Level 42 at The Villa Marina

Level 42 performing at The Villa Marina, Royal Hall, Isle of Man. 19th August 2010. (Adrian Cowin)British funksters Level 42 performed in The Villa Marina Royal Hall as part of their 30th Anniversary Tour.

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Level 42 played a great set which included nine out of their thirty top 40 hits from the 80’s such as It’s Over, Lessons In Love, and Something About You.

 I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone Bass solo, but Mark King did just that and showed the crowd exactly why he is famous for his pop and slap style. You can see a video of this here.

Level 42 were brought to the Island by Big Small Fish, who have recently brought over many great acts.

Sean and Mark - Level 42

Nathan King - Level 42

Sean Freeman - Level 42

Mark King - Level 42

Mike Lindup - Level 42

Pete Ray Biggin - Level 42

Level 42

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Photographers Notes:
This was another first three songs no flash dash. Luckily the Villa now uses a crowd control barrier which also has the advantage of creating a photo pit. This enables me to easily run up and down firing off shots to try and capture photos of everyone with in the band with in the first three song limit. In the past with no photo pit I had to get to the gig early, get to the front to get a good spot, and try not to go to the toilet! To move around I had to ask nicely and say excuse me a lot.

While standing at the back watching the rest of the gig after I’d taken photos I realised how good the lighting looked. Mark King had a very bright spot light on him but the ambient lighting on stage was quite dark which made it difficult to get decent photos of  the other band members. They had spots on them when they were next to their microphones but it was quite dark when they were moving around the stage.

The main problem was the contrast between the dark background and the bright spotlights, it confuses the camera’s meter making it hard to meter. This problem is even worse when artist are wearing bright or white clothing, as the members of Level 42 were. I know from past experience that the thing to do is to under expose, to stop the highlights being blown out.

In general it is always better to slightly underexpose rather than over expose when shooting in RAW, as you can make dark images brighter without loosing detail, but if an image is over exposed, you can make it darker but if the detail isn’t there you can’t get it back. Using my RAW conversion software I can make the whole image brighter, and luckily there is a slider that enables me to make the highlights darker, but this can also have the affect of taking some of the brightness off the faces.

Because of the keyboards surrounding Mike Lindup it was hard to get a good photo of him. I was trying to time it so I could put my 70-200mm lens on during the last song and go out in the crowd to get a few full band shots and a shot of Mike, but just as I walked passed the security guy heading out of the pit, the third song ended! I took a few sneaky ones from the very back but I generally don’t carry on taking photos after the first three as I don’t want to upset the band, promoter, and especially the Villa security as I don’t want to get on the wrong side of them since I want to be able to take photos in the future.

End Notes:
Big Small Fish on Facebook
Level 42

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