Thursday, December 15, 2011

James McCartney London

I was asked to do a shoot with James McCartney, son of yes, one of the greatest musicians ever! James needed some new live photos and some studio type location shots. I arrived late afternoon in Camden to meet up with James and his manager Adrian. James was sound checking when I got there. I was introduced as soon as he had finished. What a lovely guy he is. We went up to the dressing room and had a chat for a while. I set up some studio lights and we did some set up shots. James was very easy to work with. We were also discussing his musical influences amongst other things. After we had taken quiet a few photos I said we had enough at that point. James said he wanted to Meditate for a while. He asked if I wanted to stay whilst he did. Whilst I appreciated the offer, I thought it would be better if me and my mate Paul Carey went next door and had a bite to eat. When we got back we did a shoot with James and his whole band. Then it was show time..

The Barfly venue is very intimate, however it was rammed... It was also being filmed as well. So, on came James and his brilliant band.. The crowd loved him, many people obviously knew his music already as many people were singing along word for word. He is a brilliant songwriter, singer and guitarist! After about the 2nd song I turned around to have little look into the crowd and yes, Sir Paul was there with Stella and Mary. They were shouting and dancing along and supporting James throughout. It was a wonderful gig and at one point, James introduced a song from his EP called 'Wings of a Lightest Weight' and said "I wrote this about my Dad & my Mum".. When he was singing the song, I was watching him looking straight at his dad, Paul and there eyes were meeting and it was really a moment between father and son. Everyone could see it was quite an emotional moment.. The gig was fantastic, music, band, everything, brilliant.. There were serious security milling about in the crowd during the whole set. Then as the show ended, James and his band went straight off stage and upstairs to the dressing room. The band were followed by Paul, Stella & Mary. I was escorted by his management and security straight upstairs as well. So, James, Paul, Stella, Mary, Paul Carey and I were in the dressing room. It was so nice to see, James and his dad being so lovely together.. Mind you, I didn't expect anything else, but as a father myself, it was really nice to see the love between them and Stella and Mary as well. They are a lovely family and true Rock n Roll Royalty.

We took some nice photos of James and Paul together and then we did a family shot with Stella & Mary. I was very happy with the photos as they all looked so happy together. After taking the photos, Paul and I had a brief chat about the past. Although we both agreed it was hard to remember lots of it. We were chatting about the late 70's when I was often at his and Linda's house in London. One of my best friends and great photographer, the late Matthew Taylor had a brother called Barny. He was going out with Linda's daughter from her first marriage, her name was Heather. So, due to the fact that Barny & Heather were an item, Mathew and I would be round there at the McCartney residence frequently. I have very happy memories of those days and evenings. Paul also used to come into The Who's management office in Wardour St, London. This is where I had an office myself. So, we used to see each other in there. Then of course was the time I spent with him and Wings, which must have been around 1976.. Blimey, where does the time go!! Anyway, Paul asked for my details and said he wants to get in touch and we can go through my photos from those days.

Paul was saing that he was in Moscow the night before and what an amazing gig it was there.. I bet it was. He joked about a particular song that they like in Russia that he wrote, Back in the USSR.. I asked him how it went. He lent back and gave me a slightly old fashioned look! I thought for a second I was going to get hims to sing it to me.Now that would have been special!

All in all it was a lovely evening with his talented son James and lovely daughters. James McCartney EP I believe is out and its called The Complete EP Collection Double CD- Close at Hand and the other CD is called Available Light. Well worth getting!

I think the family photos of them all and the shots of James and his dad will appear in most newspapers around the world in the next 24 hours..

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Films of Colour

Now, here are one of those up and coming bands that are well worth checking out, Films of Colour. I met up with them in the East End, near Brick Lane. We did a reasonably swift photo shoot for about an hour or two. They are really nice proper chaps. They all met at the ACM in Guildford. Anyway, finished the shoot and they headed off home to different parts of the East End. I headed to my car only to find it had gone. Either stolen or Towed by the government. Yes, it was towed! So, after a long tiring walk and a bus ride as there were no taxis anywhere, I arrived at the car pound. After proving it was my car, I was then relieved of £300. That was so kind of them! This is despite the fact that I actually asked a policeman when I parked and right next to my car, was it okay to park on a single yellow line where I was, on a Sunday, he said yes its fine.. He must have had a real laugh as he drove off.. So, thank you officer. Next time I see you, if ever, I will give you a swift kick in your testimonials... you tosser!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Vaccines

I photographed the Vaccines tonight at Brixton Academy in, yes, Brixton. Oh it took me back, just as the band came on a pint of beer was thrown from the crowd and soaked about 6 of us photographers before bouncing across the stage. What a lot of fun that was. Anyway, the band were mighty impressive. I bumped into one of their managers, James whilst I was heading backstage to exit. I also bumped into Alex Kapranos from Franz Ferdinand. Both of them are such a nice chaps. They always seems happy and quite normal.

I got some reasonable shots of the Vaccines. I have to say that there was only one photographer I knew in the photo pit and there were about 15 of them there. Where have all the usual suspects gone these days....

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Barbara Orbison RIP

I had a call from my friend, Joyce Moore who told me that another good friend of ours Barbara Orbison has died in Los Angeles. I was shocked, as I didn't even know that Barbara was ill. She has kept this rather quiet. She was only 60 and Cancer had go the better of her. She died on the same day as (23 years after) her husband Roy Orbison died. She was a wonderful, lovely lady and she will be missed. I was just thinking about a time that we all had dinner together in LA. Sam Moore, Joyce Moore, Barbara & I. We did have a laugh that night as Sam was trying on some very strange glasses at the table. I did take photos and will dig those out when I get a min. My heart goes out to Roy Jnr and his brothers. This really is very sad news.

Paul Carey & Julia Burness Engagement

Had a busy day in London, meeting after meeting. All pretty good ones. Then raced out of town to collect my wife and one of my kids. We then drove back into West London, Chelsea to be precise, to the engagement of Paul Carey & Julia Burness. What a lovely gathering it was too. Lots of familiar faces and lovely evening. Amongst the guests were some of Paul's Artists, Films of Colour, Peter Grant, Tina Barrett, Skinny Lister. It was a really nice night.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Hubert Sumlin RIP

I don't know if its the cold weather, but I have just found out that the legendary guitarist, Hubert Sumlin has died, he was 80. I think I the last time I photographed him was in Dallas 2004. I need to dig out the photos. He originally played with Howlin Wolf and many said it was a life changing experience when they heard him play on the classic 'Going Down Slow' Shame he has now gone..

Friday, December 02, 2011

Tina Barrett S Club 7

I spent most of the afternoon and early evening with Tina Barrett and Hannah Spearritt from S Club 7. Tina is doing her new video "Coco Chanel" Hannah had a cameo role in the video. Also in the Cameo role was Peter Grant. We shot it in the nightclub Pacha in Victoria, London. Tina, Hannah & Peter were all a delight to work with. Yes, we did chat about S Club 7 and I cant say anything here yet. I am not sure when the single Coco Chanel will be released, but think it will be soon. I left the shoot mid evening and my friend and artist manager Paul Carey drove across town to Camden. We met up with one of Paul's bands, Films of Colour. We arrived at KOKO, Camden just in time to shoot the sound check. Its the first time I had met the band. They all seemed very nice chaps. When I was shooting the sound check, I was thinking there is something very special about this band..I think there is a very big future for them. They have a unique sound and considering it was the very first time I had heard them. The sound check left me wanting to hear more. Now, that is a very good sign! So, check out Films of Colour.