Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Franz Ferdinand

Off to Alexandra Palace in North London to shoot Franz Ferdinand. I was I thought going to shoot Juliette Lewis and The Licks, but that all fell through.. Fortunatly, it was all sorted for me to shoot Franz Ferdinand. I would rather have shot them anyway. I really like them. So, got to Ally Pally and it was raing and blowing a gale. Alexanrdra Palace is very high up and it was rather cold up there. Mind you, there is a fabulous view from there.. I do loved a good view. I am not joking,m I really do.. So, in in I went and waited for quite a while. Shot the first few songs of one of the support bands, The Editors. I then met up with my mate Dan Rogers. He is Franz Ferdinands Official photographer. We had a quick chat then he headed back off to the dressing rooms. I then waited a while and on came Franz Ferdinand. By now there seemed to be almost all of themusic photographers in London waiting around with me. We all had to wait and shoot songs 3, 4 , & 5. I am sure the band have a good reason for this.. Anyway, they are very very good and highjly entertaining. Off we all went and I headed off home.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Faithless & Interview with The Times in the UK

I had an interview booked with The Times newspaper. They wanted to have a chat about my exhibition next week of Babyshambles photos. So, I had a chat with the journalist, Phoebe Greenwood from the Times. We seemed to chat for ages, about an hour. She seemed very nice and also had quite a good knowledge of Pete Doherty and Babyshambles. She wasnt out to crucify Pete or the band. Over all it was a nice interview.
I got my cameras together and headed off to my favourite part of London, bloody Brixton. I do like the Academy here in Brixton. But the bloody area is horrible.. Nothing but grief and aggro. You have to take you life in your own hands whenever you are there. So, tonight is Faithless. Dance music eh!! Well, they are great.. Really powerfull and very very impressive. I only saw the first 3 songs, but as I was shooting them the music just filtered through my ear plugs and it sounded great. The lighting was quite mad as well. I really liked it. Lots of back light and flaring lights from all angles..That is always quite chalenging. It automatically wakes me up as you have to really think fast and get it togther or you aint gonna get any shots at all.. All in all a great gig and I was very happy with the photos. I then left and walked about a mile through the wild west back to my car. Got in it, locked the doors and buggered off out of there..

Monday, November 28, 2005

Missy Elliot

Mad busy day today in and out of london like a yoyo. Then back into Hammersmith to shoot Missy Elliot at Carling Apollo Hammersmith. I only found out I was shooting this show a few hours before the eevent, otherwise I was heading down to the wonderful (not) south London suburb of Brixton to shoot the Bravery. They are great, I shot them a few tiems this year in the UK and last year for that matter. Also, I shot them at Fuji Rock and in Tokyo, Japan. So, why am I talking about them when I actualy went to Missy Elliot. I must be loosing it a bit.. So, eventually, Missy Elliot came on stage at about 10pm. This was very very late. Whilst I and about 2o other photographers were waiting in the photo pit I was tapped on the shoulder by a fan standing at the barrier behind me. He told me I wasnt allowed to stand there in his way.. Umm, well firstly I wasnt in his way, the pit is lower than where he was standing and I wasnt in front of him. Anyway, he was quite angry and up for a bit of trouble. I told him not to worry as I would keep down low and try and keep out of his way, also I would only be there for the first 3 songs.. He then immediatly became my best friend.. Which is nice.. I dont think I will ever be lonely again. With lunatics like him, I feel that London is a safer place.. (only joking).

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ian Brown at Brixton Academy

