Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Paddingtons Album Launch

This was to be a late one.. I arrived at The Mean Fiddler in Charring Cross Rd, London at about 10;45 pm.. The Paddingtons were playing here toninght to celebrate the launch of their new CD. I met up with photogrpaher, Joe Kerr outside (really nice chap). We got inside and waited a while, until all of the band had arrived. Then we may our way to the dressing room and did some shots of the band before the gig. We then made oour way to the front of the stage. There was no photo pit. Boy it was going to be fun.. and it was.. The crowd were extremely active... Lots of pushing swaying etc. I had to use quite a high shutter speed or they would have all been blurred.. I managed to get away from the front of the stage and get around the side and up onto the stage. I thought Joe was going to try and do this as well. But, I think he was rather stuck in the crowd. The gig ended very shortly after I got round the back.. I did manage to get some cool shots though... I headed straight out of there as soon as my gear was packed away.. It was about 2:30 ish.. I headed for my car which was parked about 10 mins walk away. When I got in my car and started driving I got stuck in a traffic hold up.. This was mad.. If you coinsider that it was now heading on for 3 am.. I just sat there for bloody ages. Amazing the trafic in London these days.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Bloc Party at Brixton Academy

Back to Brixton.. Bloc Party seem to be getting bigger and bigger. I was shooting them in small little clubs up until a few months ago. Now they are playing at the Birxton Academy.. Great band horrible lighting..

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Ethan Russel Exhibition

I was invited to the Blink Gallery in Poland Street, in Londons West End. It was the private viewing of Ethan Russells ehibition. He is the legendary photographer who shot album covers for the Beatles, The Roling Stones and The Who. I met Ethan for the first time and we had a brief chat. He is a very nice man. Apart from being a great photographer, he is a nice man who doesnt appear to have an ego problem. He was very down to earth. Great exhibition as well.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Kaiser Chiefs at Brixton Academy

I arrived at the Brixton Academy just before the main support, Maximo Park were going on. I was told that all passes were at the front of house in the box office.. They have never been there before. They have always been at the backstage door.. So, I walk to the front of house with another photographer Neil. We wait a while to be seen and we are told that they are not there but aty the backstage door.. By this time Maximo are on and we are really missing the show. We get to the back stage door and after a while we get passes..Maximo have finished. In we go and get ready for The Kaiser Chiefs. On they came and I immediatly realised that the lighting wasnt very good... In fact it was very poor indeed. So, just got on with it anyway.. Great show, great band.. Very entertaining.

Monday, October 24, 2005

10 Room 7th Anniversary

I went to the 10 Room in London for the 7th Anniversary. This club is run by my friend John Altman and Patrick Allen. Unfortunatly, John wasnt there on the night as he is over in LA. Anyway, I was there with film camera etc. Funnily enough, when Reuben the cameraman and I approached the club along the street we saw a crowd of Paparazzi phoptographers. One of them came runing over and put his hand over the lens of our camera crew.. He told me that we cant film him.. I asked him how that works? He photographs people also on the public road when they dont want to be. One rule for them eh!! Anyway, we had a few choice words and parted company. It was all being filmed though.. We went into the club and saw the Drifters and Aleaxnder O'Neil and others. I did a few photos of those and other celebes inside the club and left quite late. Finally got home and into bed at 6:30 oh deep joy!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Kaiser Chiefs & Maximo Park in Birmingham

Up early and off again. This time up to Birmingham to shoot the Kaiser Chiefs.. They also have Maximo Park playing with them. They were playing at the Carling Academy in Birmingham. I was up there recently with Babyshambles. Today we had an extra camera in the film crew. Things seemed to have changed in that area. I had a very nice chat with some of the chaps in the Maximo Park before their gig. After this I went out the the front of house and shot the Maximo Park show. They are a reall happening band, full of energy and originality. The front man Paul is very charismatic. They are great fun and going to be a very big band. Then I shot the Kaisers show. Really nice lighting. This does make life easy when they are bright and lots of them. After the show I had a nice chat with Ricky and Nick from Kaiser Chiefs.. This was all on camera as well.. They are not only and brilliant band but lovely guys as well..I think one of my favourite bands at the moment.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Magic Numbers - Bristol University

