Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Juliette Lewis album Launch Party

I flew back from Dublin and headed home. I was kind of tired, but there is nothing new in that. Once home I charged all of my camera batteries and flash guns etc. I have to shoot the CD 'Four on the Floor" launch party for Juliette Lewis. This is the Hollywood A list actress, now, fast becoming an accomplished performer and musician. I arrived at about 10pm. I was the official photographer for the event, but, I was pleasantly surprised, once I was inside to see a photographer called Tom Oldham. He was also shooting inside, but for a PR company. Tom is a very nice guy and it was niceto have a bit of company whilst I was there. The party seemed to go very well. It was bein g held in a bowling alley below the Tavistock Hotel in central London. Whilst I was wandering around shooting and had a chat with Carl Barat of Dirty Pretty Things, then I bumped into Steve, Sammy and Brian from the New York Dolls. The funny thing here was, that after they had finished bowling, Steve Conte went to get his nice expensive boots back in exchange for his bowling shoes, when he realized that they had been stolen. He wasn't very happy. Tomorrow night the New York Dolls were performing on the biggest chat show in the UK, the Jonathan Ross show. Juliette was by now spending a bit of time in the Kareoke room with her pals, Skin from Skunk Anansie and Kele Okerie from Bloc Party and Simon Bartholomew from Brand New Heavies.
Juliette Lewis
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

It was a fabulous party. I finished taking photos at about 4am and decided to head off home. So, packed away my gear and headed off out of the bowling alley. Outside were 3 of the New York Dolls looking for a taxi. I was going home the way of their hotel, so, they jumped in my car and I headed off and dropped them off. One of them, who shall remain nameless wanted me to take a drive around west London so he could buy some grass.. I had to avoid this as I was, one, too tired to deviate from my rout and secondly, I didn't want any part of getting nicked for being involved in buying anything like that. So, I dropped them off at their hotel and buggered off home. The sun was coming up as I was heading home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dublin - Babyshambles

I decided this morning to go to Dublin to shoot Babyshambles. They are playing at the Academy in O'Connell Street. So, I flew over late afternoon. I arrived and got a taxi into the city centre to my hotel. I then spoke to Adam Ficek, the powerhouse drummer in Babyshambles. We arranged to meet in a pub near the venue for a drink before the gig. Then straight over the road to get passes organized and get ready for the show. I went into the photo pit and on they came.
Peter Doherty
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Peter was looking very good. The show was fantastic. They really are an amazing band.
Peter Doherty
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Kate Moss joined them on stage for one song. She actually sounds great, as she does on the record as well.
Babyshambles & Kate Moss - Dublin
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

After that song Shane MacGowan joined them on stage for a Babyshambles rendition of Dirty Old Town.. That was also very good.
Shane MacGowan with Babyshambles
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

After the show I went back to the hotel with Gerry O'Boyle, Shane, Victoria and friends. Everyone was then off to a bar for a kind of aftershow party. It was now around 1am and I wanted to go to bed. I had a flight in the morning and needed some sleep. so, I called it a day. Edited up my photos for an hour or so, then went to sleep.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Barcelona -UK and Jay Z

So there I was in a deep sleep dreaming about god knows what, when the phone rang in my hotel room. I grabbed it quickly and there was nobody there.. Kind of normal for an alarm call. I casually looked at my watch as I got out of bed and to my horror I saw that it was 8:35.. WHAT WANKERS !!. I asked for an alarm call at 8am and a traxi for 8:30.. So, rushed into bathroom, brushed my teel and threw on some clothes, got my gear and rushed down to reception. I asked the stupid woemn on reception why my alarm call for 8am had been made at 8:35. She shrugged her shoulders and said 'I dont know, must be a porblem with the system' problem with the fucking system, she was a rude stupid lazy twat. I checked out and saw a taxi outside.. It was my taxi. He had the meter running all the time since he arrived.. So, it would have been running whilst I was alseep.. I jumped in the taxi and the meter was already on 19 euros.. great eh!! Anyway, got to the airport and checked in and flew back to blighty. Got to my car in the carpark and then I started to feel very tired. Anyway, drove home and got camera batteres etc on charge. Need to get them ready as taking a camera to my mate Chris Croucher's little girls 1st birthday party. Then, later I am off to shoot Jay Z who is playing at Wembley Arena.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

