Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Babyshambles Birmingham

I met up with Pete, Adam, Drew & Patrick in Birmingham. We spent an hour or so on the tour bus. Pete had an old schoolmate of his on the bus. There were lots of stories and reminiscing about their school days in Coventy. Pete was having a bit of trouble with one of his implants. He has implants to prevent him from going back onto Heroin. They seem to work, but were obviously giving him a biot of a hard time. One of the implants was working its way out of his stomach. This sounds awful, but it was just making its way out. All a bit grim.. Anyway we did a photo shoot of the band on the tour bus. The band then all seemed to go off in different directions. Pete, Adam and I were still on the tour bus. Pete said come on lets go out and take some photos. So, off we went and did a photo shoot out in the streets. When we finished, we wandered back into the tour bus.. Ronnie part of the crew had now arrived back and had a bucket of chicken from the local KFC.. He offered me some. I didn't fancy it. I gave that up years ago.. My cousin Nathan refers to KFC as Heart Attack food.. He aint wrong. The Paddingtons were now going on stage. I went into the photo pit to shoot the show. I only shot the first two songs. The security in the pit hadn't been told that I could shoot the whole show..I didn't want to argue and left the pit.
Babyshambles then made there way onto the stage. The Carling Academy in Birmingham was mobbed. The crowd went mad when the band came on. This was without doubt, one of the best gigs I have seen in recent years. The music is fantastic and the show so unbelievably entertaining. One never knows what is llikely to happen next. There is never a set list in sight. They don't seem to have a pattern. However, it is amazing and raw. It is so much like the old days when I started in this business.. I am finding Babyshables addictive.. I am not alone in my addiction. Several of my associates that write about or have some invlement withem feel the same. I cant wait for their first album to be released. I believe it will now be mid November.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Babyshambles in Nottingham

Off to Nottingham with Babyshambles. I decided to drive there from London and meet the band there. I arrived there at about 9pm. Got in saw the band in the dressing room and then. The band went on about 10 pm. I shot the show from on the stage.
There were a few photographers in the pit for the first two songs only. I just felt that it would be nicer to shoot from on stage. As it was, the lighting was pretty poor for all of us..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Occasionally there was enough light to get some pleasant photos, but mostly I was struggling. Being on stage with them reminds me of the days when I first started this. I am not sure if I have mentioned this before, but they are so laid back about things that it does take me back. These days there are stage managers, production managers, tour managers, managers, assistants, technicians etc etc etc.. All of which try and control the stage and every other part of the industry. So, having the freedom that I have with Babyshambles is a revelation. I just wish the lighting was better. I went backstage afterwards and then headed out to the tourbus behi8nd the venue. There was a gathering crowd there trying to get to meet the band.
I had a call from Colin Tennant from Premier drums. He and his mate had been at the show. They met me around the back and I introduced them to Adam, the drummer in babyshambles. Soon after this I cleared off to my hotel. I didnt fancy the aftershow at a club in Nottingham. So, had an early night at about 1 am.. Well, that was nice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Meeting at the Proud Gallery

I had a very quick meeting at The Proud Gallery. We are in discussion about a possible exhibition in the next few weeks or a month. All sound quite interesting.
I also saw that I had a nice big photo in The Times newspaper in the UK. It was of Kelly Jones of The Stereophonics.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Lunch with Peter

I had lunch with my mum & dad and my cousin Peter Olsen who is over in the UK. He lives in Hong Kong. He seems to happily travel around the world non stop having a good time. Well, Peter is over to negotiate the purchase of a load of the new appartments that are being built on the hallowed turf at Highbury.
When the mighty Arsenal Football club move at the end of this season, they are turning the old stadium into luxury appartments. I think he is planing to buy 10 of them.. He said that he gets a season ticket for each appartment he buys.. It would be a great prospect if we start to play properly and start winning games.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The Stereophonics

I saw the Sun newspaper today and had a nice big spread of Pete Doherty & Babyshambles photos in there. Basically a whole page of my photos from Ibiza..