Off to Bristol for a shoot with the wonderful Magic Numbers.. I love them. Not only are they a breath of fresh air in the music industry with real music they are such nice people. I first really met them all in Japan in the summer up at Mount Naeba Fuji Rock. We then speant a bit of time together in Tokyo.. Anyway, here we are in Bristol UK. I got down there late in the afternoon. It was really nice to see them again. We had a nice chat in the dressing room, then they all went and got changed. When they returned we did a quick shoot. This we did in a theatre attached to the venue. We had to be careful as the doors had now been opened and the public were coming in. When they walked into th theatre they had brought some choclate with them and handed me (stupidly) a few varieties of chocolate.. They all asked me which one I would choose. I think they had some money on the one I would choose. After a little thought, I chose a small bag of Malteasers. Romeo (lead singer) punched his hand in the air.. That was the one he had chosen.. We continued and did the shoot. After that was the live show. They are fantastic. If you havent seen them yet, make sure you as soon as you can. Reuben who was filming all of this and I headed back to London. Just for a change another very late night.. we got back to London at about 3 am.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Wall Street Journal

I had to shoot the Chairman & Creative Director John Hagerty of an advertising agency in London called BBH. The shoot was a commission for The Wall Street Journal. Slightly off the normal track for me, but I was honoured to have been asked to do this.. So, I got to BBH with Liza and Paul who were both assisting me. We made our way up to the main reception and we were met by John Hagerty's PA. We needed to take a few different shots and had a few mins for each of them. We decided that one would be taken near one of his creations for a mobile phone poster, another shot looking down at him on a spiral staircase. The final of the 3 shots was rather nice. It was a shot of him with the wonderful glass roof with little lights in it. I shot it from slightly below him with the lights above him. It looked very nice. Well I thought so anyway. We finished and I had to send the images imediatly straight out to the Wall Street Journal. So, I had my laptop and did it all righth there. I then left and headed straight out to get Reuben from his hotel. He was comimng down with me to see Big Linda. They were playing at the Clapham Grand in Clapham, funilly enough.. We got stuck in horrible traffic and missed the band. They went on at 8 sharp and we got there as they had finished.. We did a few shots of the band in the dressng room. The lighting was great in the dressing room and I goit some great shots. All in all it was another late night.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Backstreet Boys at Wembley

Off to the Backstreet Boys at the Wembley Pavillion.. This was fully sold out. Seems like they still have a massive following. I shot the show as Reuben filmed me shooting it. We did a an interview before the gig. After the gig we headed into London and did a final interview of the day in a really pretty little street next to the Thames near The Strand. I dropped Reuben off at his hotel and headed off home.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Documentary begins

John Altman was conducting an orchestra at Lyndhurst Hall (Air Recording Studios) in Hampstead in North London. I wanted to get over there to shoot it, but I was waiting for Reuben McLaughlin to arrive at Heathrow from Toronto, Canada. So, I missed my mate John and will have to shoot him another time when he is back here in the UK in November. Reuben is over in the UK as he is doing a documentary on me. He will be following me around for a while filming everything I do. Anyway, Reuben needed a bit of sleep, so I collected him later at his hotel. We then went for a bite to eat and after that headed off to The Boogaloo in Archway / Highgate area of London. I had to drop a few prints into Gerry O'Boyle. So, Reuben, Gerry and I were having a drink and it was about 1am by know, when there was some lous banging on the door. It was Shane McGowan. He fancied a drink, in he came and we had a drink with. He is looking so much better than he has in the past. He didn't even appear to be drinking too much.. I left about an hour later and dropped Reuben at his hotel and headed off home.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Big Linda at Carling Academy Islington

Big Linda are amazing. They were playing at the Carling Academy in Islington, London. The last time I saw them live, was in fact there first live performance at the Boogaloo in Highgate / Archway.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
So, I arrived at the Carling academy and saw the tail end of the band on before them. They seemed quite good. But not up to the level of Big Linda.. They are going to be BIG..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
They have the star quality in all areas. I shot the show and then went and took some candid type shots in the dressing room. Everyone should keep an eye out for them and go and see them if you can.. They are stunning.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The 10 Room London

I went to Wardour Street in Soho, London early evening and met up with my friend, the legendary, John Altman. He is probably the biggest music writer for movies in the world. I cannot list all of the things that he has done as there are too many. I do know that he did the music for the Die Hard movies for which I think he got a Grammy. He has also won Emmy's and many other awards.. He has very recently completed a flm with Jenifer Lopez. John was once my teacher when I was at school. Poor John !! He left us when we were atr school as he went off and joined a band called Hot Chocolate. Then onwards and upwards for him. So there we were with John and few of his friends having Sushi. All very nice and civilised.. My only complaint was that the space between the table and the seat was rather tight.. I think this only applied to me.. Nobody else seemed to have the same problem.. I msut loose some weight. We then headed off to JOhns club, the 10 Room. John runs this with his friend Patrick. After a while John and the hiouse band started playing and John played his Sax. He is amazing.. I did take a few shots, but the lighting is not far away from non existent so, I wasnt too happy with that. I left at around 2am and headed off home..

