Archive for the 'Manchester' Category

Into The Night

Been meaning to write this post for weeks now, but until the realism of its subject actually gathered pace I have been holding off a bit! After what seems like forever, countless emails badgering people etc,  I have finally managed to get an exhibition arranged at Font Bar, New Wakefield St. Manchester.

The Exhibition commences this Sunday, with an opening night 6-9 and the images will hang for 3months. These last couple of months have really amazed me and what I have been able to achieve once securing the venue. I have of course had lots of help from friends and family, without whom it wouldnt be possible.

On the opening night there will also be guest DJ spot by the very talented Mr Air Adam and hopefully PA permitting a very exclusive acoustic performance by Mutineers, who are close friends of mine and have photographed them on many occaisions.

So lots and lots of planning will finally come to fruition this Sunday, still much to be done and I am nervous as hell (!) but really looking forward to it. I set out with one key goal this year and that was to exhibit and finally I am about to achieve it, I cant wait. All are welcome so if you are nearby and interested enough to pop in, please do so, the pieces will hang as I say for 3months so if you cant make the opening dont worry. Also it would be great to get some feedback let me know what you thought, get in touch drop me a quick mail or a comment here or on facebook or my website.

Hopefully see you there! :-)

Exhibition Layout

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And Oh Yeah It Was The End of The Summer…

Somewhat foolishly we decided to go for a walk last Sunday and I can truely say summer is over, like it ever begun I hear you say! Well after deciding to avoid the fair at Buile Hill Park, on account of it being over run with chavs, we headed off in the direction of Clifton Country Park. No mean feat in itself, as it must be a good 40 minute walk from the house alone. I havent been since March last year and the foilage, due in part probably to the recent heavy rain, was overgrown and stark contrast to my previous trip. The main reason for going was to get some shots of the epic 13 arch viaduct, but due to rain and the fact that all the new greenery hides a great deal of this massive structure I hardly got the camera out! After trapsing down winding muddy tracks for an hour or so and having crossed the full and fast flowing River Irwell, we finally got a proper look at it and despite the weather conditions and the fact that over half of is hidden; its still a site to behold!

After attemtping to take a couple of shots, we plodded on in the rain, it was at this point where it turned ugly! The rain got harder the wind more forceful and at one stage I felt like I was in Vietnam, tripod in hand rucksack on my back, horrendous weather and night closing in – as we hadnt set off till 6.30ish it was now getting on for 8ish. We finally made it home at around 9 and cooked a lovely chicken risotto and enjoyed a few large glasses of vino! I have since worked out that we walked 5.5miles that day which whilst that isnt unusual for me but Reet (Mrs.TdM) is not a big fan of walking, so hats off to her! :-)

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All Attitude & No Trousers

Killing time at the start of the evening with some off camera flash tomfoolery!

Was asked to shoot an event at Selfridges, in Manchester last night and with the details being a bit sketchy I hadnt really got a clue whatwould be shooting! All I was told was it was something to do with “Attitude Magazine or something” After doing a bit of Googling it turned out it was a gay magazine, which whilst that doesnt bother me I wasnt quite sure what I had let myself in for.

As it turned out it was all good clean fun ;-) We were charged with capturing shots of customers posing with a well chisled model in-front some advertising hoarding and I was to get in-cidentals around the store of some of the fun events they put on. These included surfing, strong man hammer thingumy and a fashion show of mens underwear.

Its the second time I have seen one of these recentlty and I have always wanted to have a go, but I always seem to have my camera in hand when the opportunity presents itself!

I was quite proud of myself (as a photographer) for making good use of the escalators during the fashion show, timing it so I was going up as the models were in-front of the crowd, so I could get the whole scene in, whilst a lil dangerous I was in my element – despite a few strange looks as I smuggly smiled to myself disappearing up to the next floor!

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There’s More, There’s More…

Bugsy PT2

Ok Ok so that was technically Jimmy Cricket not Bugs Bunny, I can imagine him saying it anyways I didgress on with the update…

The tail end of May saw me attend a a launch for a new Vodka Mixer from Schweppes, the interesting “Russhcian” – it does actually taste quite pleasant, yes I drank quite a few between grabbing people shots and taking incidentals at Ithaca Sushi Restuarant in Manchester. This rather plush venue offers the photographer some unique opportunities to capture great shots and interesting angles, I was facinated by the sparkly wallpaper and stairwell, that looked like some kind of nuclear spaceship engine bay, it also changes colours…

Schweppes Russchian Launch

Finishing things of in May, although chronologically slightly out of order, was a gig from Fulham based rapper Example, whos “We Didnt Invent The Remix” was introduced to me a year or so ago and made me laugh like an idiot. He had taken current and well known pop-songs and riffed over the top of them to humorous and devistating effect. Sadly not much of this material was on display as he went for newer more mainstream, yet still amusing up-beat material to stir the young croud who had gathered to see him. Mad me feel like a grand dad actually and you needed a wrist band to buy a drink at the bar to prove you were 18+ – I had a coke just to be on the safe side! ;-)

Moving into June, mid June in-fact, we headed way out west to Borth on the Welsh coast. A friend of a friend owns a house there that litterally opens onto the beach, albeit a stoney one (until the tide is out) we couldnt have asked for a nicer setting to get away from the smoke. Wont go mental with the pictures as there are a few good-uns and there were more than enough local features to exploit at night too!!