George Michael in Barcelona

Got up and made my way to Luton Airport. I am off to shoot George Michael who is doing his forst real concert in about 15 or 16 years.. This is the start of his new tour.. The opening night.. So, there I was at Luton and was told to check in my 400mm 2.8 Nikon lens. This I realy didnt want to do as there is a good chance it will get damaged or worse, stolen. Anyway, I had no choice and checked it in. Those of you in the photographic industry wil know how damn expensive these lenses are and I am sure will sympathise with me. So, made it to Barcelona, my lens was there as well. I jumped in one of those mad taxis.. My taxi today was in such a bloody hurry, he was driving like a reall idiot. I actually told him to slow down. he as a bit of a maniac.If he hadn, I tink I would have just stopped him and got out on the side of the road.. But he did slow and got me safley to my hotel. I am leaviong my hotel to head over to photograph George at 8pm, so, used the hour or so before I go to update my diary.

So, I got a taxi to the venue. Whe I got there I realised that this could be a problem getting a taxi after the gig. It is pretty much in the middle of knowhere. Anyway, got into the venue and got my cameras ready. about hafl an hour later we were taken through to the photo pit.

George Michael
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

There were quite a few photographers there, mostly Spanish. Anyway, we were all hearded into a small area on the right of the stage. Anyway, on came George and on with the shots and the show..
George Michael
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

After I had done my bit, only one song I hasten to ad, I left the building. WhenI got outside it must have been 10:45 pm and it was absolutly pissing down.. I was only wearing a T shirt, no jacket.. What an idiot.. Well it is Barcelona, Spain.. But anyway, it was horrible. I started walking down the road looking for civilization.. But couldnt see any signs of it.. I just kept walking. After about 10 mins I was soaked right through and starting to think about stealing a parked car (only joking). As luck would have it, one of the Spanish photographers who was also shoting the show pulled up and told me, in spanish, to get in.. I explained, in my best (non existent ) spanish, that I needed a taxi. He was a really nice chap and he drove me to the centre of Barcelona and dropped me right near a hotel where taxi's pull up most of the time. I then found a taxi and headed back to my hotel. When I arrived, I edited up my photos and got them sent out to all. I finally went to be at about 4am or just after. I booked an alarm call for 8am and a taxi for 8:30..

Friday, September 22, 2006

Running Around

The day started with loads of phone calls and paperwork. I had to get to Heathrow to pick up my mate Jon Gardbner and his girlfriend, Verana. Then run them back to collect their car. They have been chaining bears and Whales in Canada for a couple of weeks.. Straight after that I belfted it down to Nikon in Kingston upon Thames to collect some of my camera equiptment that was in for repair.. It was almost all okay until I poicked up one of my lenses that was in for repair because it rattled and guess what, it still rattled.. So, the kind people at Nikon lent me anothe rlens and kept my little one there for a few more days. I then jusmped in my jam jar (car for those hwo donet speak cockney rhyming slang) and headed off home. This journey should normally take me 30 mins, but this late Friday afternoon, it too me 3 and a half hours.. Oh what joy..

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dinner with Sam, Joyce and the family

Today was a mad busy day. Lots of meetings and lots of things to do, all of which seemed to have a rapidly approaching deadline. Anyway, raced back into London and met up with Sam, Joyce and the family.. We were having dinner in Kensington. Sam was on form and was chatting about his early days,m before singing, he was training to be a boxer.. He was talkig bout that being the wrong route and he decied to take up singing.. A much better move in my opinion.. Joyce was as busy as ever, she didnt seem to get off the phone.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

It was morning in the USA, so everyone was calling her.. Mind you, things are really taking off with the new album and therefore, being the manager, she is going to be very busy. We had a nice meal and I took a couple of shots of Sam Joyce, Sarah, Jonathan, Sam (little one) and Lyn.. We did this out in the street. We didnt want to upset anyone in the resteraunt.. So, that was a very nice evening.. They are such nice people.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

MOBO Awards London

Today are the Mobo awards in London. One of the nicest and most talented soul singers ever and a great friend of mine, Sam Moore, is getting the first life time achievement award. For those who are too young to remember, Sam was half of Sam & Dave. They had massive hits with many songs in the 60's (actually before my time as well). Songs like 'Soul Man', later used in the Blues Brothers movie and 'Hold on I'm Comin'. Sam and hi wife (da manager) Joyce flew in to London on Monday. Joyce had called me last week and told me that he was getting the award and asked me to shoot the show for them. So, I got to the Royal Albert Hall at about 3:15 and eventually got through the heightened security and made into the dressing rooms. It wasn't long before we went out and Sam and Keisha White (who is FANTASTIC) did there full dress rehearsal. They did a duet of 'I cant stand the Rain'. They both sounded amazing..
Sam Moore
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

That is also the first track on Sam's brand new album out now on Rhino Records, part of Warners Brothers.. Later when the real event was under way, Sam was presented with the award by Stevie Winwood, who also recorded a track called 'Aint no Love' with Sam on Sam's album. Which is called 'Overnight Sensational'.. After the award was given to Sam, he performed with Keisha White and then did 'Soul Man' on his own with the band. It was utterly brilliant. After the show, it was of to Mr Chows in Knightsbridge with Joyce Sam and Steve Winwood and his wonderful wife. When I arrived I saw Darren Lyons on the table next to us. He had a big bright red mohican haircut.. One could hardly miss him. Darren is the owner of Big Pictures.. One of the largest and most active Papparazzi photo agencies in the world.. It did think about getting out the cameras and Papping him at the table, just for a laugh. I would have wondered if he would have seen the funny side of that.. Mind you I would have cared much if he hadn't.. Still, that is academic, because, I didn't do it.. ..Should have done though..

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Daily Mirror and Greedy Robbie Williams & Bic Runga

Today's Daily Mirror in the UK have picked up on the Robbie Williams trying to grab the copyright of photographers images.. So, here it is..

Just to reiterate my thoughts on my dairy on the day of the Robbie Williams concert, I will never give away my copyright.. In my opinion, if anyone does that they are stupid.. But, that is just my opinion. I have had a lot of emails today from photographers and journalists asking me about the Robbie concert. I have also had quite a few people emailing me and telling me how happy they are that I refused to make a stand and not sign the contract.. If, photographers sign these contracts, it will become the norm for all bands and artists. I then will probably become a window cleaner, male model, classical pianist, Russian Revolutionary or something else. But wont photograph Celebes or musicians and relinquish my copyright..

Bic Runga was playing at The Bloomsbury Theatre in London. I did a shoot with her a week or so ago. So, I headed to the Bloomsbury and shot the show. I must say, she is brilliant. I have never seen her perform before, she was truly fantastsic. The show was sold out. After the show, I went back to the dressing room to say hello. After a while we were all moved out as the theatre was closing. So, we all said our goodbyes and went our different ways..

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Observer Music Monthly Magazine

The Observer newspaper in the UK has a brilliant monthly music magazine. Today's edition has a great cover story and interview with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend. In fact, the cover shot is really nice, but not mine, it was taken by Harry Borden, who I dont know, but, I do like his photos.. Everytime I see his photos I like them a lot. The opening shot of the interview is a double page spread of mine. They used a live shot that I took at the Leeds University gig back on 17th June 2006, where I shot the show exclusively. I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the shot in the magazine. It looked much better than I had thought it would. They also used a portrait that I took of Roger and Pete together. It is quite a rare thing, getting them together that is, for a portrait shoot. So, The Who are off in USA at the moment and embarking on a massive tour. So, if you are in the USA, get out and if possible get to see the best rock and roll band in the world....

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Busy day in London

The day started with loads of admin.. I am so behind in most areas.. I am also very tired. Not looking for sympathy, but just feel a bit run down at the moment.. Anyway, enough whinging.. I headed into central London to collect my pass for The Scissor Sisters. They are playing a free concert in London's Trafalgar Square. So, as I picked up my pass I met up with my mate Rob Cable who was also shooting this event. When I saw the pass and details with it, I read that the PR company said "bring a ladder" this is because the stage will no doubt be very high.. I didn't have one, but knew where I could borrow one for the day. Anyway, Rob and I had both parked quite a way away from Trafalgar Square. So, with cameras, laptops and ladders, we jumped in a taxi and aimed headed off to the gig.. The taxi driver we got wasn't the normal happy go lucky chatty funny fellow that one normally expects. He as a manic depressive who actually said that he wanted to kill the Mayor, Ken Livingston and failing that, he wanted to kill himself.. He wasn't joking. Rob and I were both giving each other sideways glances.. I was hoping that, if he was going to kill himself, he did it after we had got to our destination. We managed to escape at Leicester Square and walked from there to Trafalgar Square, which isn't far at all. We did have a bit of trouble getting in, but, once inside the fortress that had been erected all was fine. There was a nice press type, media room for us to use. However, no internet access was provided, which made it a little more challenging. We were told in advance that Kylie Minogue was introducing the band. At 8:30 all 5000 photographers were herded together and were told we cannot now use ladders.. Which was nice, as I had been carrying my borrowed ladder all bloody day. We were then led into the narrow photo pit. A short while later, Kylie Minogue appeared on the giant screens. She was introducing the Scissor Sisters.. But where was she.. All of us photographers were looking around wondering where the hell she was.. Then, I saw all of the photographers rush off to the right hand side and almost out of the pit. I think I was the last one to respond. She was way up there and almost finished when I got there.. I just managed to get a couple of shots of her.
Kylie Minogue
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Then on came The Scissor Sisters.

