Monday, June 26, 2006

Pussycat Dolls secret gig

I headed off to a very secret location, well not really. It was Windsor Racecourse. There were races going on, horses racing that is. Then after the last race it was a suprise concert of The Pussycat Dolls. I was one of 3 photpgraphers there and we were shooting from the lighting and sound desk halfway back in the crowd. All was looking good until I overheard the lighting man discussing the show, which was starting in a few mins.. Anyway, I heard him say, they were reversing the lighting and making it a white out. Which means, strong white lights behind the girls and aiming straight at us.. So this was going to be horrible from a photgraphic perspective.. Anyway, I did what I had to do and got on with it. Thet werent to bad really, but it could have been better..

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Harewood House Leeds - Yorkshire UK

Photographed The Who in Leeds for the second weekend in a row. This time it wasnt at the University, but outside at Harewood House. The Flaming Lips were main support. I love this band, they are one of the most entertaining bands I have seen. I was on stage for this one, as I wanted to get some nice shots of Wayne Coyne surfing around the crowd in his transparent giant ball. This made for a dramtic photo I thought. I must buy there latest cd. There misic is also fantastic and in fact very different. After the entertaining Flaming Lips had retreated to their dressing rooms. On came The Who.. I have to say, everytime I see them live I get a real thrill. They are very special. I know to some it is nt the same without Keith Moon and John Entwhistle, but, Zak Starkey is such an amazing drummer and Pino Palladino along with Simon Townshend & Rabbit are all bloody brilliant. So, all in all five stars for them.. After the gig, I mad a run for it and got out of Harewood House just before the l;ast song. This meant that I didnt have to wait wtuck in all of the traffic for house on end whe were trying to get out. I did hear that some peopple got stuck for 3 hours of so before they could get out onto the main road outside Harewood House.. Anyway, I belted it straight out of Leeds and headed off south to London..

Saturday, June 24, 2006

O2 Wirless festival Leeds - Harewood House

Up to Leeds today. The bands on were similar to those on at Hyde Park... But who knows, maybe I will get some different shots.. On the other hand, I wont.. Alison Goldfrap was performing up here today. She is great and good value to phoptograph. I shot part of her show from on the stage and got some nice shots of her with Harewood House in the background and the massive crowd. The headliners were Massive Attack again.. They started the show with the same comment. " A big fuck off to the BNP" for those who dont live in the UK, the BNP are an extreme right wing load of tossers. Anyway, MAssive Attack sounded pretty good anyway. It rained a lot today, making it far less enjoyable.. In fact, it made it bloody awful. Still, someones gotta do it..

Friday, June 23, 2006

O2 Wireless Massive Attack plus others..

Another day at Wireless Festival in Hyde Park... Today it was Massive Attck headlining. Other bands on the bill today were the wonderful Flaming Lips and Gnarles Barkley. Pharell Williams and others... Nice and busy day.. Flaming Lips made it more enjoyable for me that is for sure..

Thursday, June 22, 2006

KT Tunstall & Fun Lovin Criminals at O2 Wireless Festival

Today is the second day f the Wireless O2 Festival in London's Hyde Park. Today it's KT Tunstall headlining. She is a brilliant songwriter and performer. I have shot her a few times this year. Once in Los Angeles at the Troubador and not long after that at The Brit Awards in London. Over on another stage was The Fun Lovin Criminals, now they are fantastic. I had a chat with Huey the lead singer before the gig. We were chatting about the time that I introduced Huey to Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. Huey said he has the photo that I took of them on his wall at home. He then said that I should like the show today.. Anyway after oour chat, we headed over to the stage where they were playing. I got ready and waited in the photo pit. One they came, said hello and BANG... They went straight into Led Zeppelin's Rock and Roll from the album, Zeppelin IV. It was FANTASTIC.. I must say I am a real fan of theirs. There last wto albums are brilliant.. I recomend that you all go and buy them. I also see that they are now using Hofner guitars. Which is nice.. More and more people seem to be using Hofners. They must be good guitars. I wish I could play more that one note..

