Last week I was invited down to Oporto to hang with Canadian rock duet Cleopatrick as they stopped off in Leeds on their first ever European tour.
I met the guys after their soundcheck, and we went for a short walk around Call Lane and the Corn Exchange. This was the first time the guys had toured outside of Canada and the USA, and it was fascinating talking to Luke and Ian about how the band came together, and how British music influenced them growing up. They've very much been thrust into the spotlight recently following the success of their track 'hometown', which has led to sessions with Radio X and a Radio 1 session in the hallowed Maida Vale studio. Speaking to them, though, they were very chilled, focused, and pragmatic about it. They struck me as being extremely level headed and down to Earth, which was refreshing to see.
We soon returned back to the venue, and while Luke and Ian were preparing for their set I got set to catch the support for the evening, which I was equally as excited about: the return of Knuckle. I'd been trying to see these guys for years and for whatever reason it had never happened, so I was delighted that they were back, and they sounded huge! As well as getting to witness a great set, this also gave me the opportunity to get all my settings right, as this was the first time I'd ever shot at this venue. I opted to use flash as the venue was pretty dark, and the disco ball made for some pretty interesting light casting.
The room was pretty much full by the time Cleopatrick were due on stage. I camped out at the front, trying my best not to be too obtrusive of the crowd, but in a decent enough position so that I could hop onto the stage should things get raucous - I'd been given a heads up that things could get a little crazy! Cleopatrick's set was epic. I'd heard a few of their tracks on Spotify, but that didn't really prepare me for how great their live show would be. SO. MANY. RIFFS. The guys have a great blend of technical ability, lyrical prowess, onstage energy, and a truckload of catchy hooks, which made for a blistering set. And Luke happens to be a very expressive singer and guitarist, which made for awesome camera fodder!
I hopped onto the stage after four or five songs to capture Luke crowd surfing, but this was also great for getting some frames of Luke and Ian rocking out together, which looked really cool. The night was brought to an end with a great cover of my Arctic Monkeys' track 'From The Ritz to The Rubble'.
It was a great night, and was awesome to be out shooting such a raucous rock show. Huge thanks to Luke, Ian, Jake and Greg for being so accommodating! If you get chance to catch these guys live, take it. You won't regret it.