Working very hard today as I need to get ready for the impending Babyshambles Exhibition. Later I headed to the Brixtion Academy to photograph Ian Brown formerly of the Stone Roses.. This was his second day at Birxiton and all seemed sold out..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
There was only one other photographer and I there. So, lots of room for us in the photo pit. Mind you the lighting was rather poor.. This made it more difficult that usual. But hey, it dosn't matter. I just got on with it..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
It appeared to me that Ian Brown was playing up to our cameras a bit. This I really appreciated as it makes shots more interesting. Anyway, it was over in a matter of mins and I mad my way out and walked in the freezing weather to my car about a mile away. Brixton is getting very very lively on the street. There are a lot of people on the street who seem to be looking for a bit of action. Not the type of action that I want.. Especially as I have camera equipment with me and they are looking like they would have it if they knew what was in my bag..
Got back home and received an email from the one and only Barry McGuigan. He is such a lovley man. As well as being bloody hard. World champ boxer an all that. So, Barry emailed me to say that he cant make it to the opning of my exhibition as he will be in Ireland for the funeral of the legend George Best. Anway, Barry and I will catch up in the near future.. He may well go and join Paul Carrack on stage in the next month. Barry sings and bloody well too. His dad was also a great singer. He used to sing at the begining of Barry's big fights back in the 80's and also nearly won the Eurovison Song Contest for Irleand.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Babyshambles Exhibition in London

Now I am back in the UK I need to concentrate on my forthcoming Photographic exhibition of one of the most exciting bands around at the moment, Babyshambles. They have made the news almost everyday this year in the tabloids, often for the wrong reasons. Frontman and ex-member of The Libertines, Pete Doherty made the news for musical, drugs and Kate Moss reasons. The band have just released thire first CD. Guess what, its bloody fantastic. Anyway, back to the exhibition. It will be held at The Sony Ericson Proud Gallery 10, Greenland Street, Camden, London N1 0ND. The exhibition starts on the 7th to 18th of December.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Tokyo to London

I got up at about 6:30am. Didnt get much sleep. Had a shower, packed my bags and headed downstairs to check out of the hotel. I then walked outside the hotel where the "Friendly" Limousine Bus was waiting for all of us who had booked the trip to Narita. On I got and then shortly headed off through the Tokyo rush hour to Narita airport. The journy took about 2 hours. I still find it odd that the airport takes so long to get to and from the city. Anyway, at the airport, I checked in and headed through security. Then went wandering around the duty free for a while.. I didnt manage to buy anything though. Then went and boarded the plane and off we headed to London. I was one of the first people on the plane. I wasnt running, honest. Anyway, whilst sittingt there, the air hostess who was working on my section, said that we were in for a bumpy landing.. She had been warned by the captain. Apparently the weather was awful in London and the crew who had just flown the plane out from London had told the new crew to prepare yourself. Well its lucky I like flying eh! Otherwise, I could have been worried all the way home. So, when we got to Heathrow airport in London, we had quite a smooth landing. So much for the warning then. Got through customs and then all stopped. There was a bomb scare in Terminal 3 and we were held in the customs hall whilst they evacuated the Terminal.. Eventually we were allowed to contine through and out I went and headed off. Must admit I was a little bit tired.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Running Around Tokyo

Had quite a few people to see and places to go. Today was my last day in Japan. I headed over to Roppongi Dori for a lunch with Alan at Mediavast. Then headed back to Shibuya.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
I had to buy a bit of photographic gear. Nothing big, just a waterproof lens cover. Camera gear is so expensive in Japan. Strange, but true..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Later in the day I headed over to Akaska to meet up with Sean and Steve at the Hobgoblin. Sean had justed finished a rather large job that took him a couple of days really... I think he was now celebrating with a Guiness or five.. After I had consumed my water (stil) and they had finished their drinks we headed by taxi to Ginza to a great Japanese restaurant. This place was owned funnily enough, by an Englishman called Andy. He was a really nice bloke. The food was fantastic.. It had an amazing feel about the place. It was underneath the railway arches and every so often a train would rumble over the top of us. All quite odd, but fabulous.. It was quite late and we headed off and caught a taxi. I was off to my hotel and everyone else was heading back to the Hobgoblin. There were half price drinks as it was the Hobgoblin's birthday. The taxi dropped them off and I continued back to my hotel in Shibuya. I made a few calls back to the UK (which is 9 hours behind Tokyo) and then got to sleep about 3:30am.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Photos and Meetings

I had a lot of running aorund to do today.. All a bit mad, Stopped for lunch in a nice little gaff in the centre. Really nice place. So took a couple of shots of the locals eating there.. I had to be a bit covert about this as I didnt want to upset the locals.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Oasis photo shoot in Tokyo

