Meet Garbage’s biggest Aus fan

FL shooter Rebecca Houlden aka de-tec-tive is a huge Garbage fan. She’s flying back and forth between Melbourne and Sydney to see the group four times on their Soundwave tour – at the festival and sideshow in Melbourne, and at both sideshows in Sydney. And if the band’s gear hadn’t been delayed by a errant truck driver and flooding she’d have seen Garbage play five times in just over a week.

What can inspire such devotion to one band? “Garbage have been one of my favourite bands for over 10 years now, and I never thought I would get the opportunity to see them again,” says Rebecca. “I went to both Melbourne shows on the ‘Bleed Like Me’ tour in 2005 and they broke up following that tour.” That 2005 tour, which featured seven Australian shows, ended in Perth, with the band announcing a hiatus and cancelling shows in Europe. Their hiatus lasted until 2010, and they finally returned to the road last year.

Rebecca began shooting gigs in 2008, and after covering Soundwave this week in Melbourne she will have shot over 600 bands. But there’s nothing quite like shooting one of your favourite bands, she says. With several of her “Top Ten” acts already in her portfolio, including No Doubt, Smashing Pumpkins and Red Hot Chili Peppers, she finally got to cross Garbage off the list when she shot their first sideshow at Sydney’s Metro Theatre on Monday (photos below).

“Garbage were fantastic to shoot but also challenging,” Rebecca told FL after the gig. “Shirley [Manson] moves around a lot while the lighting was good it was a bit low, so I had to think quickly to try and get my camera settings right. I don’t recall the moment I got a particular favourite shot, I think I was shaking too much worrying that I would miss certain look or dance move that I wanted to capture … Shirley commanded the stage and the crowd loved it. Every time their played a song I would think, ‘This is going to the best performance of the night’, and then they would beat that again with the next song. They really put on a special show and put in extra effort given their Soundwave cancellation the previous day.”

After the show Rebecca and about 30 other fans waited to meet the band, who took photos with all the fans and signed everything before leaving. “It can definitely be said that Garbage love their fans just as much, if not more, than their fans love them,” says Rebecca.

Despite the flights, tickets and accommodation costs – when she estimates at around $1500 – Rebecca’s Garbage adventure isn’t the most extreme example of her fandom. In 2009 she flew to California to follow No Doubt, seeing the band live at nine shows. And the highlight of that trip? When Shirley Manson joined No Doubt on stage in Los Angeles to sing ‘Stand And Deliver’, of course.

Garbage play Melbourne’s Forum Theatre tonight.