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Zoran Čalić Band Mostar cover

Zoran Čalić Band • Mostar

July 15, 2016

There is a big difference between working ‘for’ and working ‘with’ the band, but when they treat you like family, that’s an entirely different story. I’ve met Zoran 3 years ago at Big Foot Mama concert in Kranj. We talked about my work, about the concert he just played and his side project. Zoran was forming his own band with Ivo Rimc, who at the time I knew as the drummer of Zebra Dots, and bass player Jernej Kržič. He wanted a good, reliable photographer for some initial promo materials and even though I was pretty inexperienced at the time I didn’t have to think twice.

Zoran Čalič Band, studio recordings Ljubljana

Since then, we’ve had a couple of fun photo shoots. The band got a new member, guitarist Andraž Mazi1 and pretty soon, we played (well, they played, I took photos) on 5 gigs. I had the honor to be the author of the cover for their first album U moru i plamenu. The album was released in March 2016 with Dancing Bear Records label and you can buy it here. The band energy is amazing and I’m blessed to be a part of it.

My first album cover. #ZoranCalicBand #velikezmage

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It was Thursday morning and I took a couple of days off work, mainly to accompany the guys attending Blues & Rock festival in a city of Mostar in Bosna & Herzegovina. We left Ljubljana around 10 AM, as we were supposed to have the sound check around 5:30 PM. 600 km in 7 hours sounded possible, but stuff happens. We made our first stop in Brežice, where we picked up Ivo, Zoki & special guest from USA. This wasn’t supposed to be an ordinary show as our guest Jesse Mosher from New York city is playing with us tonight. His instrument? Canvas, colours & brush. He’s a painter, who will be painting during bands performance.

We’ve made a few stops along the way, picked up some extra equipment, as some of it stayed behind in Ljubljana. We also had some issues at the border crossing, so our sound check was over before we even arrived. Crap! We went straight to the hotel, unpacked and drove to Muzički Centar Pavarotti. I must say, that the organisers of the festival were one of the most amazing I’ve ever worked with. Even if we screwed up, they were completely professional and allowed us to do a quick soundcheck at the last minute. The band relaxed, I took some photos, filmed some clips (maybe I’ll make a short movie about the trip.) and ate a sandwich. Food!

The evening had the following lineup.

  • Milk + (AT)
  • Zoran Čalić Band (HR)
  • Popa Chubby (USA)

I missed half of the Milk + show, as we got a private tour of Pavarotti studios and TV interview with Zoran. They have an amazing place with a board from England on which Sex Pistols (and many more) made their records. I went up to watch a few of the songs, just to get the feeling about the stage, light, people and the place overall. The band played great and I kinda wish I could attend the whole show, but I had other things to do. Next time. I found a perfect spot for my Action Cam which I duct taped down and hoped to catch the entire performance. The quality most certainly will not be as good as it should be to publish it live, but could be a good feedback for the band. It’s always risky to leave cameras unattended, but lets just say that nobody will take it.

I got the feeling that the guys were a little nervous before the show – more than usual at least, so I didn’t want to bother them too much. I took a couple of photos, then double checked both of my cameras, lenses, changed the memory card and put the extra battery in my pocket. Just in case. Finally, I got the chance to try my new custom ear protection from Neuroth, which turned out to be product I should have had years ago. It’s completely different from the foams I used to buy.

The stage was triangle shaped with red carpet, without any room for me to get closer during the show. There was enough lights for me not too worry about high ISO or slow shutter speed, which is always nice, but I already knew that I’m working on a black-and-white gallery. Quite a crowd gathered, but there was still enough space for me to change positions without bothering anyone (too much.) I was surprised too see fellow Slovenian photographer so far away from home. I don’t know his name, but we saw each other a couple of times before.

The band went on stage, the show started and the rest you can find in the gallery bellow. For more you should have been there. I might be bias, but still – you should.