Posts Tagged ‘Richard Hawley’

Perfect pitch in Ramsbottom

September 17, 2013

Ramsbottom Festival

And finally in this year’s tour of the music fests, we arrive in picturesque Ramsbottom which would do pretty well as a location for Midsommer Murders.  Rolling hills, the perfect village church, with a steeple just visible from the campsite, stone cottages, a horsey shop, a cricket pitch for a festival ground and lots of lovely art.

Ramsbottom Festival

Ramsbottom Festival

The bar was open in the pavilion which also operated as a second stage and Crabbie’s were there to add to the civilised English perfection.  On Friday evening Public Service Broadcasting got us off to a similarly vintage start. Their archive American 40s style commentary harked back to days gone by and every now and again they’d throw in a “Thank you Ramsbottom” in politely comedic fashion.  You could happily stretch out on the manicured green carpet and enjoy the music and the old school, black and white TV presentations as if you were in your very own living room.

Ramsbottom Festival

I am Kloot successfully stood in for advertised headliners The Futureheads and pretty soon the older element of the audience were happily singing along.

Ramsbottom Festival

On Saturday, I have to confess the unexpectedly perfect weather led to a lazy breakfast and a later arrival for the music but  we made it in time for Swedish band Junip who delivered a lovely, languid mix which definitely fitted our chilled out mood.  Talking of which by the time Richard Hawley arrived on stage there was a bit of a nip in the air.  Some heart felt audience participation helped keep out the cold until we could retire to the pavilion for a nightcap.

Ramsbottom Festival

On Sunday the weather had most definitely turned and we headed home through the torrential rain and force 10 gales feeling like we’d had the best of Ramsbottom.  Family friendly, no argie bargie in the pit and really rather super.  I’ll definitely be back next year.  Next weekend we’re up in Darlington for a rather different kind of fest – the UK’s first Festival of Thrift.  So if you’re a re-cycler, an up-cycler, or a free-cycler then join us. Appropriately enough – it’s free….

Ramsbottom Festival


2012 – What was that all about??!

January 10, 2013

Robot Foods

I don’t know about you but I get to the end of a year, usually exhausted and think – where did that go?  It’s always worth having a look back and reminding yourself that there were actually some best bits worth hanging on to as you haul yourself into the next 12 months.  If it’s good enough for the Queen it’s good enough for me!

RTN_Bingley_Music_LiveThe first big thing was moving to Leeds – new home life, new studio and a whole new world of doing the rounds, getting to know the people and the place. In a word it’s been brilliant. I’ve already discovered and worked with a fair few creative agencies and businesses and it was nice be able to pop over to a couple of local festivals without the stress of sleeping in the tent with my cameras. From Bingley I brought home some great contacts and hopefully an opportunity to get involved on the corporate sponsors side this year. From Leeds I brought home a new Dave Grohl screensaver (heading for an exhibition but this is another favourite) and a fistful of Foo Fighters Dollars.

My absolute highlight was getting to know London designer Steve Edge.  We met at the Dyslexia Action Awards in 2011 and just really got on.  In 2012 Steve designed my new, gorgeous logo and it’s perfect.


Steve Edge

Since then he’s been up to deliver a presentation in Leeds (I made him a cake to celebrate), we’ve met up several times in London and we can now all look forward to his TV show which will be on our screens this September.  More on that in future blogs so stay tuned!!  In the meantime you can check out Steve’s Weekly Wisdom broadcasts on his website:


This summer while everyone else was hit with Olympic fever I was out doing what I love, photographing many more festivals and meeting and making many more friends.  Truth be told I haven’t had a telly for nearly ten years now and I don’t miss it.  However..I did get close to the Olympic action with two photo sessions on the torth trail and that fabulous money shot of Jess Ennis with her gold medal at her homecoming in Sheffield.


I’ve worked with some brilliant brands including Barclays and Empower and one of my favourite jobs was for O2 Think Big at the Liverpool O2 Academy.  Most of my music work is for syndication and you never really know whether your pictures will sell.  Here, I was photographing a great gig for proper commercial rates. A rare treat!