Made my way down to Hammersmith to photograph The Stereophonics. It was rammed there, very very full up. They really are a big band now and bloody good as well. Kelly really does have one hell of a powerful voice. Also, I was very impressed with their new drummer, who I understand is smaller than Kelly Jones..

Anyway, I did get some very colourful photos. Lots of back lighting which was nice..

Was going to try and get back to see my parents who are over in the UK for a visit. But it was a bit late when I got out of Hammersmith and they went to bed before I finished.. I will see them in the morning then.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Ibiza back to London

In yesterday's post I arrived at my hotel in the morning actually about 9:30 am ish.. At the check in desk they said to me that they had me down as a "No Show". Well I sdaid here I am, I am showing !! They checked me in and off I went to my room.. I had specifically requested a room with high speed internet and guess what, no high speed, in fact no internet at all. I had a shower and fell into bed.. I woke up about 45 mins later for some strange reason. So, got up and started tpo edit my photos from the night before. I then made a call or two and got myself a flight arranged out of Ibiza. I soon realised that I had very little time as I was about 30 mins from the airport by taxi. So, had another shower and packed everything away and went downstairs to the reception. I saw the same person who had checked me in a few hhours before. When I explained that I was checking out, they thought it funny as I had only just really arrived there. I left the hotel and wenty outside and got a taxi to the airport. I was flying Iberia to Madrid. Then Madrid Heathrow. This time all flights were on time and no thunder storms. Arrived at Heathrow at about 10pm. I had to catch the car park bus to get my car. I am glad I wrote where it was on the back of my car park ticket. Finally got home at about 11:30pm I must admit I was shattered. I started to edit my photos and realised that I had fallen asleep whilst working on the computer.. Time for some sleep and crawled to bed.
One thing I am really sorry about, is that I didnt get to see anything of Ibiza.. It is an amazing island. I am looking forward to going back there soon. Next time for longer than about the 16 odd hours that I was there.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Babyshambles in Ibiza

