Mono/Mick Turner @ the HiFi (26/6/2013)

It’s always weird going to a gig at a bigger venue and not seeing a photo pit or crowd barrier. But with post-rock bands like Mono, there’s really no need to I guess. At most the crowd will have a little head bang and shuffle in their standing positions as the crescendo of noise builds up and up and up before peaking into something quiet (which is how I describe pretty much every post-rock song ever).

Mono are one of those bands I’ve never listened to on recording. Don’t get me wrong, I love a lot of post-rock, and there’s a certain Japanese post-rock/hardcore band (Envy) that I’d almost trade a body part to go see. Mono is just one of those bands I reserve for live events only. I first got taken with a friend as her +1 and was hugely impressed by their sound. I was too afraid that listening to them recorded would ruin it, so I never have.

As I walked in Mick Turner was just setting up on stage. It was him surrounded by pedals, his guitar, and a few other random things to play with.

He did the typical “solo-artist-experimentation” thing with layers upon layers of sounds being built up. Probably best known for his work as the guitarist in the Dirty Three, his solo stuff didn’t really hit it off with the crowd, with only probably a small smattering of polite applause by the time he was done. Post-rock diehards are an interesting breed and it didn’t really resonate with them.

I am a man that loves a good gong. I have a story I always tell about the first time I saw Mono. Sitting on stage behind the drummer was a massive gong. Through out the night I waited and waited for him to hit it. He got close a few times, but never did. So when I saw a gong set up behind the drum kit again tonight, I was excited but reserved. Luckily I didn’t have to wait too long, as by the second song he was gonging to his heart’s content.

The main guitarist put all of his heart and soul into each song through the night. As each song built up you could see him becoming more animated and by the time they hit the post-rock peak he was a man possessed. Even at one point repeatedly hitting the ground.

The rest of the band took a back seat to his mayhem

Shooting from the crowd turned out to not be too much of an issue with Mono. The crowd at the HiFi was sparse, maybe half full, and they really didn’t get in my way at all. In fact, if someone saw me with my camera they generally got out of the way. Shooting from a bit further away with no 3 song limit also meant I got to play with my longer focal length lenses. Most of these shots were taken on the 85mm f1.8 (which is becoming my most used lens) or my cheap manual 135mm f2.8 (an M42 mount, which I’ve added to my collection).

Original gallery for ToneDeaf

Selected gallery below:

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