You have seen a Tony Mott photograph. You just don’t realize it. The Australian photographer has been shooting since 1976 and gotten everyone from the Rolling Stones to Avril Lavigne in his view finder. Last night he celebrated his newest book, Rock N Roll Photography Is The New Trainspotting. On the walls of the very posh Red Bull Space was a timeline in photos of Mott’s very long career. He’s published photos in 700 magazines and 450 CD books, been the tour photographer for Michael Jackson and the Rolling Stones, and shot portraits for Ozzy Osbourne. He dusted off a few old chestnuts for the audience, recalling Mick Jagger’s close censorship of flabby neck photos and Osbourne’s sudden discovery of the view from his Sydney hotel room (he’d been in the hotel three days before opening the curtains).
A couple of bands were there too, both Aussie groups, Cameras and Guineafowl. Cameras’ members were dressed to kill, the boys in three-piece suits and the girls in designer trappings. Their sound was pretty sharp too, very moody and distant, like an Interpol/David Bowie mash-up. They didn’t take themselves too seriously though, and they had a good chuckle at being introduced as a trio when clearly right behind the announcer there were six people on the stage. Singer and pianist Elanor Dunlop stole the show with her vocals and stellar effort on the keys. You’ll have a chance to catch them elsewhere as they’ll be playing several shows this week. One not to miss would be the Aussie Barbecue this Saturday.
By the time Guineafowl took the stage the crowd was sufficiently liquored up courtesy of the open bar. The mood was right for moving. The Guineafowl variety of indie-pop is of the danceable kind, and frontman Sam Yeldham, aka Guineafowl, knew the crowd did not want to watch a bunch of mannequins on stage. There was dancing, hand clapping and Yeldham at one point leaping from the bass drum. “I get tired when I do the jumps,” he told CMJ after he got off stage. Hopefully he’ll be able to maintain that energy throughout the rest of the band’s stay in New York.
Photos by Paolo Carrenceja.