The Scissor Sisters
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

We were all shooting up their noses, as the stage was soooo high and just to add salt to the wound, there was a camera crew flying around in front of us... So, after the three songs we all left the pit and headed back to the media centre to send out all of our photos. When I had finished I headed back outside and saw loads of people dancing around in the fountain in the middle of the square. After photographing all of that, Rob, Yui Mok and I headed off for some food. Rob and I were both off to G-A-Y up in Charring Cross Road to photograph Lily Allen. We walked, with ladders, to G-A-Y. Lily was due on stage at around 1:30 am. This was now becoming a long day.. I went and got into the front of the crowd and then Lily came on at about1:45. She was a little bit drunk to say the least.. But, despite that, she was fantastic. The band were really tight as well. It was a great, great show.. Rob and I left there at about 2:45 am and headed out to London's main shopping street, Oxford Street, to try and get a taxi. After waiting about 20 mins and failing fast, we decided to get a Rikshaw instead. So, After some careful negotiating, we jumped into one, with all of our gear including ladders. I did feel kind of sorry for the driver. He had to cycle with us two and loads of heavy gear. We arrived safely at the other end of the West End, where our cars were parked. We did get our Rikshaw driver Andreas (from Colombia) to take a quick shot of us sitting there with all our gear.
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid
Oxford Street, London UK

We then buggered off home.. I got home at about 4:30am and yes, very very tired.. I edited up some Lily Allen shots and sent them out. I then finally fell in my bed at about 6am..

Friday, September 15, 2006

In London Magazine Cover Shoot

I got a copy of In London magazine. Available, funnily enough in London. I shot the front cover last month. The cover is of Bic Runga from New Zealand.
Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

She is fast becoming a bit of a sensation and if you are in London, it will be well worth getting down to the Bloomsbury Theatre on Tuesday 19th of September. You may still be able to get tickets at I hope I am in London that day. I would love to shoot her live and also hear more of her new album, 'Birds'

Copyright 2006 Danny Clifford

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Greedy Robbie Williams at Milton Keynes

So, there I was on my way to Milton Keynes and it is only mid afternoon. I thought it would be best to get up there early. He was due on stage at 8:30, but there may be big crowds, so, thought I would make and early start. I arrived there at about 5pm. I found somewhere to park not too far from the gate where my photo pass was to be handed to me. So, I made my way slowly to the gate. When I got there I had quite a long wait until Robbies PR company turned up and gave me my pass. So, there I was waiting under a tree (as it looked like it could rain). Then at about 7:30 they showed up and then handed me a contract to sign. I read the contract and then rubbed my eyes and read it again.. It said that Robbie Williams was giving me the opportunity to photograph his show, but, wait for it, he would own the copyright of all of my images.. I couldn't even have the right to display the photos on my website of in my portfolio, as Robbie Williams would own the photos. He would also have the right to sell on my images to whoever he wanted to. So, I explained this to the PR company and asked them to remove that paragraph in the contract. They said they couldn't remove it. I then said well, I am not signing it, so, good bye and off I went. I have been shooting in the music industry since 1888 and never have I given away my copyright. I am not about to do it now. I think that if the very greedy Robbie Williams actually thought about the ramifications here, he would realize that this is a big mistake. In my opinion, any reputable music photographers wouldnt sign the contract and therefore wouldn't shoot the show. So, that would leave the less well know photographers to shoot him if they wanted.. But they wouldn't own the photos. So, the result would be, that there wouldn't be the normally plentiful great photos of Robbie out there for magazines and newspapers to use. So, no doubt the quality will slip, therefore, good old Robbie wont look as good... If that contract stays in place I will not be photographing Robbie ever again.. I would advise any photographers going to photograph him at any venues, don't sign away your copyright.. It is utter madness.. Rant over !!

Oh Robbie if you are reading this, here are a couple of photos of you that I took at various events, Live 8, MTV Awards, Lisbon, Portugal etc. Now, look but dont touch, I own the copyright, not you..
Robbie Williams at Live 8, London

Robbie Williams at Live 8, London

Robbie Williams MTV Lisbon, Portugal
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford

Robbie Williams MTV Lisbon, Portugal
Copyright 2005 Danny Clifford