Before we start looking forward to 2016 and all that they may bring, Backseat Mafia’s live photographers have been taking a look back at the gigs we covered in 2015 and choosing their own personal favourite photos…

STEVE BARNES – DESPERATE JOURNALIST

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One of our bands of the year, caught them at Crystal Bar during Tramlines. One of those bands that comes along and blows your head off, and in Jo Bevan, a quality front woman, a pleasure to shoot. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

stAn – RICK WITTER, SHED SEVEN.

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I have it on good authority that he’s “well sexy!” in this pic (???) (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

ALEX BRADE – ALEX G

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Closing an already intimate show, for her final song of the night, Alex G picked up her acoustic guitar and made her way into the middle audience, the crowd joined in with every word making it one of the most memorable highlights of the night. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

ERIN MOORE (www.fortephotographyuk.com) – BRING ME THE HORIZON

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This photo was taken on BMTHs biggest ever headline tour after arguably their biggest year yet. Their lighting was powerful and bright- perfect shooting conditions. The emotion on Oli Sykes’ face in this shows how much passion he puts into every performance. This image was shot on a Canon 6D with a Sigma 35mm Art Series lens. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

SIMON DELIC – PINKSHINYULTRABLAST

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Every now and again you get to see a band who you feel are on the cusp of something bigger, the epitome of cool. With a string of well received singles behind it, pinkshinyultrablast felt like such a band when I saw them at the Liverpool PsychFest. The lighting only added to the mystery of occasion which I think I managed to capture with this photo. The band’s debut album comes out in early 2016, it could and should that it to the next level. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PENNY BLAKEMORE – PRIDES

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“Musically invincible” synth-pop trio Prides have done everything they can to win the crowds over this year. From support slots to headline tours, the group have conquered the live circuit to bring emotionally charged party-anthems to cities across the world. If you ever see this group (and I really recommend you do) expect to be welcomed into the Prides family for a night you’ll treasure for a very long time. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PAUL CLARKE – THE TUBES

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This was by far the most theatrical gig of the year and here’s Fee Waybill as his alter ego Quay Lewd tottering around on outrageous stack heels. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

STEVE BARNES – JOHNNY MARR

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What can you say? Still got it. stAn got me in for this as he was doing merch duties for support act and Backseat favourites Two Skies. Ok, his review of the gig had all his pics, but I got a couple of decent ones myself I think… (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

stAn – ANDY GILL, GANG OF FOUR.

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I’ve been a fan of GoF for as long as I can remember, so was pretty determined to get at least one decent pic. I was shooting the gig with a pretty basic Nikon and a 50mm fixed lens, so was having to work a bit for the shots and then wham! The light caught Andy’s face just right, fixed stare and everything. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

ERIN MOORE (www.fortephotographyuk.com) – DEREK STEEZ, STATE CHAMPS

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This shot is one of my favourites of the year because it perfectly captures the reaction of the musicians when people sing along to their songs. Derek Steez looks elated with the 800 strong crowd chanting every word back to him. Shot with Canon 6D and Canon 85mm lens.   (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

SIMON DELIC – ANTHROPROPHH

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This is one of my favourite photos of the year, captured at the Cardinal Fuzz gig at the Shacklewell Arms in London in March 2015. The Bristol trio were on absolute fire that night, delivering a set of both ferocity and virtuosity, at stunning volume.The lighting was predominantly red making photography difficult but I was pleased to get this one which somehow conveys for me the other-worldliness of the band’s output.    (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PENNY BLAKEMORE – CATFISH AND THE BOTTLEMEN

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Catfish & The Bottlemen have rocketed to fame these past 2 years, going from support slots for mid-level bands to headlining their own tours at O2 Academies and beyond. This indie-rock band have got something geniune and completely chaotic – it’s almost as if they’re allowing you to feel the adrenaline pumping through your veins as you sing along to every word with ferocity. It’s enticing, to say the least, and makes for an incredible night.   (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PAUL CLARKE – THE LOVELY EGGS

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A wonderfully shambolic booze fuelled gig which even involved this super fan being invited up to do a number.   (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

STEVE BARNES – THE CHARLATANS

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Friday night, Tramlines, headlining the main stage and its persisting it down… But, a quality set and even got myself in the pit. Most bands would kill for a back catalogue like theirs. Wow….    (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

stAn- A PLACE TO BURY STRANGERS

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Awesome gig. Most of the other photographers present gave up shooting due to the excessive use of strobe lights and dry ice. But I persevered and got quite a few moody, atmospheric shots, of which this is my favourite. Reminds me a bit of the cover to London Calling..?     (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

ERIN MOORE (www.fortephotographyuk.com) – FRANK CARTER AND THE RATTLESNAKES

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I couldn’t choose between these two images of arguably the best live band around, Frank Carter and The Rattlesnakes. Carter is the dream frontman, jumping into the crowd on the second song demanding a circle pit around him. It is rare that a photographer would capture an artist in the centre of the crowd but I risked it (and more importantly risked breaking my camera) by jumping into the mix of mosh pitters and adoring fans. The colours of the lighting were a photographers dream. They are a band who I would love to shoot again, especially in a more intimate setting.  Shot with Canon 6D and Canon 85mm lens.  (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

 SIMON DELIC – HUGO MORGAN, HEADS

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One of the things that I did not expect to do in 2015 was see The Heads live, not once but twice. An unexpected reformation for Roadburn resulted in a searing warm up gig at The Lexington in London. This obviously worked for the band members as they were back again for the Liverpool PsychFest in September where they dropped what for me was a festival defining set. I felt hugely excited and privileged to be in the pit to capture the moment, and really like this photo of bassist Hugo Morgan, which I think captures the sheer intensity of the performance. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PENNY BLAKEMORE –  THE ORIELLES

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The Orielles have been causing quite a stir this year, teasing us with their catchy surf-pop singles and surreal music videos. Their shows are chaotic, with guitarist Henry Carlyle Wade often staggering off the stage and surfing across the crowd before the night falls. The Orielles may be young but they know what they’re doing; I bet 2016 will be a great year for this bright band.   (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PAUL CLARKE –  ASH

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Frontman Tim Wheeler just loves throwing shapes with this trademark Flying V.   (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

stAn – TIM BOOTH, JAMES

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Another band I’ve seen quite a few times over the years. Always been taken by how Tim let’s himself get so absorbed in the music. Like to think I’ve captured that a bit with this shot.   (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

ERIN MOORE (www.fortephotographyuk.com) – THE CRIBS

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This is one of my favourites because it captures lead singer and guitarist Ryan Jarman in the air. I also love how the bright lighting contrasts to the deep colours of the musicians. Another element I love about this image is because one of the guitar techs is sorting out the leads on the floor, showing the reality of gigs. I preferred this image in black and white because it reminded me of the classic images of musicians taken in the 1970s by the likes of Terry O’Neill and Pennie Smith. Shot with Canon 6D and Sigma 35mm Art Series Lens.   (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

SIMON DELIC – DESTRUCTION UNIT

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Not the most technically proficient of photos, but it really captures the gig for me. I’d been aware of Destruction Unit before I saw the band at the Liverpool PsychFest this year, but nothing prepared me for the white hot performance of this amazing band who fuse elements of garage, punk and psychedelia to stunning effect.They totally rocked the large Furnace stage, but I would really love to see them in a small sweaty and claustrophobic club when their “fuck you” sound would be in its element.    (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PENNY BLAKEMORE – FATHERSON

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Fatherson are one of the most genuine bands I’ve ever met; honesty bleeds through their performances as they sing about loneliness and heartbreak with sincerity and kindness. This Autumn they toured with their friends Prides, and Fatherson’s lead singer Ross Leighton joined the synth-pop group for their encore of ‘The Kite String and the Anchor Rope’. It was one of my favourite moments from any show I’ve seen this year, as I watched the two bands support each other in such a beautiful song. (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PAUL CLARKE – JUSTIN TOWNES EARL

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I’m a sucker for rock and roll comebacks and former junkie Justin Townes Earle delivered a songwriting masterclass.     (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

stAn – PINKSHINYULTRABLAST

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Sometimes you are lucky to just catch a moment. That and Steve wouldn’t stop going on about it ! (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

ERIN MOORE (www.fortephotographyuk.com) – BRING ME THE HORIZON

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This is another photo from BMTH at Doncaster Dome. The lighting at this gig was a photographers dream and the shots were a pleasure to edit. The colours in the shot are what attracted me to this photo. This photo is incredibly sharp and this is down to the 35mm Sigma lens, the quality of the lens is nothing I have ever worked with before. The shot is simple but effective and will draw the reader’s attention to the review. Shot with Canon 6D and Sigma 35mm Art Series Lens.  (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

SIMON DELIC – TESS PARKS

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When planning who to see at this year’s Liverpool PsychFest, Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe were high on my list on the strength on their amazing collaborative album ‘I Declare Nothing’. What I witnessed was a truly mesmerising performance that will live long in my memory. Usually when I’m taking pictures I try to move around the venue to get different perspectives, but on this occasion I stayed in the pit totally spellbound from what I was witnessing.Newcombe was leading and directing the band wonderfully giving Parks the space to concentrate on her performance which was at the same time cold and detached, yet full of passion and intensity. I didn’t include this photo in my original review of the set, preferring a black and white version of a similar shot, but with the benefit of more time, this reminds me of the performance better.    (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PAUL CLARKE – JASON WILLIAMSON, SLEAFORD MODS

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Jason Williamson’s angry underclass poet shtick really worked in this intimate venue but much less so in the larger Leeds Irish club later in the year.    (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

PENNY BLAKEMORE – THE GORGEOUS CHANS

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The Gorgeous Chans have been on my radar for a few years now, performing anything from secret Sofar Sounds shows to headline gigs at Nottingham’s Rescue Rooms. These charmers will win you over with sunshine-filled songs that will warm even the coldest of nights; they’re a cheerful band who manage to capture those golden summer vibes in their music, making you dream of hazy days in the park with the people you love. What’s not to like about that?         (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

stAn – JOHNNY MARR

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Not sure if it’s the best of shots, but I was stood in the crowd at the end of Johnny’s gig when he lifted his Fender above his head; I thought ‘ “…typical that would be a great shot and I’m in the wrong place. Again!” And then he just held it there. To get this shot I had to wade through half the crowd and then climb up and wedge myself between the speaker stack and the stage. That’s why it makes my list. That and it’s Johnny Fuckin’ Marr !!! (For original article which includes loads more pics click HERE)

I’m not alone in finding it pretty difficult to come up with just 5 or so shots each to define our favourite moments of 2016. Personally I could have included loads more – lifelong hero of mine John Lydon, Saul from the Fat Whites with his willy out, and many, many more. To see the gigs we have covered in 2015 click HERE, there’s tonnes of photo’s fine words, and quite often those all important setlists.

We are all very passionate about live music, and can’t get enough of what we do. We are all looking forward to covering even more live gigs in 2016, so keep your eye’s out for us – we’ll see you down the front.

cheers – stAn, Backseat Mafia Live Editor