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

O2 Wirelss Festival Day One

Today is the first day of the O2 Wireless Festival in London's Hyde Park. Today we had The Strokes, Belle & Sebastian, Super Furry Animals, The Raconteurs, Dirty Pretty Things plus others but cant remeber who.. I was hopeing that the Strokes would have some decent lighting. Normally, they seem to be lit badly in smaller venues..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Backstage we had various Celebes runnnig around. Kate Moss, Kelly Osbourne etc etc... It was quite a tireing event for me as plenty of running around from one stage to another. Still, apparently, I need the excercise.. It was quite nice to have a press room set up. There were some really nice photographers there as well. Which is refreshing.. Andy Paradise and Anthony Harvey & Yui Mok. What nice guys.. It makes it really nice to have proper geezers to work with..

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The Who Live at Leeds

This is to be one for me to remember. Not only is it a very special event, but I am shooting this show exclusivly for The Who. I travelled up from London to Leeds, West Yorkshire quite early. I needed to be at the University of Leeds by about 3:30pm.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
But first I needed to check into my hotel and get rid of some gear that I will need tomorrow, but wont be using today.. Cant leave photographic gear in the car. It brings back horrible memories or me pulling up outside The Who's office in about 1977. I had an office in their offices in Wardour Street, London. I didnt have my own car at the time and borrowed my mums for a day or so. Anyway, pulled up and ran into the office for no more than 30 seconds. When I ran back to the car, I jumped in and wondered why the passenger door was slightly open. I sat there and thought this is od. Then felt under the seat only to find that my camera bag had been stolen. It was such a shock.. I had two Nikon's and assorted lenses etc. Guess what? I wasnt insured.. What an idiot. I had to go grovelling to my bank and ask for help.. Which they did.. Ever since then, I never leave gear in a car..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
Well, now that that little memory is out of the way, we can move back to 2006 and Leeds. So, checked into my hotel and headed straight off to the University.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
When I arrived I was met by the press officers from the University. Whilst I was talking to them, in walked the one and only Paul Crockford. He manages many people including Mark Knopfler. Paul and I went up to production to get my pass. I was the only photographer allowed to shoot the show.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
They were being very strict about this.. Very soon after getting my passes etc there was to be a Blue Plaque unveiling outside the University. This was to commemorate The Who's recording of Live at Leeds in this very building 36 years before in February 1970. I was too young to remeber this, but when I was growing up I remember all of my friends raving about 'Live at Leeds' Apparently, the best ever live album of any band. So, along came DJ Andy Kershaw, who was once social secretary at the University and Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. They made a very short speech and unveiled, as you do! That didnt last too long. There were TV crews from all over the world covering this..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
After this, I headed back into the University where the band were doing a quick sound check.. The we were off for a break..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
At 8:30 approx the show began. On they came with Zak Starkey, Pino Palladino, Simon Townshend, John "Rabbit" Bundrick and opened up into 'Who Are You'.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
I have to say, I have seen The Who so many times now, but still get very excited when I am there..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

The are without doubt one of if not The greatest band in the world. The atmosphere was electric, almost like there was history being made again somehow.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
It was a hot night anyway, but inside it felt like it was 120 degrees... Pete said at one point "we need to go outside to cool down, this is heart attack material". He wasnt wrong. So, the show ended with Wont Get Fooled Again..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
What a show, what a band....

Friday, June 16, 2006

Jools Holland at Hampton Court Palace

Well, here is a bit of deja vu. I seem to be at Hampton Court Palace almost every day now. Today it was the very talented Jools Holland.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
Which reminds me, I must dig out some of my old Squeeze photos from 78/79 era.. Got some nice ones back in the day.. Jools was on stage promptly, like all of the performers playing at the venue, they pretty punctual.. On my way in I saw the wonderful Ruby Turner. She was going to perform with Jools a bit later on. I missed her as I only shot the begining of the show.. I needed to get an early ish night as I am off early int he morning to shoot The Who in Leeds. Tomorrow, they are playing the same venue 36 years after they recorded 'Live at Leeds'. I cant wait....

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Van Morrison at Hampton Court Palace

Well here we go again. I am going to shoot the grumpiest genius around. Van the man.. He really seems to be a grumpy sod. I photographed him a few times last year and when I was looking through the lens, occasionaly I could see him growling at the camera.. Maybe I am imagining it.. Anyway, it was a lovely day here in London. Sunny and warm.. I must say, it is quite exciting as summer is almost here.. I arrived at Hampton Court Palace and parked up, got my camera gear out and headed off to meet up with the PR girls handling the event. I had to hurry a bit as Van was coming on in a few mins.. I got inside the venue, which is an open air setup and got ready. Within not time at all, Van was on stage..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
I got on with it and proceeded to get some rather nice shots.. During one of the songs I moved from one side of the stage to the other.. So, I was now shooting from about 40ft from Van Morrison to one side.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
I then, after a few mins realised that my trousers seemed to be bearing a little to much of my behind. So, whilst shooting I put my hand around my back and pulled my trousers up.. To my suprise, I then got a loud round of appluase.. I had obviously been exposing myself somewhat.. I turned around to see what was going on and yes, it was me they were applauding.. This was all very funny.. Especially as it was in such a small intimate venue.. Van Moriison heard the applause and laughing and I think I may have even blushed a little as he glared at me one more time..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
So, if you are reading this Van, sorry. Next time I will wear a longer tee shirt and better fitting trousers, honest..

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Foo Fighters - Rare Acoustic Set - London

This was going to be fun I thought as I was driving to The Apollo Theatre in Victoria. I havent been to this venue since I shot Rory Gallaghers live shots on his Album cover, Photo Finish. That must have been around 1978.. So, I was looking forward to getting inside to see if it had changed at all. When I arrived I got my pass and waited to be taken down to the photo pit. I didnt take any long lenses as I was told we should be at the front. So, in we went and down to the front. Then whilst waiting by the pit with the two other photographers who were there, we were told that we had to shoot from the back of the venue.. We were told move to the back or get out.. All very nice really (not). So, to the back we went. Now those of you who know a little about photography will understand that when you are shooting form the back it is very very difficult. Especially if the lighting was as low as this was going to be..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
It wasnt far off impossible..
So, we shot it and then left, all three of us quite dissapointed.. I managed to salvage a few shots, but this was not good at all.. But, such is life..

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kimberly Walsh & Ronan Keating

Got up quite early, had loads of admin to deal with. Then grabbed my camera and raced into Covent Garden in Central London..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
I was meeting up with Girls Aloud singer Kimberly Walsh. We did a shoot of her shopping in clothes shop, AllSaints on Longacre in Covent Garden.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
She was very nice and helpful throughout the shoot.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
As soon as I had finished, I raced back to my car, which was parked in a bloody expensive car park. Then headed off out of town to Hampton Court Palace. I got there and parked up, got my gear out and headed into Base Court as it is known. I think King Henry VIII named it that 500 hundreds of years ago. So, there I was waiting patiently for Ronan Keating to appear. James Quinton a great photographer and thoroughly nice chap was there as well.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
Whils waiting, I felt a spot of rain on my thining hair.. Ummm, I thought. Here it comes.. Then it did, it chucked it down. Bloody English weather.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
Just in case you havent figured it out, we were outside in the elements. I am pretty waterproof, but my camera equipment isnt.. So, got some nice shots then buggered off and got out of there.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nokia Isle of Wight Festival Day Three

Today is the final day and should be great fun. The great Maximo Park, Lou Reed, Richard Ashcroft and Coldplay Headlining. So, this was also a busy day. This is quite hard work.. honest!! It was like the other days down here on the island, very hot.. Maximo Park (named after a park in Cuba) are great, very very entertaining and lovely guys.. I first photopgraphed them in Japan last year. I was impressed then and still impressed now. Lou Reed was on a bit later. He has written some amazing songs over the years.. According to many of the people watching his set today, he murdered all of his own songs today.. I must say, I didnt hear much as I was doing various shoots with other bands etc. Richard Ashcroft came on stage and got rather political. He is very good though. Then the headliners, Coldplay. They are exceptional. After shooting that I headed back to the Media Tent and got editing and then after I had finished I headed off out of there and back to the hotel.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Nokia Isle of Wight Day Two

