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On Tour in Kosovo

May took me off on my jollies once again with my friends from Mottek. This time, the boys headed out to Kosovo to play two shows for the German military based in the country.

Flying out from Cologne, via Zurich to Pristina, we were greeted by hot sunshine (sunburn quickly followed) and ice cold beer, and lots of it! 

With a round of drinks and a pack of cigarettes coming in at under €10, our first evening was spent mainly in the bar!

Day two, and the band's equipment arrived on the scene. Stage and lighting arrived at Film City NATO base in Pristina for the bands first performance that night.

The outgoing contingent of troops received their medals that afternoon, and following that was beer, food, more beer and then showtime!

The following day, Saturday, the Bundeswehr packed and loaded the bands kit and shipped it over to the barracks in Prizren, about 80km away. Unload. Soundcheck. Repeat. Another rocking night of beer and fun!

Kosovo is an unusual place. Still rebuilding following the war there, the beautiful landscape, with snow-capped mountains, is punctuated by half built houses. Lots of them too! The motorways have zebra crossings (dangerous) which no-one really bothers to use to cross the carriageway (even more dangerous). Commerce in the country seems to revolves around three things: petrol stations, furniture stores and fake goods! Every second building is a petrol station, and it seems right next door to every one of them is a furniture store.

If you're in the market for a new Rolex, Kosovo is the place to go! You'll pick up the latest Submariner and have change from a 20!

Four flights, a great weekend, great friends, two great gigs, far too much beer! Looking forward to going back at some point in the future!! 

Check Mottek out near you! www.mottek-live.de 

Here's some pictorial evidence from the weekend!

Photostrip - Skunk Anansie - Live 04.03.2017, Live Music Hall, Cologne

Photostrip - Two Door Cinema Club - Live 01.03.2017, Palladium, Cologne

Photostrip - Alex Clare - Live 19.02.2017, Luxor, Cologne

Finally a fellow Englishman in the house again!

Sunday night took me back to the Luxor in Cologne to see Alex Clare in action! That guys voice is crazy good! Here's the pics! Thanks for looking!

The one that got away!

Any photographer will know that feeling... You got the composition right, had your exposure all set hit the shutter, and walk away with the shot in the bag. Until... you get home, get the images off of your memory card to find the big shot of your shoot was off - you missed focus.

This, of course may not have been down to you - such cases usually are, but heres a case where one shot that i missed wasn't necessarily down to me!

The image below is Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, shot on 30.01.17 in Cologne. I knew this moment was coming. Billie was already starting to sprint along the stage runway back to the stage.

My metering was set. My focus was tracking him. Locked and loaded.

His feet leave the floor. The lighting totally changes and that's it! The camera freaks out. It has a split second to decipher the new levels of contrast it's now seeing on the subject it's tracking - and in the split second that i press the shutter, focus hasn't been totally re-aquired. The microphone stand that came into the foreground may have confused things further. Shame. But these things happen. This would have been THE shot of the night. But hey, there were a bucket load of great shots!

I've come across pro's that would still use a great shot even if the focus was missed and it wasn't quite sharp. I was torn myself, but decided against it in the end.

What would you have done? Use or lose?

Let me know in the comments!