshing to see familiar faces. and the Sheavy crowd such as Steve Power, and Paul Gruchy, who was the first bass player in Green Machine, who after became, Sheavy. A few ex-members showing their presence! Though, sadly, I missed Seadogs! I walked in as they were just cluing up packing in their pedals. 

Last Soul Down were next and I’ve been meaning to take pictures of these friends of mine. I keep missing them because they’re usually closing or have started before I got to the venue.

It’s good to see John Fisher up playing. An old rocker from the past and still rocking. Seeing him on stage, I see him in his happy place, ie. with a guitar, with an amp, with friends. I could see a crack in his smile. 

Richard, singer, dressed in drag. I loved his wig. It fits well. Matches his outfit and makeup perfectly. Truly has a sense of fashion, this guy! He fist bumped and acknowledged the crew up in front of the stage, He sang greatly. I didn’t get too close to Corey Fagan, he was sporting the Dimebag guitar, and it was ready to stab me if I got too close. Sadly the other guys were too far to shoot, I shoot with a wide lens to be near the subjects and I didn’t want to step on any toes, nor pedals trying to get up to catch Ray and Paul on drums. Happy playing guys! you played great last night.

The crowd was great. I stepped out and took a few candid shots of who were there to support. Great night, I left at 2:45 to make my 30 minute drive home to Portugal Cove. 

Bowering Park Amphitheatre

Last minute shot over to Bowering Park, St. John’s on a nice cool evening. Finished up a meeting with a wedding couple client, before heading home to lie in bed and edit photos, I decided to stay out after realizing a notification on an event I agreed to go. It was just about to start. 

A free all ages show event that popped up on my facebook feed, I darted it over there. Three bands that I haven’t seen in a while: Monsterbator, Hard Ticket and The Swell Heads. 

For a long long time, being in bands, I have dreamed of playing at this venue. It’s such a cool place tucked away in a little pocket of Bowering Park. The acoustics sound nice, you could sit anywhere and have the best seat in the house. Most of times there with my children, I’ve never seen anything happen here. Maybe once or twice, I’ve seen a shakespeare play. The playground was just next door, and we would sometimes drop in and play on stage pretending to be rockstars or dancers. 

Kudos to the organizer that was able to get the permit for this venue to have alternative bands play - not your usual jazz or light rock band play. Not that there was anything wrong with that. It’s just good to see more diverse acts opening up to the public, rather than a hidden hole in the wall dingey nightclub. It was amazing! It was contrast to the venue but it was great! Kind of like, ‘Look what could happen if someone does it?’. The stigma of punk rock being played at family venues is washing away. Kudos to these guys. 

First, it was The Swell Heads. They were surfy, rotten, but tastey! Tight and good gangey vocals? Shit, I don’t want to be giving reviews here, but I’m just trying to describe how I feel when listening. I was slapping my knee through the whole set. I was a Hives fan. It was the closest I can compare it to. Clean janggling guitars, I see a Fender Twin on bust - the way those amps should be. 

Next, Hard Ticket. Garagey - it made me young again hearing their style. Kept me close to the early 90s, and maybe the 80s? shit! Not sure? But they were beatin’ it up!

Finally, before having to leave, I managed to catch their whole set except for the second last song, Monsterbator. I love the groove (I didn’t know Vic was playing bass in this band!), the tight, the loud traynor and fender twin paired up sitting next to each other. It was sharp and eerie, it made me deaf in one ear for about 3 hours last night. I was hearing ringings in bed and needed a bit of white noise to suppress it. Thanks Christian! I am a big Albini, Shellac, Jesus Lizard fan and all that came with it in the Post 90’s era, or whatever you call it. Am I just making this up? Who cares!? It’s just music, and I’m digging it. Not to mentioned the cute little kid popping up on stage with a little guitar joining her dad on stage. 

The crowd was great! it was respectful, we were all there rootin’ for the music and our friends. Monsterbator singer handing out watermelon - best part of the day! Off again to take more pictures…. NEXT

North Baluarte, Iloilo

I’m slowly getting to my photos taken while in the Philippines last June. 

So many photos, finally had a chance to review my pictures in this place called North Baluarte, Iloilo. The locals call this area “Baragay” - an area or division. 

I went with a photo student and my good friend Jojo to see what some areas of Philippines can be like. We’ve seen beautiful places such as palm trees, open lands, jungles, and touristy areas such as Boracay.  

This time, I wanted to see and experience real life places of hardship, hoping to show this side, for this seems to be left forgotten in exchange for more attractive sites to lure in tourism. But this is way of life here too, and these are people living. I prefer seeing this, how people live with what they have and appreciate. 

Before going in, we needed to get clearance to go inside by the Barangay Captain. As we waited at the entrance sitting in these lawn chairs, he finally comes back out and says it’s okay for us to go in, He tells people to let the community know that we are going in to shoot and we were not there to portray negativity to the media, as done before by other photographers, from what I heard. I was very relieved and thankful. We were supposed to show our passports/ID, and I didn’t have any of that on me. After mentioning that I was from Canada, they said it was okay for us to go in, we had to sign a log book. Things went underway and we were escorted in by a few members just in case of any dangers. 

It puts things in total perspective while walking through these tight alley ways of bamboo houses. Doorways just inches away, I am able to shoot right inside in most houses capturing everyday life. People are welcoming, they say hello to me. In the worst conditions that I see, you still see smiles and small sense of family and community here. More than I have seen in other wealthier areas. 

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