At about 1 am last night I decided to shoot over to Ibiza to shoot Babyshambles who are performing tonight at Ibiza Rock, down in the Mediterranean. So, I had a quick shoot in London in the morning and then headed straight out to London, Heathrow airport. I was booked on BA to Madrid, then Spanair into Ibiza. All being well should arrive at about 8pm in Ibiza. Well all was smooth until I got to Madrid. This is not one of my favourite airports, not the worst, but not that great either.. I arrived to find out that I needed to be in the other terminal. So, I catch the bus over to the next terminal. Then find the Spanair desk as I had to collect a ticket, almost had enough time to grab some food. I didn't get any meal on the BA flight as they are still having problems with their food suppliers, Gate Gourmet. I did get a coffee though !! So, back in Madrid getting some lunch, the only restaurant open is not serving hot food, only horrible old sandwiches, so, I pass on that..
I then head strait to the gate and join the line to board the flight to Ibiza. I wait with everyone else for about 20 mins.. Then I look up and I am the only onbe standing there. There was some sort of announcment in Spanish. It must have said something like, bugger off the plane is delayed..
I went to the desk and said is there a problem, the lady at the gate said, happily, yes there is.. The plane is ready, but we have no crew. They are stuck in Barcelona and wont be here for about an hour or so.. Anyway, they arrived later and we left two and a half hours late. Then off we went to Ibiza. This was only a 50 min flight, but it was through a mad storm. I was looking out of the window and couldn't believe quite how many lighting bolts I could see at any one time. It was mad.. The crew were trying to serve some refreshments and the trolly was launched.. They managed to hang onto it, but the did quickly head back to the front and strap themselves in as well. The turbulence was amazing, ad that to the lightning and it was quite an entertaining flight.
We arrived in Ibiza at 10:30. I waited for my luggage and then ran out to find a taxi. I paid him extra to 'mucho Pronto' get me where I had to go.. He did his best. Actually, he was a tosser. He could have done a lot better. Anyway, at 11:10 pm I arrived a very helpful young lady from the press office was waiting for me as I arrived. Babyshambles were already on stage.I was told they would be on stage at 11pm.. I ran in cameras out and was told that they had been on for one hour already.. I didn't understand what was going on, but jumped up on the side of the stage and started taking photos.. I then realised that Patrick (guitarist) wasn't there.. It was a great show. I am now a fan of there's. I love there music, especially Paddy put the pipe down.. There are loads of other brilliant songs. I cant wait for the debut album.. So, the show ended and we headed back up some stairs into a backstage area. We did more photos and everyone was up to the usual madness.. Then suddenly, Pete said come on lets do some more.. Off they went straight back onto the stage and off once again.. This time it was a little more mad. Lots of fans were pulled up onto the stage. Pete was becoming more and more frustrated with the guitar that the venue had supplied him with. He could seem to keep it tuned. Anyway, not long into this second set, he just started smashing the guitar (a vintage 1964 Fender Telecatser) onto the floor.. I shot all of this from the balcony. He completely wrecked it.. Ooooops.. The promoters were not too impressed. Once again we headed off backstage and it was party time again. More photos etc etc..
After a while the boys decided to make a move over to the villa where they were staying, which was about 45 mins drive from the venue.. So off we went and left the club. Pete fancied a walk first. So, he Adam & Drew went for a walk. I waited with the tour van as my gear was now in it and I waste about to leave it unattended.. So, after about and hour, the chap who was driving us came back to the van and told me that the band were now at a fair up the street. We thenb drove down there.. Pete and Drew were going up on a kind of bungee type of chair. This seemed to fling people about 300 feet into the air.. Pete wanted me to have a go with him, but geus what, it want for me funnily enough. I just photographed it all instead. That is much safer, well actually, maybe not !! We did loads of photos and then I got Pete on the Dogems next door, Drew and Adam joined him and again we did loads of photos. Eventually we all left and got into the tour bus / van. We then all headed off to a night club called Aura.. This was right out in the middle of nowhere. After a couple of hours we headed off to the villa. It was now about 5 or 6am..
We arrived at the villa, through the electric gates and the first thing I remember was Pete throwing a few full bottles into the massive swimming pool.. I hope they didn't break. Its a real paing in they did. Yo have to drain the pool if they did. So, that was that and inside we all went. It was a really nice villa, owned by the Manumission people. Music was put on rather load and no sooner had Pete found The Sex Pistols CD, 'Never Mind The Bollox' he was slinging things around the villa. Bottles smashed against the wall plates were taken off the wall above the fireplace and smashed. The TV got it as well. Maybe this was Sid Vicious reincantated for a few hours.
Mind you, big difference here, I think Pete is very talented unlike Mr Vicious, who in my opinion certainly wasn't.
Pete and I did some more photos, he was on good form and seemed to be winding down a bit.. I didn't want to stay at the villa as I had photos to edit and get out. There was no internet at the villa. I was given a lift at about 9am down to the nearest town, where I caught a taxi to my hotel.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Paul Carrack Photo Shoot

I got a telephone call from Paul Carrack during the morning. He is gearing up for a big UK tour this October / November ? December and really needs some nice new shots for his tour brochure. We met up in the afternoon and did a swift shoot. We did it very quickly as we were both following the mad Cricket match being played between England and Australia. Well, for anyone in USA or other countries where Cricket isn't really played or understood, it may be hard for you to see what all the fuss is about. Believe me it is gripping....
All images Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

When both Paul and I have a bit more time we will do some more. He is great to work with. He is such a proper geezer a really nice guy. If any of you out there don't know who this Genius is, then get on his site and read his Bio. He had a band in the 70's called Ace and he wrote and released a song called 'How Long' He was in Squeeze and he went on and became the front man and one of the songwriters for the band 'Mike and the Mechanics'.

He now has a fantastic following as himself. He seems to have played with everyone out there. Most importantly, he has one of the best voices in the whole world...

Friday, September 09, 2005

I am now a paparazzi eh!

