Asgeir Photographs

Asgeir at the Green Door Store, Brighton. 12th December 2013

Asgeir

I heard Asgeir doing a session on Dermot O’Leary’s BBC radio show on the way back from Cornwall a few months back. We’d had a great week in Crantock, not far from Newquay.  We’d been relaxing , photographing and surfing the local beach-breaks. Asgeir’s voice leapt out, the harmonies were excellent, we turned up the volume and I made a note to remember the name.

Ironically it was also Asgeir’s pronounciation of his Vees in ‘adwice’ in the otherwise excellent Nirvana Cover of Heart Shaped Box that stuck in our minds.

When I got back, I hit Youtube and found this gem ‘Going Home’  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weyENZESVL4 The gentle yet haunting vocals, the tight harmonies, the perfect blend of analogue warmth and the richness of the synth and moog. I immediately checked to see if they were hanging about in the UK for a while and found a gig down the road in  Brighton at The Green Door Store.

Gig Photography

I find it hard to leave my camera behind at the best of times. I knew that without organising anything in advance,  it would be very dark and very tricky to shoot anything worthwhile. I did try and contact their management team but it was very short notice. I packed a camera on the off chance. It is always good to test your equipment out in such tricky conditions. You can usually get something usable for the web, if nothing else. When you work with the roadies and lighting team you can usually get down the front for a couple of tracks. They may even accommodate you with the lighting. You can then head back out of the way and work with a longer lens. I’m always very conscious of not being in the way and not marring the experience for anyone else.

I managed to grab a few Asgeir Photographs.

All images © Rich Clark images 2013. Please feel free to share but credit me where you do.

Gig photography usually involves working in the dark, with tricky lighting, crowds and musicians who are going to be constantly on the move. Gaining sharp workable images is not easy under these conditions.

With a gig like this, I also didn’t want my camera getting between me and enjoying these guys play live. This, even moreso in what is such an intimate venue. I grabbed a few shots, working nowhere below ISO 3200 and sometimes well beyond. They were using a projected light show over them onto the back wall, which made it a little more challenging. The Canon 5D MK III certainly gives you a bit more to play with when working in low light.

Asgeir are fantastic live. There is a rawness in their sound, something slightly elemental perhaps, born out of Iceland where they come from. As a landscape photographer I am very aware of the rugged beauty of Iceland and I’ll be there soon enough to take some of my own images. If I could get my Land Rover there too, I’d be delighted. Their music conjures up that rugged beauty and the live experience , at least for me, really captures a sense of the place.

In The Silence

I’ve just opened their new album ‘In The Silence’, which arrived this morning. I knew it would be great and I expected it to be a slightly different experience to what I have heard already. It is more polished naturally but I have to admit to preferring some of the non album versions of tracks. I’m also quite partial to them singing in Icelandic.  I definitely prefer the various versions of ‘Going Home’ I’ve heard. The album version feels a little over processed and it takes something away from the rawness I love.

Asgeir

Asgeir’s voice needs no embellishment whatsoever apart from a spot of reverb here and there. The wonderful harmonies he and Julius create need to be kept simple. Lost was the beautiful melancholic simplicity of the piano riff at the start which was a shame. I loved the introduction of the analogue brass at the end. The bandwagon has certainly begun to roll and I know we’ll be hearing a lot more from these guys.  

We’ll be seeing them again in April in Islington and can’t wait. Their music has not been far from my playlists while working over the last few months and a number of the songs have been the inspiration for some on-going projects I’m working on that I look forward to sharing.

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