Went over to the hotel where Oasis were staying. Sean Brophy came with me to assist. We had a wander around the Hotel for a while having a look for possible locations for the shoot. It took us about an hour and many trips up and down the elevators, there were a few. Up to the 45th floor then down again. Up again then down... you get the picture.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Then we met up with the band and all. Said hello and it was all systems go.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
There was no time for dithering. We were in a real rush. The band were under real pressure to do more interviews straight after this exclusive shoot.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
It was really nice to work with them. They were totally professional and thoroughly nice guys, all of them. Noel, Liam, Andy and Gem.
I think that the shoot lasted in total about 7 mins. This is no exaggeration. We were really moving on this shoot.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Whilst I was doing the shoot we were being filmed by a video crew. They were shooting for the band. Maybe its for a DVD, who knows. I didn't have much time to ask.
After the shoot we said a quick goodbye, then the band rushed off with their PR man from the record label and that was that. Sean and I then headed off to meet up with Rob (who works at The Hobgoblin). Sean and Rob were going off to watch motley Crue who were playing at Saitama, just about 30 mins out of Tokyo. I was going off to shoot the Oasis show at Yoyogi Gym.. I haven't been to this venue before. I must admit it sounded like a smallish venue. Well I said goody bye to Sean and Rob and jumped in a taxi. Sean had written in Japanese, the address of the venue for me. All I had to do was hand it to the taxi driver and bob's your uncle... Well actually no that wasn't how it worked.. I gave it to the taxi driver and off we went. He insisted in chatting to me in Japanese. I had explained that I didn't speak Japanese. Anyway I just had the feeling that we were heading the wrong way. We should have been heading fro Harajuka. But we weren't. Suddenly, we stopped. The taxi driver then just jumped out of the taxi and ran away... Very odd I thought. I called Sean and asked it this is a Japanese tradition. Anyway, he was running around and looking at buildings, trying to find the Yoyogi Gym.. What a tosser... I handed the phone to him. Sean then explained in fluent Japanese to the driver where I was supposed be going.. So, off we went again..
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Then we arrived at Harajuka and Yoyogi Gym. It was bloody enormous. In I went and shot the first part of the show. I then watched the rest of the show.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
They are fantsastic.. I love Oasis.. After the show I headed back to Shibuya and got a bite to eat.. Then started to edit up the shots.. and eventually went to bed.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


I had a look at the hotel window view from the first hotel in Tokyo.. There wasnt one. When I opened the curtains I stood there for about 15-20 seconds thinking I must have ben drinking or was asleep and it was a dream. Then I figured out that I was looking stright into a wall. Very impressive. This hotel was designed for business men or women who just want to get there head down.

The next day I moved to Shinjuku. The hotel was better, but no internet.. Better view though.. I do love a good view!

So then I finally moved with the help of the wonderful (ex Boomtown Rats man) Johnnie Fingers, to The Excel in Shibuya. I have stayed there before and it's a nice hotel in a great spot with High bloody speed internet in the room.. Now take a look at the veiw out of my bedroom window, nice....

Friday, November 18, 2005

Tokyo and The Hobgoblin

I was having real trouble at the hotel, there was High Speed internet, but the room was not quite all it should be. So I moved out to another hotel, this time in Shinjuku. This hotel promised me High Speed Internet. Well, when I got there I suppose they may have had a point, I can have high Speed Internet, but they cant provide it.. So, the silly bugers didnt have it. There was a very slow donkey powered version of the internet in the robby. Which was no good as I nbeed it in my room where I like to work. So, one night here and I will move tomorrow. So, as I need to get on the internet urgently to check emails etc I head over to meet up with Sean Brophy, the reputable businessman and upstanding ex-patriot of the motherland (coventry to be precise) and there he was, in his own words...Bladdered. Finally asleep on the floor.
Sena Brophy - Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
So, I got on the internet and worked from th eHobgoblin. Th eonly problem now was, my japanese phone doesnt work in the Hobgoblin as it is deep underground.. So, I cant win.. I t was quite late when I finished and headed back over to Shinjuku to the wonderful, internet free hotel. Managed to get to sleep at about 4: 30am. But at 7:30 am local time (tokyo) I was woken by an urgent telephone call from a picture desk in NY, they are 14 hours behind Tokyo, time wise. I have to say it was a good news call. However, that was it couldnt sleep anymore. I stayed up and that was that..