Sunday, October 16, 2005

50 Cent at Wembley

Wembley arena is being completely rebuilt at the moment. This is not to be confused with the new Wembley Stadium, which is also being built next door to the Arena. Anyway, this is all boring as most people are fully aware of all of this. So, whilst the Arena is being renewed, a massive tent has been erected for concerts in the meantime. I have to say, that it is rather odd. I have been there many times now to shoot various artist's, but despite the fact that it is brand new and smart, I really don't like it there. Mind you, I don't suppose the organizers care if I like it or not. So, there I was at the Wembley pavilion (the tent) waiting at the mixing desk about half way back in the stadium to shoot 50 Cent.. I did take a long lens as I thought that we would be a long way from the stage and we were. We waited for quite a while for the show to start. I found out afterwards that the show was delayed because someone had stolen 50 Cents massive platinum & diamond crucifix that he wears round his neck. He had taken a shower just before the show and a local Wembley security guard had taken it away to look after it.. You see the staff at Wmbley are so caring considerate and honest. I am sure that the security guard in question saw the $35000 cross and thought, I had better remove that from the safe dressing room and look after it for Fiddy.. ummm, good old honest security at Wembley... Welcome to London Mr Cent.. It was handed back to 50 cent when the whole of the backstage area was shut down and nobody was allowed in or out until it was found. That is when the caring security guard handed it back to him and said it was being cared for by him or her.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Then the show began all a bit late.. Oh, I was so excited!! I had my earplugs in and they were in fact so far in that they were touching in the middle of my head.. I tried to get a few more in, but ran out of room & earplugs.. As soon as he got on stage, the crowd all seemed to stand up on their seats.. They then waved their hands above their heads. The cheeky buggers. They had no consideration for us photographers who were about 4 miles away from the stage trying to get shots. So, I did what I could and escaped after about 15 mins.. I am so relieved that Fiddy got his cross back.. Thank the Lord...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Delaware at The Windmill

I headed over to Brixton. Delaware were playing at The Windmill in Brixton. This is a nice little venue tucked away off the beaten track in Brixton.. Delaware were on at about 10 ish.. They were bloody fantastic.. Really Fantastic.. They are headlimng a gig later in November back in Belfast.. I might get over for that one and do some nice live shots of them there.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Photo Shoot with Delaware & Royksopp

I went down to the recording studio, Metropolis in Chiswick West London and met up with my mate Andy Wright. He had been in the recording some more songs with Delaware. This is the band that he is producing. I know I have mentioned them before, they are totally different and amazing. They sound different and look different.. Not the usual !! I love them. They are over in London for about a week working on some new tracks with Andy and also playing a couple of live gigs. So, the band and I all headed off out of West London up to the Bedfordshire countryside for a photo shoot.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Dunstable Downs to be precise. We did have to stop on the way as the band needed a "Snickers Stop" .I do feel that we could have done this shoot in a few other places, perhaps nearer London, but I just prefer this location for some reason. The band were all on form, there are 6 of them in all. When we arrived up there we got straight on with it. We just shot them against the background looking North from Dunstable Downs.. With the help of my Gloooominator aptly named by Cully, I think. He is the bass guitarist in the band. So we did the shoot and headed back down to Chiswick, west London.

When we got back to the recording studio we went in and Andy and all played the new tracks that the band have been recording on this trip. Like all of the material, it sounds fantastic. It is so hard to explain what genre they fit into. I would stongly recommend that you log onto there site When you are on the site go to the Media section and you can hear some of there music.. I love them hope you do too.

After leaving Metropolis at about 8pm ish, I headed off to Brixton Academy to photograph Royksopp from Scandinavia.. Electro ish kinda strange but nice..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
It was a late kick off there.. They finally came on stage at about 10:15 PM. I left Brixton at about 11 ish headed home and edited up all of the shots from this gig and the shoot earflier with Delaware.. Overall quite a busy day.

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Down to the Carling Academy, Hammersmith, London. I shot Supergrass earlier in the year at Koko in Camden Town, London. I remember the lighting being bloody awful. There was a white strobe light just flashing on and off for the first few songs.. It was awful. Although, the band were fab. I really like Supergrass. Almost a great British tradition.. So, here I was at Hammersmith standing in the photo pit and hoping for great lighting..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Well, on they came and up went the lights and it wasn't too bad.. So, overall I was quite happy..

