Monday, September 15, 2008

Richard Wright

I have just heard that Richard Wright, founder member of Pink Floyd has died after a long battle with Cancer. I must admit I was shocked. I had no idea that he was that ill. The last time I was with him was when Pink Floyd kind of reformed for a tribute to Syd Barrett at the Barbican in London last year I think. Richard was a very nice man and the founder of one of my favourite bands. Well, this really is the end of an era and very sad.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nationwide Mercury Music Awards

It's that time of year again. It's the Nationwide Mercury Awards. Just for a change it was raining and we had to shoot the arrivals in horrible weather out in the open. After my past few days, I should be used to this now. Anyway, did the arrivals then went inside and shot the nominated artists in the press room. Finally went down to the main room and photographed the winners, Elbow. Nice guys and a great album, so, it was well deserved. Whilst I was there I bumped into Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. To be honest I am amazed that they didn't win it. I have the album and it is brilliant. I took a nice shot of Robert and Alison with the one and only Bill Curbishley.
Alison Krauss, Robert Plant & Bill Curbishley
Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

I then headed back upstairs to do a shoot with Elbow who had just won the award.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Footy at Wembley

I was up kind of early on the Isle of Wight and headed over to East Cowes to get the ferry back to Southampton. I only normally drink Decaff coffee, but I needed to wake up with a shot, so, goton th efreyy and had a coffee with lead or whatever. Took some nice shots as we headed accross the Solent and into Southampton. Got off the boat and then belted it up to Hemel Hempstead to do a quick photo shoot. then back home for a well deserved shower and change of clothes . I then headed off to the new Wembley stadium to photograph England v Rest of the world . This wasnt the real England team, but a team made up of ex footballers and celebrities. All in aid of Unicef. I belive this was Robbie WIlliams idea. i did photograph the original game in 2006 up at Old Trafford in Manchester. Anyway, Just for a change, it was raining and I got soaked again. us photographers were sitting on the touch line and the roof doesnt cover you there. So that was nice.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Mud Mud Mud and More Mud

Bestival in the mud
Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

This was one of the maddest days for a while.. I am off to photograph Amy Winehouse. Well, I will start with me getting up and jumping in my car and heading down to the south coast, Southampton to be precise. I go to the port and check in at the Isle of White ferry. I am heading over to the Isle of Wight to the Bestival music festival. Anyway, there I was sitting there in the line and just about to board the ship, when I get a text message from a photographer mate of mine who was over on the Island. The message was, "Amy is not coming, I am out of here and heading to the ferry. Don't bother coming its awful here, it's like Vietnam" I think he was referring to the torrential rain and mud everywhere. So, now the line of cars next to me were now boarding the ferry. I had to make a very quick decision, just like the old Clash song should I stay or should I go. In fact whilst I am on the songs theme, I was sitting on the dock at Southampton (ring any bells, Ballard of John & Yoko). So, back to reality, I pulled my car out of the line and told the ferry company that I was not going on this ship. I then moved my car and parked it up and began making calls to everyone I knew who was involved with Amy Winehouse. Now, everyone I spoke to said she was still going to the Isle of Wight.. All of these calls took a while as most people seemed to be on answer phone. I eventually at about2pm boarded a ferry and headed from Southampton to Cowes. Once on land I headed for Bestival. It was by now raining heavily and pretty gloomy weather wise. I suppose now it was about 4pm. Amy wasn't due on stage until about 10 ish. So, I did have plenty of time. I arrive at Bestival and I was directed up a very very muddy road to get my photo pass. I park my car and tried to cover up with a plastic poncho. Got my cameras including a very heavy 400mm lens, a ladder, mono pod etc.. I was told that this would all be needed if I wanted to shoot Amy Winehouse on the main stage. So, I then head off into the festival. I walked down a very long slope for about quarter of a mile in thick mud. When I got to the bottom I asked for directions to the main stage. I could tell by the reaction from the people that I asked that I was in for a treat, so, off I went. Picture this, its raining very heavily. I have camera gear out and under my poncho. I am carrying my 400mm lens, ladder, camera bag, mono pod and trying to balance and stay upright with every step I took.
Bestival 2008
Copyright Danny Clifford 2008

I must admit I was laughing all the way, I do get myself into some situations and this was one of them. I stopped every 10 feet or so and took photos of all of the punters who were mostly in fancy dress.
Bestival 2008
Copyright Danny Clifford 2008

The theme at the festival that day was things under the sea, or on the sea, I cant be sure. But the photos were interesting.

Atmosphere at Bestival
Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

After about two and a half hours walking gingerly though mud that was as slippery as ice, I arrived at the main stage. To the side of that was the press tent. It was like a Bedouin Tent. You know, bean bags low lights and a very "far Out" atmosphere, man!! However, no broadband or any other mod cons. It was really nice to see Adam Sorenson and Wayne Starr, two fine fellow professionals.
Wayne Starr
Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

They knew how I had felt about the long expedition as they had attempted the same route the day before.

Amy's gig was now fast approaching and we took up our positions in the sloping photo pit. The pit is about 5 feet below the stage on one side and twenty feet the other. So, all photographers, of which there were plenty of total amateurs, all stood on the same little patch on the higher side of the stage. We stood there for nearly an hour.
Amy Winehouse
Copyright 2008 Danny Clifford

Just for a change Amy was late, or drunk, or something. She finally made it onto the stage at about 11:30. We all got our photos and then headed back to the Bedouin Tent. Adam Sorrenson had his very clean Jaguar there and luckily managed to park it nearer the main stage in a pub. So, he and Wayne drove me back up to my car all along that muddy road. When we got near to my car, which was amongst 1000's of cars. I couldn't remember exactly where it was. It was pitch black and very very muddy. I was using my car alarm to give me a clue, by setting and un-setting it to see when the car lights went on. Eventually I found it. Got in it and the plan was for me to drive it out and up onto the muddy road and meet Adam and Wayne. Then take my camera gear etc out of his car. Well, mine was stuck in the mud and not going anywhere. I managed to find a friendly farmer, lucky that as it was now 1:30 ish, he had a massive tractor and agreed for a small fee to two me out of there. So, out we went, swapped the gear over and buggered off out of there. I finally got back to my hotel about 2:20 am and then started to wire my Amy Winehouse photos out. I finally went to bed at about 4:30. I was then up at 7:30 as I had a ferry to catch back to Southampton.