Living the Dream: Shooting Augustines, live
Billy McCarthy of Augustines
Billy McCarthy of Augustines

Most of us have a favourite band, one that means something to us or got us through a tough time, or lasted with us through your teenage years. Actually, most of us have more than one. One of mine is an indie group from Brooklyn, NY, called Augustines.

I first came across Augustines (then known as We Are Augustines) in 2011, when they featured in an episode of Chase Jarvis Live (which I’ve embedded at the bottom of this post). They played with passion and flair and heart, and as any of us with our favourite artists, something about their music reached inside me and made something switch on in my brain. They’ve gone from strength to strength since then, and they’re playing barnstorming shows all over Europe and the US.

Ever since seeing that video I’ve wanted to photograph them. So when I discovered that they were headlining the Calling Out tent at Kendal Calling 2014, I decided I’d have to move heaven and earth to get press credentials, just so that I could be in the pit for the first three songs of their set (and in the tent, a pleased-as-punch-punter, for the rest of it).

Eric Sanderson of Augustines
Eric Sanderson of Augustines

It was thanks to my friend and collaborator (and Kendal Calling veteran) Ben Warburton that I was able to get credentials. He suggested that I offer to do some promotional work for some of the artists at the festival, and, after a lot of running around, emails, phone calls, waiting and more running around, I finally got the all-important wristbands and purple tabard. I was in.

Billy and Eric
Eric and Billy

I don’t often do live music work but I always enjoy it when I do, and this was no exception. I’ve said before that seeing Augustines live is about as close to a spiritual experience as I’m going to get; being in the pit for the first three songs was absolutely amazing, and worth every aching joint and splash of mud that the weekend earned me.

Another thing it taught me is that you’ve got to put out there what you want to do (I already knew this, of course, but it’s worth reminding one’s self from time to time). So in the spirit of putting it out there: My new challenge is finding a way to photograph Augustines — Billy, Eric and Rob (whose drum platform was too far away for me to shoot effectively) in an editorial context.

Of course, I didn’t only shoot Augustines. I also got to shoot: Miles Kane, Frightened Rabbit, Clean Bandit, Happy Mondays, Tom Odell, Razorlight, Molly Warburton, Newton Faulkner, Aquilo, and The Feud. You can see the full set of the best of the images I shot over on 500px.

Here are [We Are] Augustines as I first encountered them: on Chase Jarvis Live three years ago: