On Tour with Bin Juice
Words and Photos by Charlie Hardy
Over the last month I’ve been away travelling with the Sydney five-piece band ‘Bin Juice’ on ‘The Funk Action Tour’. On the 5th of October I travelled down to Sydney from Newcastle to meet up with the guys and capture their first show at the Lansdowne Hotel. The venue was assembled with dimmed lighting which set the mood over the antique furnished hotel. The night began with a few locals sharing some drinks by the bar whilst they awaited for the band to start. Suddenly 10 became a crowd of 60 as the locals pooled in to support Bin Juice on the opening show of their tour. As the first song began to play I started to observe the bands interaction with the audience. From this moment I began to photograph the members of the band with a 50mm focal length for tighter framing. Throughout the night, the audience began to engage with the band as they played their renowned songs that brought them their local reputation. The atmosphere warmed up and an intimate connection was established in the hotel. I exchanged the lens to my 24-70mm, which opened up wider angles to introduce the audience to the musicians. The night escalated quickly as the crowd became rowdy with shirts being thrown onto the stage, jugs poured through the crowd, stage diving and intense psychedelic dancing. My photography was then engaged from an audience perspective and I began shooting ‘fisheye’ from within the mosh. This gave me endless moments to capture the reckless crowd. The night revealed what was expected for the remaining tour and I was certainly looking forward to the next gig.
A week later, Bin Juice picked me up from Newcastle and we headed north towards Brisbane. After a 12-hour road trip I can confidently say that I got to know the band pretty well, sharing personal experiences and stories. This gave me a better insight into the passion of the band. I was surprised as to how quickly I built a rapport with the members and it wasn’t long until they were asking about my own experiences and involvement in the music industry. It was such a great experience to share knowledge amongst other music enthusiasts. From this point forward, I could photograph the members of the band behind the scenes, as I felt invited into their space. It was an interesting experience to photograph a band off stage because it opened up a whole new avenue of mate-ship and lifestyle. I found this appealing because this scene is often concealed from public view.
The next few nights were jam-packed, stopping by the Milk Factory in Brisbane then returning south to Byron Bay where they played at the Brewery, followed by The Coast Hotel in Coffs Harbour. The gig at Coffs Harbour included a crowed of mixed ages, which altered the vibe of the night compared to previous venues. The band had a lot of fun with this and photo opportunities were unique. It was great to see how the band adapted to each of the venues differing characteristics. Looking back through my images they all had a story to tell.
Over the last month travelling to multiple cities along the East Coast, I can personally say I gained skills in collaborating with other musicians. It was amazing to connect and share knowledge with people who are so passionate in their field. I saw a strong connection between the band members, which I could clearly see carried through their music. I really do see something special in their friendship and chemistry on stage and believe this strengthens their capabilities of composing music. The funk-based band expresses groovy bass lines and guitar licks by sharing the spotlight on all members. The textures and layers from each individual instrument creates a real sense of unison which adds charisma to ‘Bin Juice’.