Whilst there the weather was extremly kind as you will see from the above shot of Ynyslas dunes, we spent a whole day chilling and playing boule here and can highly recomend it, IF you happen to be in the Aberystwyth area. The Sunsets back at Borth where we were staying were pretty epic too as you will see below, as always if you click on any of the shots it will take you to a whole load more on Flickr.

Wouldn’t be right if I didnt include some night photography, so have a butchers at these…

Whilst there I also had a dable at some more stop-motion video, best attempt to date, what do you reckon…?

Finally before I finish off this lil section best show you some lil strobism experiments I made whilst we were there; now normally whenever Gideon and I get our cameras out amongst friends, its not always audible but I am sure there is a little collective groaning, however add a few flash guns, some remote triggers and the tiniest bit of alcohol and it produces great results…

Bye for now ;-)

What That Wabbit Said…

Bugsy Low Res

Yes I’ve had a bit of a rest from the blog recently but then I have been extremely busy recently and I find blogging is one of those things that once you stop its hard to get back into and the procrastination is (sadly) high on my list of personality traits :-(

So here’s a little update of what I have been doing…

Way back in May (God is it that long since I last meant to blog, see how easy it is to let it slip!) I shot the launch of Jessie Rose trips debut single “Forever & a Day” and as always they didnt disappoint in style and musical ability, tipped for big things I hope they make it as they are deffinitely a cut above some of the duller clone bands doing the Manchester music scene at the moment. They were ably supported by Zarif, who has recently supported Beyonce and appeared on MTV. To see more pictures from the night click on the picture above.

Later on in marvelous May, I was invited by the lovely folks at  Vice Magazine to shoot their Stag and Dagger Festival, co-sponsored by Firetrap up in Leeds. This one dayer spread over several 5 venues in the student district of the town was great fun if a lil hectic and needing a chaffeur for the day I dragged along friend, music reviewer and record label dude Ben Savage. Once we had worked that the running order was badly worded on the programme and starting at mid-day and we had 5 hours to kill, we nipped over to a mates flat and chilled for a bit before the bands commenced. On show were, strangly mainly American and (I think) 1 Canadian band, those we got to see were; Wintersleep, Abe Vigoda, Crystal Antlers & White Denim.  Not given a real brief by Vice, I shot the bands (as most in my possition would have) and got a few incidentals, however looking again at other event coverage their togs tend to go mainly for crowd, people shots and humor rather than concentrating on whats going on on-stage, hence the tag-line on their website featuring my shots “Sweaty front men seem to be order of the day” – made me chuckle after the realisation dawned on me I had sort of broken some sort of Vice photographer code of practice ;-)

2 days later, another yearly date worth checking on the Manchester calendar rolled around, tired and a lil photo-ed out we were at Eurocultured. Another great mini festival, that see’s New Wakefield and Great Marlborough Streets  shut off to cars and turned into a multi staged event with bands, DJ’s, Street art, food stalls and all manner of other little delights. To be fair I was to tired and busy having fun to bother taking many shots but highlights included Broken £nglish & Riot Jazz, Mark XTC (Old School Hip-Hop) DJ Set on the Space Terrace and a mention must go to a band from Poland (I think) who were somewhat disturbing but hilarious, Dick 4 Dick! Singing in very basic English about being uber-gay and all manner of other things, dressed in leather and daubed in face-paint.

To Be Continued (I’m off out for a pint ;-)

Mutineers – Deaf Institute 17/04/09

Mutineers - Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Not shot any gigs in what seems like an age, I enjoy live music photography but it can get quite dull. These days I only tend to bother when the band is someone I know and like or I am being paid to be there ;-)

But as it happened I had heard good things about the venue and the band was someone I more than liked, it was my good mates the Mutineers. Have shot them many times before and various members in previous bands, so although I knew what to expect I knew the music wouldn’t mindlessly wash over me.

Mutineers - Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Quite a tight, short set was enjoyed by all present and I managed to capture yet more great images of one of my favorite up and coming bands. Watch this space: Mutineers

Mutineers - Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Surely the worlds largest disco ball, hangs from the sealing of the music hall.

Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

If you’ve not been to the Deaf Institute yet, you should, its an amazing old building with bars in the basement, ground floor and a live music venue on the first. The back of the old music hall is complete with old wooden seats that rise back into an auditorium.

Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

Behind the bar is the venues very on wall of sound, something which instantly caught my eye, the whole wall is literally crammed with speakers.

Deaf Institute, Manchester 17/4/09

The Return of an Old Favorite…

I am sure many Mancunians, used to frequenting the Northern Quarter, will be familiar with this old place. Though I never went prior to its closure, it has now been re-opened much to many locals delight. The building itself is grade II listed and has been serving ale since 1776! Apparently at t one stage it even had its own micro brewery out the back in a ramshackle shed cum garage.

Over the years the venue has seen many musical visitors including Mark E Smith from The Fall is a regular at one stage, as well as some early impromptu gigs from local favorites like Elbow, I Am Kloot, and Stephen Fretwell. Ian Curtis once did an interview in the Castle in 1979, even John Peel was known to pop in occasionally!

Now under new, forward thinking ownership, renovations are well underway and the place has begun a new chapter. Lots of exciting plans are been hatched so watch This Space more more info and details of up-coming events.

Definitely worth a visit for the atmosphere of a small old pub in the city and the “Old Tom” beer, at 8.6% its guaranteed to put hairs on your chest, that or flat on your back!

Inside The Castle


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