I read ‘I’m With the Band’ recently, and it made me suitably nostalgic for my time when I would turn up to The Front Page no matter who was playing, at local gigs at least three times a week.
I saw hundreds of shows, probably hundreds of bands, and loved the local bands more than the huge touring shows. Thirty of us dancing to a band playing their first show in the upstairs in Auntie Annies was my idea of heaven.
I started loving only punk and rock, but as I met people, made friends, and agreed to go see their friend’s shows, I started loving dance music, indie stuff that I spent years mocking before, and by the end I would have turned up to see a guy banging a bin if it meant a good night out.
Back then I had a blog, this is 2001 onwards, so it wasn’t called a blog, but it was a website that I updated with all the photos I would take at whatever gig the night before. By 2003 I found taking snaps of my friends, and strangers in the crowd, became almost as fun (and easier) than my always blurry digital camera photos of the actual show.
So my site really took off then, as people would log on to see if there was a photo of them the next day. I blogged a lot on MySpace in the later years, 2004 onwards, and I wonder are there still photos on there. ... I’ll have to look.
But for now, here are some of my favourite pictures from that era, and if you want to see more, there are hundreds and about a hundred bands on the remaining site.
There are three sections, local bands, touring bands, and snapshots, which are some of the crowd shots I treasure the most of all now.
At the time 2000-2005 didn’t feel like it was a scene. It wasn’t the sixties, or the grunge era, but we definitely had such a beautiful music scene in Belfast, I will always keep fond memories of Skibunny, The Front Page, my stint working in Liberty Blue & that Little Pack we ran in for a while.
I hope these photos bring you as much joy as they do me! Even though they are such terrible quality!