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the one and only Ross Halfin has decided to mention me on his website. He is such a nice geezer…. He heard on the ‘grapevine’ (course you did Ross) that I am implying this and implying that.. Ummm great this isn’t it Ross.. Anyway, all I said was the TRUTH..We all know you only like the TRUTH.. I said that George Chin was the official photographer for the Iron Maiden gig at Hammersmith and he was. I also said that I thought that Ross would have been the one to shoot this, but he wasn’t, and as George Chin did it.. That is the TRUTH. One doesn’t need to be a scientist to figure out that they (Iron Maiden) decided for some reason to not use the wonderful Mr Halfin, but George Chin.. So, why is Ross so upset? One thing I will say is that from what I saw George’s photos were marvellous. I wonder what Ross thinks? Actually, I don’t care. Ross (the little devil) also refers to me as a paparazzi. Ooooh Ross, you little bitch. Bless him anyway, he does get rather angry.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Philistines

I headed down to East London. I was going to see my mates in The Philistines.. They are such a great bunch. Glen Matlock (original bass guitarist with The Sex Pistols) was on fine form. Glen was waiting outside The Rhythm Factory having a cup of tea.. I waited with Glen and then saw amongst the crowd, Koozie & Chris from the band, Ray McVeigh was running late.. I was outside, there was a reasonable crowd outside just milling about and chatting whilst having a drink, when I saw Michelle from The Magic Numbers, one of my favourite bands.. The last time I saw her was in Shibuya, Tokyo when we said goodnight after an eventful night out in a Karaoke bar.. She was here at The Rhythm Factory to see the band. I introduced her to Glen Matlock whilst we were having a soft drink outside. Michelle said that they (The Magic Numbers) were headlining at Bestival on the Isle of Wight tomorrow, Friday night. Glen lives on the Isle of Wight and Michelle has put him on the guest list as he would be back down there tomorrow. I am sure he will love them.. They are brill.. Anyway, we went inside and Glen & the boys got it on.. They were as usual bloody fantastic.. They only did a short set, but the songs were great. The sound was good as well. Just from my perspective it was a bit sad as the audience had more light on them than the band. It was therefore horrible to photograph.. It wasn't vital that I got shots tonight or I would have been forced to use a flash, which I hate to do. After the gig I said my goodbyes and headed off home..

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Working at Home.. & Glen Matlock & Philistines

Today was quite unusual. I sent most of it working at home. I have so much to do and not enough time.. This afternoon, I did head over to the hospital and had them look at my right hand and yes it is broken. I have broken one finger and the bones above my knuckle. That will teach me eh.. I know, its about time I grew up. But, boy, did he ask for it. I bet he has been Xrayed today as well. I would imagine his jaw will need a bit of attention. Now my fingers are taped together and my hand is all bandaged up..
My mates, The Philistines (Glen Matlock, Koozie Johns, Chris Musto and Ray McVeigh) are playing at The Rhythm Factory 020 7375 3774 Ground Floor 16-18 Whitechapel Rd London E1 1EW on Thursday night. So, if you fancy seeing one of the legendary Sex Pistols and his talented mates, get down there. I am aiming to be there as well.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Gavin Rossdale & Institute and a fight

Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
I headed off to the East end of London to Rivvington Street. There is a small club called Cargo. Gavin Rossdale, Gwen Stefani's husband was performing with his band Institute. I met George Chin when I got there and in we went. Got our passes and headed into the club. I have been here before and the lighting was almost non existent. Well this time was no different.. I think there was one red light up there.. Ummm that would look good I thought... Red is about as bad as it gets in this situation. I was going to have my work cut out as I don't like using flash. Unless of course its life and death. I think this was heading that way, I mean life and death, if you know what I mean. On came Gavin and no lights, but hey, I just got on with it.. By the way there was no photo pit here so, we were shooting from within the crowd. Almost as soon as the first song started, some complete idiot started running and jumping full speed into the back of me and all around me. He was obviously mad, drunk or stoned or maybe just psychotic. Anyway, he kept running and jumping into us all. He knocked a lady next to me right over and she hit the floor. He boyfriend was worried as he wasn't able to really defend his girlfriend. This guy just kept doing it. Everyone was getting very annoyed. I asked this guy to take it easy.. He then got right up in my face and told me to fuck off. I turned around and tried to carry on shooting. This was very difficult as he kept running into me. Now he was targeting me after I had asked him to stop. We were now into the second of my 3 songs.. I was more concerned about him causing problems with me than shooting. During this second song he punched me, quite hard in my back as I was shooting. I made a point of not turning round at all or acknowleging that he had done this. When we got to the end of the 3rd song, I was looking for George Chin. I wanted him to grab my cameras as I dealt with this nutter. I couldn't see George. As I was looking though, this guy went for me. So, this time I obliged and belted him 3, 4 or 5 times. I cant remember. Sadly I was still holding all of my cameras as well. George arrived in the middle of this. We then both left and got out of there as swiftly as possible.. We wandered off and got my car. I gave George a lift home as he had traveled into town by train. Anyway, I am not happy with my photos for all of the reasons above.. Meanwhile, my hand is very swollen and I think I have broken a couple of bones in my right hand. tomorrow morning I will head off to hospital for an X-ray..

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Pussycat Dolls

Late night last night at the Iron Maiden aftershow. Then early start and edit shots.. Then a shoot later in the day. It was for a mate of mine who is magaing a new female singer.. Name not yet finalised. So, I cant even talk about her yet...
I then raced back to my place early evening and had a shower, grabbed some other camera equipment and headed off to Wimbledoin to meet up with Robert from California. We had a pleasant Indian meal together and at about 11:30 I said good bye and headed into Central London as I was shooting The Pusscat Dolls. They were due to be on stage at 1 AM. Oh deep joy.. I made my way to the venue. It is normally called The Astoria, but on Saturday night's its galled G.A.Y. There is a reason for that... Anyway, I got my pass and headed off backstage to meet up with The Girls. They hadnt arrived yet. I was told that they would be arriving at about 1:30 and hgoing on soon after that. So, I just waited for them in their dressing room. I was sitting up there twiddling my thumbs and hoping they would hurry up. I was bloody exhausted. I was told that they would be arriving in 5 mins.. So, I decided to head down the three flights of stairs to meet the girls at the back door ( if you pardon the expression). When I got there, I saw about 8 Paparazzi snappers.. The girls arrived and then went straight up to there dressing rooms.. I should have stayed upstairs.. I followed them up. I had arranged to do a quick exclusive shoot with them before they went on stage.. I was called into there dressing room and had all of 10-15 seconds with them.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
I then said goodbye and I headed off downstairs to shoot the show. After the show I made a swift exit and headed off to my car. I then headed off home and edited up the shots and got them straight out. It was daylight when I got to bed.. It was almost 6 AM.. Oh what fun...

Friday, September 02, 2005

Iron Maiden in aid of Clive Burr

Into London before the gig to meet up with Nicko. There was a real buzz around Hammersmith tonight. So, many familiar faces.. I soon bumped into Robert Richards and Patrick Hegan and Victoria. I went backstage and said hello to the band. It was all very relaxd back there. Nicko was in great form as usual. He had some of his Jaguar mates down from Coventry. I had shot the whole show at Reading Festival where they headlined at the weekend. So, didnt need to shoot much more today. However, I did want to get some nice new shots of Nicko on his drums..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
So, I spent most of my time during this gig sitting behind Nicko and shooting whenever the lighting permitted.
After the gig I headed off to the aftershow party. I took Steven Lewis and Robert with me. This was held at Sanctuarty Records head office, just behind Olympia, London. Eventually the whole band showed up, one by one.. They were all really happy and having a great laugh. Clive Burr was also there with his family. My mate George Chin was the Official Photographer for the gig at Hammersmith. I thought they were using Ross Halfin for this, but it seems that Rod Smallwood has now switched to now using George who is a fine photographer and a very nice guy.
I think I have a trapped nerve in my right arm and this was really starting to hurt. So, I decied to slope off from th eafter show and go home. I gave Steven Lewis a lift and then I buggered off home myself.