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Tokyo Calling

Had a late night last night. So much to do, not enough time.. Eventually went to be just in time to get up. Absolutely shattered.. Got my gear together and headed over to Heathrow airport. I am on my way to Tokyo, this time I am going on Virgin. Easy check in and straight to the gate on the plane .All nice and straight forward.. The only slight hick up was that as I was pulling my laptop in a bag on my back sideways, to make it straight. When, for some very strange reason, also sharply pulled my shirt as well. Which was marvelous as I ripped it right up the side. I don't know my own strength. So, now I am wandering off towards the plane with my shirt literally flapping on the side.. I looked sensational, chic and a little bit Stella McCartney. As I sit on the plane (incidentally above icy Siberia) writing this, I feel that all who pass along my right side are aware that I am half naked. Only another 4 hours until we arrive at Narita airport. I will then collect my rental phone and get on one of the pretty orange Limousine busses for the 2 hour ride to Tokyo.

Go to Narita airport and got the Limousine bus to Tokyo. Got to my hotel, left my bags and got on the Metro and headed over to The Hobgoblin in Akasaka to meet up with the one and only Sean Brophy (ex patriot and professional drinker). He is a really nice geezer. He and his pal Steve had a spot of lunch and I did all I could from helping our Sean from downing a few pints ofGuinnesss as we had lunch, but sadly I failed and his walloped them down in no time at all. I then got back on the metro and headed across town to my hotel. I must admit I was feeling rather shattered by now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Alanis Morissette at King's College London

I photographed Alanis Morissette tonight. She was performing in a very intimate little hall. She was playing to a small audience in King’s College, The Strand in London.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

I arrived about 50 mins before she was due to go on stage. I had to get the elevator to the 4th floor along with everyone else of course. Then into the hall. Well, there was no photo pit and it was rammed full of people. I must say, the class of fan who goes to her concerts is a very high one and all seemed very helpful to me. So, there I was all padded out with my winter jacket and not being a small chap along with my camera bag etc squeezing through the crowd to get as far towards the stage as possible. I got as far as I could with seriously upsetting loads of very short fans who were standing about 4 rows deep from the stage. I moored up just behind them. I was surrounded by some really nice and funny people. They understood my plight and were very considerate to me.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Well, Alanis was due on, so I was told, at 8:45 and I think she finally come on stage at about 9:30. I shot the first 3 songs and swiftly made my way back out through the crowd. Making even more of a nuisance than when I went in. This time, I had my bulky jacket, camera bag and a couple of cameras hanging off my shoulder. They were smashing into everyone as I knocked past them. So, if anyone from that concert (which was fantastic by the way), was knocked by me on my way out, I unreservedly apologise.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
The good news, for me that is, that a few days ago I became a member of the gym that I once before belonged to. So, maybe the bulk should reduce. If I get there that is.. So, to round this event off, Alanis was superb and very professional. It was really great to photograph her in such a small venue.
Whilst on my way out I bumped into James Quinton, he too had been shooting in there, although, I hadn’t seen him before. I headed off home as I had a bit of a night ahead of me. Lots to do as
I am off to Tokyo in the morning.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Jamie Cullum at Royal Albert Hall

I have been photographing Jamie for some time now. Infact, it was my mate Johnnie Baron who ran the Kitsch Lounge Riot at The Cafe de Paris in Leicester Sq, London that introduced me to him. Jamie was playing there quite a lot prior to his signing with the major record label. Anyway, here we are at the Royal Albet Hall. He is a born entertainer, he has all of the talent and energy required to be a big big star. He seems to be reaching so many different people of all ages. I dont want it to sound like a cliche, but he is. There were people of all ages in the audience. I only stayed there for the first three songs, but what I did hear and see was bloody fantsatsic. He is destined to be enouirmous. By all accounts his new album is supposed to be fantastic as well. Mind you, as yet I havent recived a copy in the post so I dont know personally.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The One and Only Billy Idol