Today was a busy one.. Ohh those aching muscles.. What with schlepping heavy cameras around all day, it was hard work... Anyway, today we had, The Kooks, Suzzane Vega, The Proclaimers, Dirty Pretty Things, Primal Scream and headlining, Foo Fighters. There were a few more bands and artists performing, but these were the main acts.. Kate Moss turned up and introduced Primal Scream on stage. She did this without much warning at all. I know that quite a lot of photographers missed her do this. She did it really fast. I only just got the shots. Before the Primal Scream show, Kate and Bobby Gillespie of Primal Scream dissapeared off into the crowd and went on the funfair at the back of the festival. Later, when the Foo Fighters were on stage most of Primal Scream and Kate Moss all went again out into the Fairground.. Seemed like they were having fun. After the Foo Fighters I fininshed my editing and got photos out. Then it was getting late, so, packed up my gear and headed out of the festival and off to my hotel. On the way I tried to find somewhere to get some food. But, this wonderful Island seems to shut down at about 9pm and it's a Saturday night.. So, failed on the food front...

Friday, June 09, 2006

Nokia Isle of Wight Festival Day One

I drove down to Portsmouth on the south coast of England and caught a car ferry across to the Isle of Wight. I did catch the earliest ferry I could get on, but that was quite late in the afternoon, about 5pm. I drove straigh to my hotel and checked in and quickly dropped my bads, headed straigh to the Festvial in Newport. I arrived got my pass and headed off to find my way into the Media Tent. The got straight on with it. I missed Goldfrapp, which was a shame. But got delayed getting into the park and therefore couldnt get into the pit. So, the first band I shot was Placibo. Old Brian didnt move around at all. In fact he stood in front of his microphone and didnt really even change his expression.. So, this kind of limits what we photographers can do..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
A little later on came The Prodigy. Now they do move, in fact it is abit like shooting a soccer game.. They move soooooo fast. Got some really dramatic shots. They were brilliant. I love them. Quite an amazing stunning band.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
I then headed back over to the media tent and edited up the shots.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

There were many nice familar, friendly, faces in the media tent. This made that part of the day quite pleasant. After all of my editing, I walked out of the park and headed off to my car. Then aimed at the hotel. When I arrived I continued editing as there would be no time for that tomorrow. At about 3:30 went to bed and tried to get some sleep ready for a busy day.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Kiri Te Kanawa at Hampton Court Palace

Well, its that time of year again. I really enjoy shooting the Hampton Court Palace Music Festival. It's such agreat place. I wonder what Henry VIII would have thought of this, what with all of these entertainers in his palace.. I suppose he would have loved it.. Anyway, today was classical singer Kiri Te Kanawa, Prince Charles thinks she is great, so I hear. I arrived and expected the first 3 songs fromn just in front of the stage. Well, no such luck. I was informed by the PR company in charge, that they had just been instucted that it was one song and I was to shoot from the back of the arena. Ummm, marvelous... Anyway, that is what I did. The first song seemed to last only about two to three minutes. In that time I seemed to have upset one lady, who was rather annoyed at the sound of my camera... She turned round and shouted 'Shut Up'.. Rather rude, I thought. I had, prior to the concert starting, appoliges in advance to all of the people around the area I was shooting from. I ahd explained that I would only be there for one song. They all seemd okay, except her. I suppose she had a point. But, there was nothing I could do. I had to shoot. Even though, I had only a couple of mins and was a bloody long way away. I left swiftly after the song and tio tied down the back stairs. Only to make the stairs creek and make an awful noise. I am losing weight, honest.. The PR girl swith me was also a bit shocked at the rudness of the women.. So, once outside on this beautiful summers evening, I packed away my gear and headed off into the sunset..

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Primal Scream London

After shooting Elton John, I made my way up to the West end of London, Oxford Street to be precise. Primal Scream were perfoming at HMV in Oxford Street at 11pm. I got there by 10:45. Got some great shots.. They are a fantsstc band and I must buy their latest CD.... I left there at about 12:30 and headed off home..

