Sunday, June 29, 2008

More Glastonbury but this time Leonard Cohen

Today was the 3rd and last day here at Worthy Farm, Pilton.. Looks like rain clouds are up there, but plenty of sunshine and blue clouds in between. The crowd were all in good spirit. Lots of fancy dress as usual. So here are some fans in fancy dress making the Glastonbury Atmosphere pretty colourful.

Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford
Today we have The Verve headlining, you know Richard Ashcroft and his gang. But before that, we have two legends, Neil Diamond and Leonard Cohen, who doesn't get out much any more.. Well, Neil was fantastic and very professional. When you think about the amazing songs that he has written, including big hits for The Monkeys back in the 60's or whenever that was. So, there I was shooting Neil from the pit and he is looking straight at me. I dont suppose that he has seen that I split my shorts earlier whilst climbing into a Land Rover when Wayne Star and I hitched Hicked and grabbed a lift accross to another stage. There I was fulled loaded with camera gear, laptop etc and as I climbled up into the vehicle in a bit of a rush, RIP went my shorts. Right at the front.. So, for the rest of the trip I had proper air conditioning around my crumple zone. So, had Neil spotted it.. I dont think so.

Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford
Now, Leonard Cohen was sensational. By far the best performer at Glastonbury. Not that I saw them all. Anyway, he was brilliant. I only shot the first song, which was called "Dance me to the end of Love".

Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

It was amazing. If anyone wants to hear that song, check out You Tube and search for him there and that song will come up. Well worth it...

Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford
The Verve closed the show. Richard Ashcroft seemed pretty confident when he wandered onto the the stage.. The band were tight and sounded pretty good. The crowd went wild and I shot the first three songs and legged it back to the press room.
Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Glastonbury Music Festival

I arrived a day late, due to the fact that I had to shoot Nelson Mandela's 90th Birthday Celebration concert in Hyde Park last night. So, arrived down at Worthy Farm mid morning. Guess what!! NO MUD, Brilliant, I dont need my wellies. Just keep my Timberland's on. There were plenty of acts plying today, but Amy Winehouse was performing on the main Pyramid Stage just before Jay Z. Just after I arrived I bumped into Amanda Ghost and her other half Gregor. Both are really nice people. Amanda is the talented girl who wrote amongst others "Your Beautiful" for James Blunt and another song for Beyonce and Shakira which went to number one around the world as well. She is a clever girl. Amanda told me that Beyonce was arriving later and we would then try and get a shot of the two of them together backstage. So, we tried, but it just didn't work out time wise. I was in one place and Amanda and Beyonce seemed to be in another etc etc.. Oh well next time eh!! Kelly Osborne was also backstage sporting a nice Orange wig. Very fetching, don't you know..

I stopped and had a chat with Howard Marks or Mr Nice as he has been know throughout his career. He had his daughter Golly and his son Patrick with him. Patrick was at College with my son Jonathan, they both went to MPW in Kensington. Anyway, I think Howard had been smoking himself into a frazzle, he just seemed to be laughing at everything.. Mind you he does do that most of the time. Anyway, moving on, Wayne Star (photographer and all round great chap) pointed out to me that Lily Cole was sitting near us. So, I took that opportunity of having a word with her and taking a couple of photos.

Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

Amy went and caused a bit of a stir when she allegedly punched a fan in the crowd. I wasn't there, so, I didn't see anything. But, there was some video shot of this and it does look rather like she did have a go at a fan. She had got down off the stage and went to the front of the crowd to sing Rehab, when suddenly she laid into someone. Oh well, nothing that rehab wouldn't cure I suppose. I was back in the press tent all of this time. Then when Amy left the stage she was taken by helicopter straight back to London to go back into the Clinic. She needs a bit of help. I really hope that she gets well. I honestly think she is such a talent and a really nice girl. I don't mean to sound patronising, but, I do feel so sorry for her mum and dad. Mitch her dad I have met a few times and it must be absolutely awful seeing one of your kids going through this.

So, after Amy was the one and only Jay-Z. This was an interesting one for Glastonbury. Now, where do I begin. Noel Gallagher of Oasis was quoted as saying "fucking Jay-Z at Glastonbury? No way, its for guitar bands" Or at least something like that he said. So, what did Jay-Z do when he came on !! He ran a film behind on the big screen which was very entertaining about everyone around the world loving Jay-Z. Including all of the world leaders.. Then on he came on and performed Wonderwall by Oasis. It was a very funny moment.

copyright 2008 Danny Clifford
Well done Jay-Z. He must of won over quite a few people with that little bit of comedy.. Jay -Z was very impressive and really talented. I only shot the first three songs, so, didmt get to see the whole show. But by all accounts he was brilliant. Mind you, I still love Oasis..

Friday, June 27, 2008

Nelson Mandela 90th Celebration Concert

Today was a concert to honor Nelson Mandela who shortly reaches his 90th birthday. It was held at London's Hyde Park. Plenty of acts there today, Razorlight, Will Smith, Quincy Jones, Jamelia, Amy Winehouse, Simple minds, Sugababes, Leona Lewis, Queen & Paul Rodgers plus many others. I was in the photo pit for this event. nearly all of the other photographers were stuck about 50 metres away on a podium. So, I need to get my cards with the photos on back to my techie, Niki who was backstage in a pressroom, working on a laptop. So, I had the runner of all runners, boy was she a really fast runner!! My trusty steed and wife, Lyn. Here she is relaxing on the edge of the photo pit (another one of her specialist subjects) . Actually she is giving me that knowing look, you know, "you are a wanker look" Nice eh!!

Queen and Paul Rodgers were fantastic. It's a shame that they only got to perform a few songs. The crowd loved them as well. They are off out ontour later this year, so, that will be briliant.

Amy was brilliant, as usual. She is , in my opinion one of the most talented musicians in the world. I know it's easy to say that now, but I have been saying that from day one. Well, not quite day one, but when I first heard her album "Frank". I met her a few times in 2003 and 2004 and did a few shoots with her then. I have been photographing her ever since. I just really hope she sorts herself out soon.

Copyright 2008 Danny Cliffor

Friday, June 13, 2008

Katy Brand then off to The Isle of Wight

Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford
I had to get up at 5am today and head down to the East End of London. I was doing an exclusive shoot with up and coming comedienne who has a new TV series on ITV in the UK at the begining of September. She is very very funny and well worth watching when its out. So, the plan this morning is to be on site very early and before they start shooting the TV show, I will soend a bit of time with her dojng some kind of set up to look like paparrazi shots of her dressed up as Amy Winehouse.

This was todays sketch for her. Anyway, Katy has re-written the song that Amy had a hit with, written by my mate Dave McCabe of the Zutons, "Valerie". Only this time, Katy as Amy has changed the lyrics to Valium etc etc.. After the shoot my mate Paul the PR Genius and I had a kosher bacon and egg sandwich, from the catering chaps. Then I sat in the production bus and sent the photos out to all of the papers etc. Once that was all finished, I headed over to Finsbury Park, North London to collect Stefan Jeremiah who was travelling with me to the Isle of Wight music Festival.

Once I had collected Stefan, we headed out of London on our way to get the ferry from Southampton. But before we could get right out of London, Watford to be precise, the fan belt snapped on my car and we were in a bit of bother. Luckily enough, I had another car of mine not to far away, so we limped carefully with the heaters blowing inside the car to keep the engine cooler all the way to sunny Chorleywood, where we jumped in the other car. Then off we went. Now we were running late. The ferry we were booked on was the only one with space that day. So, we had to make it. Well we did, by the skin of our teeth. I did have visions of us speeding up and launching the car off the quay to slam dunk onto the car ferry' s deck. But fortunatley that was in my dreams and not a reality. We made it with a few mins only to spare.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pixie Geldof Shopping in Islington

I get a call from my friend Te at 1:45 pm She asks me if I am free. I say when, she says in about an hour. I was in the middle of a shoot with a band way out in the countryside. I had almost finished, however, I needed to leave within a few mins to stand a chance of helping Te out. I had to get to Islington, North London in about 50 mins. That took some doing. This was to shoot Bob Geldof's daughter, Pixie, who is now a model. She was arriving at a clothing store on Upper Street Islington called B+R. This store is owned by Stuart Trevor who was the main designer and founder of All Saints clothing stores. Anyway, I arrived and Pixie arrived about the same time. She was with a representative from Select Model Agency.

Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford
So, Pixie was busy selecting clothes for her and her dad, Sir Bob and I was asked to shoot all of this, which I did. Got some nice shots of her and after a short while Pixie grabbed her 4 or 5 bags of clothes and off she went. I said my good bye's to Te and Stuart and I left as well. I had got some nice shots and also had an early start tomorrow and along day all in all.