Billy Idol was playing in London for the first time in 12 years, so I belive.. He was performing at Brixton Academy in London. I havent seen him for years. We were once quite friendly in about 1978 or 1979.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
I remember him amongst other coming to the opening party at my studio in Islington, London. This studio was on the top floor of a big building just off Goswell Rd. We had a great roof top area where I could do some daylight shoots. One of the shoots I did up there was with Madness. I do have some great memories of that time. So, back to Brixton and Billy.. He seeme dto have all of the charisma that he always had. I only shot the first 3 songs, but what I saw of the show through my lens was great. Billy did come over to me at one stage and gave the thumbs up to my camera.
Copyright 2oo5 Danny Clifford
I wouldnt have thought for one minute though that he would have know it was me.. Great to see him back.. He is really a legend now isnt he.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The White Stripes

Down to Hammersmith West London. The White Stripes were playing at the Carling Apollo. The stage was very well designed. Somebody had put a lot of thought into it. It looked very nice, very red and white. I must admit it did make a pleasant change having a stage where someone had put some design thought into it. On came Jack and magna White. They were very very good.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
My only slight criticism was that Jack didn't much lift his head up. He had a big hat on which cast a shadow over his face. So, it was difficult to get a good shot of his face. Although, I am sure I did, but it wasn't easy. All in all got some good shots and I am quite happy with them. One other thing that was nice touch. I was given a ticket to stay and watch the whole show which was nice of them. It makes a nice change for the artists to think of us poor photographers who wait around for hours on end then crawl into the photo pit and usually get covered in beer. So, Thank you Jack and Megan.. It was very nice of you.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Lisbon to London

Got up met up with George Chin for a quick lunch.

We then headed off to Lisbon Airport to catch the last TAP flight out of Lisbon to Heathrow. The flight was slightly delayed and we finally arrived back in London at 11pm, about 40 mins late. After heading through passport control etc I headed out and met up with my driver... What a bloody missery he was.. I find out that his real job and passion is landscaping.. I was tired and didnt want to listen to his crap. He was a bit of an opionated racist tosser. So enough of that eh!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

MTV Awards Main Event

The day started for me at at 10 am. I went down and met up with the team and had breakfast. We were out of there quite quickly as I needed to get my gear together and make my way over to the main arena by about 12 midday. I wanted to watch the final rehearsals. This would help me when the show finally started. So, there I stood for the next 12 hours with George Chin. If it wasnt for Sue Moore we wouldnt have even had a drink.

Sue came out with food and drinks at various intervals. That was really nice of her. So, eventually at 8pm, Madonna came on and opened the show. She was bloody fantsatic.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
The whole event then moved on a pace.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
I seemed to be shooting non stop for about 4 hours. I Then legged it out of there and sent out my images.
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford
I must admit I was up until around 7am and then hit the sack for about 4 hours..

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

MTV Awards Lisbon, Portugal

I was up at about 4 something this morning. Funny, because, that's is normally going to bed. Anyway, felf awful after only about 45 mins sleep. Had a coffee and my car arrived and took me to London Heathrow airport. I met up with some of the crew who were also going to MTV in Lisbon. We were borading at 7:40 am.. Oh deep joy ! We arrived in Lisbon at about 11am and were met by a driver. We were taken to our hotel, right next to the arena where the event is taking place tomorrow, the 3rd. We checked in and then swiftly left and got a cab accross to the other side of Lisbon. That was where we were to collect our passes or accreditation. We then headed back over to the hotel. Once we were there I sorted my gear and then headed over to the event to shoot Coldplay who were rehearsing.. This was all of a bit of a rush and a scrum. Anyway, then headed back to my hotel and got the photos edited and out immediatley. It's 1:30 am as I sit here in my hotel room and have just finished editing for the night. I am going to sleep. I am so tired, I dont know when I slept properly last. Tomorrow is going to be a very very busy day.