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Abbey Road & Delaware

Early afternoon I had a meeting at Sphere Recording studios in Battersea. That is one great studio.. Left there headed out of town, sitting in horribkle traffic.. London is getting more and more like LA.. I had to get my camera equipment and then, guess what, head straight back into London for a shoot at Abbey Road (recording Studio). This was to shoot an up and coming singer songwriter from Ireland, Claire Sproule. I only shot the first few songs. She did sound good though..
I then shot off and met up with one of my favourite bands Delaware.. They were playing their very first gig in England. They are from Belfast.. I was with them a little when they were over here last actually recording their demo's. So, here we were at the Dublin Castle in Camden for the big night.. They were absolutly fantastic.. They are playing one more gig in England before they return to Belfast, on Saturday night at place called the Windmill in Brixton, South London.. Thoroghly recommend that you go and see them. They are very very different.. They will also be BIG soon..

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Paperwork and catching up

Today was very nice. I spent most of the morning dealing with paperwork and generally trying to catch up with admin. I have a moutain of things to get through.. Lunch time I took a break and met up with my mate Neil. We had lunch and a chat, which was really nice. Whilst having a snack I was reminded by Ryan 'The God Like DJ' Wicks, that he is arranging a big firework display, party in the Rickmansworth area of Hertfordshire. All of the proceeds go to the Cancer Ward 10 at Mount Vernon Hospital. This is where Ryan's dad died of Cancer.. I am not sure if I will be around on the day this big event takes place as I think I may be in Portugal shooting the MTV awards. But for any of you who want to go to a fantastic event with loads of live bands and entertainment along with a massive firework display get along there and support this Charity event.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Littl 'ans in Liverpool

I left Leeds and headed across the country to Liverpool. I always love going to Liverpool. On my way I could help but to come off the M62 at Saddleworth Moor, infamous for the Moors murders ( Myra Hindley & Ian Brady). Took some shots on the moor out there in the middle of nowhere.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
I also shot some nice old Yorkshire farms etc.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Then got back on track and off to Liverpool. I had arranged to meet up with The Littl 'ans at Albert Dock. I arrived there and could get them on their manager Josh on his cell phone, as his battery had given up the ghost. As I couldn't get them I knew that they should call me. In the meantime I went for a trip down memory lane. Well in fact it was Penny Lane.. I couldn't resist it. I am a huge Beatles fan.. So there I was like a real tourist driving along Penny Lane. I actually stopped next to a road sign that said Penny Lane (Sad I know) and grabbed one of my cameras and took a shot of it.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
The moment I took the shot, as if by magic, on my radio came Penny Lane, by the Beatles.. How freaky is that. I couldn't quite believe it.. Really weird. I only wish someone was with me to witness that. Later I called my little brother Simon in LA to tell him. He too is a big Beatles fan. Next time he is over I think I will run him up to Liverpool.
I then got a call from Josh the manager of the Littl 'ans and he and the band were now at Albert Dock. I headed straight back there, met up with them and we did a very quick photoshoot.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
They are a great band and very nice to work with. There new single, featuring Pete Doherty is out on 17th October in the UK on Rough Trade Records check out this link and you can see the video of the song and if you look carefully you can see me in there a few times as well. Anyway, the song is fantastic.. They are going to be BIG...

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Babyshambles & Littl'ans in Leeds

Up to Leeds, Yorkshire. Arrived and saw that the Littl'ans were going on stage. So, straight in and shot them first. Again the lighting was pretty poor.. I did manage to get some shots though. The Littl' ans are really great. Check them out on onthere site is a match box. Go there and head into the forums. They obviously have a great following and it seems to get bigger each night.

Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Pete arrived very late as he had been over to Manchester to see the England v Austria soccer
game.. Which we only just won... 1-0 anyway. I am not interested in football. Not until my
beloved Arsenal start to play like real contenders again. Then I can talk about it..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Babyshambles were again fantastic.. Pete seemed to be a bit preoccupied.. He hit a security guard who was removing a fan. Then pulled odwn the whole lighting rig on one side of the stage. It very nearly hit Drew.. I don't think Drew knew quite how close it was from killing him.
Yet again there were too many Unsavoury hangers on.. This could surely be the bands downfall.. Some of the bad hangers on will cause big problems for the band in due course.. It all felt a bit odd last night after the gig. I decided to leave them all to it and head off to my hotel and edit up the photos. Tomorrow is Liverpool.. I am not sure if I am going to go, I will speak to the band. If the low life scum bags that are hanging with them are going I don't think I will bother.. So, the next city I head for will start with and L - London or Liverpool.. We will see.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Bristol with Babyshambles & The Little'ans