Sir Elton John at Charlton Football Club

The sun is shining and it is a wonderful day again. I am heading off to Charlton in South East London to shoot the show. I know I seem to be going on about the past etc etc. I know I go on and on, but, the last time I was at Charlton Football Club was in May 1976. I was there with The Who. That day I took shots of the performance and great backstage shots of Keith Moon pouring a bottle of Vodka over the head of Norman Gunston and Australian TV host. I was the only person who shot that.. Anyway, that was a long time ago. Today, Elton is playing to a packed crowd.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
I did shoot him a week or so ago in Manchester and I was rather hoping for him to have been wearing different clothes.. Well, he wasnt. He wore exactly the same clothes as Manchester. We were allowed to shoot the first 2 songs only. Well that is a 100% increase on the last gig, which was one song.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Monsters of Rock - Milton Keynes UK

Today was a the Monsters of Rock Concert at Milton Keynes in the UK. I had a lot to do before I drove up there. I managed toget on the road at about 12pm. As soon as I did hit the road I hit heavy traffic. This is becoming more and more common. Anyway, I got to Milton Keynes Bowl at about 2pm. I made my way backstage to meet up with Ted Nugent. I was hanging around backstage for quite a while. I then headed over to the VIP press area where I bumped into a few other music photographers. It was a really lovely day, very sunny. The first band that I shot was Journey. I shot them about 20 years ago in USA. Mind you, I did photograph Neal Schon in Dallas a couple of years ago. He turned up at the Crossroads Guitar Festival , which was also the start of Eric Clapton's US tour.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
We did a quick backstage shoot. Following Journey was a real Legend, Alice Cooper. He is such a professional, I have been photographing him for over 26 years now. In fact, I was quite close with him back in the early 80's. I remember being at his house one day in LA. It was of Benedict canyon, Telephone Road from memory. His next door neighbor's were Elton John to his right and Groucho Marx of the Marx Brothers.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
He had a wonderful house and during that day when I was signing my name in a telephone box in his house that all guests signed. When he hit me over the head with a glass bottle. I was so shocked, until I realised that it was sugar soap used in theatres.. He thought it was very funny. Met a few of his snakes and had a nice lunch..
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
Anyway, back at Milton Keynes, I do drift off down memory lane sometimes. Although this was a daylight performance, the lighting was rather nice. He is so theatrical that it helps make great photos. After Alice was headliners, Deep Purple...
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

When I was at school there didn't seem like many bands bigger than them. True legends.. I also got some nice colourful shots of them.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford
I only shot the first 3 songs then buggered off straight backstage where my car was parked and got out of there well before the end of the concert and headed back down to London. All in all a nice day in the sun without any aggravation.....

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gary Numan - London Somewhere !!!

This was one of those days. So much to do and not enough time. I had loads of admin to deal with and then a meeting in the afternoon. I then got back to my place and grabbed my cameras and headed off to Shepherds Bushg Empire in West London. As I drove up to the venue, I could not see Gary Numan above at the front. I then thought, oh well, maybe I got this wrong and he is playing down the road at Carling Apollo, Hammersmith. So, off I went to Hammersmith. When I go there I couldnt see his name up at the front either. Ummm, this was odd. I thought where is he playing then? So, I pulled over and opened up my laptop. Did a quick search only to find that he was playing at the Hammersmith Palais. I am such a donut.. I should have checked before I left. Toruble is I have been so busy that didnt get a min to check before I left. So, parked up and headed into the Palais. Got searched and went through a metal detector.. Kind of comforting,m but you haveto wonder about the trype of people whe frequent this place. I got into the pit and got my gear ready. Very soon after that Gary Numan came out and got on with it. It appears he has a really loyal following. The place was mobbed, very very full. I shot about 3 quarters of the show and then had to head off as I had another meeting to go to. I did get some rather different type of shots. The show was very colourful and entertaining.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Beautiful South

Spoke to my old mate Bob Young this morning. He is putting together a book for Status Quo to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. Bob was tour manager when I first toured with Status Quo back in the late 70's. I soon found out that he also wrote music and was co writer to many of their biggest hits. He is a lovely guy and now not only managing a few great artists, he is doing 'The Book'. I have quite a few images that really should be in the book. So we had a chat about the ones that I had sen to him. I have so many its hard to really choose what is what. Anyway, I will try and sort some more as soon as I can. It does sound like it's going to be a great book.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Tonight, back in London at The Shepherds Bush Empire, The Beautiful South performed. I had forgotten how many hits they have had.. I really like them.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Lighting was okay, everything fine really. I only shot the first 3 songs and buggered off out of there.