I arrived in Bristol late in the afternoon. Made my way into the venue. The band were out in different directions. Adam was out eating, so was Drew. Didn't kknow where Patrick was, but Pete was on the tour bus having a sleep. Whilt I was acquainting myself with the Bristol Carling Academy, I was standing by the back stage door when Pete's mum arrived with Petes sister and a few cousins. They weren't allowed in as they didn't have passes. They were kept waiting for ages by the door. All quite embarrassing really. They did finally get in. The support band were a band called The Little'ans. They are bloody great. I did a quick shoot with them in their dressing room.
The Litte 'ans
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Really talented and very nice people. I then went straight down and photographed the show. Although the lights were not that great. Usual problem with support bands. Litte 'ans have a single out on the 17th of October on Rough Trade Records. The song is great.. The video of this song was filmed the night when Babyshambles played a small gig at the Duke of Clarence pub in Islington, London. I was watching this on MTV recently when I realised I am in the video a few times.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Babyshambles then came on and played yet another fantastic show.. In some respects the set up seems so much more professional. However, they still seem to be having a few bad elements hanging out with them. During the show, they presented Patrick with a birthday cake as it was his birthday. They also opened a few bottles of champagne as well..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

After the gig, I made a swift exit as I had to head back to London. Its only about an hour and a half to London, but it was late and I am shattered.. This rock n roll life style eh.. I think I need to have a sleep in the afternoons now and have me pipe and slippers at the ready. Second thought, I think I have a few years left before that happens.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Bournemouth for the day

Up early and drove to Bournemouth on the UK's South coast. I love it there. As a family we used to go to Bournemouth quite a lot when I was a kid. We spent lot's of time at Studland bay, Swanage& Corfe Castle. Well worth the visit if you get to this part of the world.

Anyway, got plenty done. We were filming in an aircraft hanger at Bournemouth Intl Airport. I tried to get away in time so that I could get to Southend by about 9pm to shoot Babyshambles. But things ran over in Bournemouth so, didn't make it to the Babyshambles gig.

Monday, October 03, 2005

More Pete in the Press

I woke up today to find that I have a front cover on the UK's Daily Mirror in the of Pete Doherty. They also used a shot inside of Pete sitting on the tour bus reading a bible a fews days ago.. I must say, they are fun photos. Pete was really playing up for me when we took them. He was in very high spirits and it was a laugh. From what I understand, the police have mistaken Pete's (legal) implants for class A drugs. He had the implants put in to prevent him from using Heroin. Lets hope that he is now left alone to get on with the tour. Roll on Southend on Tuesday. I just hope I can get there. I have a busy day during the day in Bournemouth. I just hope I can get away from there in time to get to Southend. Bit of a long trip, but hey it's worth it.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Off to Norwich but Norwich is Off

I headed off towards Norwich on England's East coast. I was heading up there to meet up with Pete Doherty and all in Babyshambles.. I must admit I was really quite excited about seeing them performing again.. Yes I am addicted !! I left London and headed on my way mid afternoon.. It's a fairly long way from London.. The roads are not designed for swift travel up there. They seem a bit rural, great fun if you have a tractor or any other agricultural vehicle. So, there I was with young Ed riding shotgun and I get a phone call from a friend of mine telling me that Pete Doherty has been arrested for class A drugs. Apparently this happened last night in Shrewsbury after the gig.. I then immediately phoned up Adam the drummer in the band and asked if this was true. Sadly it was. Adam told me that the gig in Norwich was now off. So, around we turned and headed back down to London. I then heard that Pete had been released from custody. I really do hope that he isn't in trouble. I am sure that the police are looking to make an example of Pete at the moment.
I dropped Ed off in Barnes and headed off home..

Saturday, October 01, 2005

McFly Wembley Pavillion

This was really exciting..Not.. Screaming 12 year olds.. Actually, the mums were screaming as well.. Quite amazing.. I think the mums wanted to be there and they took their daughter along as company.. I remember the same situation when I photpgraphed Westlife. The mums were more excited to be there than their daughters.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Anyway, did the first 3 songs and escaped.. The lighting was rather bland really. Lots of boring blue distant lighting, not allowing for any detail in the shots.

Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

No doubt the lighting was better after I left.. That is always the way. Anyway I got out safley my earplugs were still in place whilst I walked the mile to my car... Oh what fun !!