While life in Leeds has been everything I hoped for I’ve still spent plenty of time in Sheffield and whenever a local band has been playing I’ve been back there to join the home crowd.  Richard Hawley was fab and rounding off the year with Human League and Pulp was a perfect end to a really great 12 months.


Stick with me on the roller coaster for more of the same in 2013 and hopefully another bumper year of best bits!

PS Anyone else besides my cousin spot me on the Reverend and the Makers DVD??

Pulp – a homecoming gig for Auld Lang Syne

December 19, 2012


Well it was bound to be emotional.  Pulp coming home to Sheffield for their first live gig since 2002.  The Motorpoint Arena was  filled to the gunnels not only with local fans but with enthusiasts from as far afield as the US and Mexico…clearly the likes of Common People and Disco 2000 resonate with ordinary folk the world over.

There was no warm-up act – the band came on at 8.30 and stayed there until well after 11 – but they did get plenty of support.  Richard Hawley returned to the fold for a cameo appearance in a couple of numbers, including the first ever live delivery of Born to Cry.  Jarvis Cocker’s sister Saskia also put in an appearance so it really did feel like a family affair and a watershed moment.


I stayed almost for the whole show – all 24 tracks of it – and what I didn’t see I could mostly hear from the Green Room where I was turning the pictures around.

The reception for the band was absolutely rapturous and Jarvis was clearly quite moved by the whole thing.  Hard to believe they started out way back in 1978 and who knows where they’re heading now – apart from a cruise ship sailing round the Bahamas and the Caribbean for Christmas, I kid you not.  But for one night in December, as the confetti came down and everyone joined together to sing White Christmas it was just like old times.  A fitting last blog of the year.  Have a fantastic festive season and see you for more of the same in 2013.


Flying high with Reverend and the Makers

February 21, 2012

One look at these pictures will tell you that this week’s blog does not feature James Morrison, who completely blew me out last week.  I got to the venue and thought this is all a bit quiet, and there it was…a sign in the door – “hang on to your tickets – tour postponed”.  No reason given. No – “tell Tracey I’m really sorry and I’ll make it up to her…”.  I hope we’ll be able to pick up where we left off later in the year but James, you’re on a yellow card.

The bonus though is that you get to hear about my Sunday night with Reverend and the Makers at the Motorpoint Arena.  If you’re not familiar with them they’re a Sheffield band and I’ve known founders Jon and Ed for ages.

Anyhow, they’re currently on tour in the run up to the launch of new album ‘@Revernd_Makers’, supporting Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. For the whole of this tour the photography pit has been designated a no go zone.  Oftentimes this has meant that photographers have been consigned to the sound desk area, which, in the Arena, would have meant standing miles back from the stage.  Fortunately that didn’t happen and we were allowed to use the walkway to the side .

As I strolled along to find my spot I looked up into the audience to see if there were any familiar faces and saw a hand waving back at me. When I peered up I could see it belonged to Richard Hawley.. how lovely. Then a bit further along another  wave – this time two hands – Pete McKee and his wife.  Talk about small world Sheffield. I’d not been in the best mood on Sunday so they properly cheered me up!

As I got into the job, I got some decent shots of Ed and Jon – Ed, I’m liking the new ‘do’ btw, that quiff is definitely working for you – then turned my long lens to the drummer and was surprised to see yet another familiar face.  I know Ryan Jenkinson from the Skeletons but had no idea he’d switched bands.

He came round from backstage afterwards and we had a bit of a catch up [and hes already come back to me that he likes the pictures!].  All good fun but I guess I should give a mention to Noel and co who were also on top form.

So, all in all my Sunday night’s work turned into a pretty good social and the void left by Mr Morrison was well and truly filled.  I’m not promising anything for next week though…don’t want to jinx it….

Vintage Mayhem

November 29, 2011

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a big fan of Radio 2 and tune in, morning, noon and night, for a bit of banter and everything from blues to rock and the latest indie bands.  In fact there are only two shifts in the week when I rapidly reach for the off switch – one is Nigel Ogden, The Organist Entertains (I make no apologies there) and the other is Elaine Paige on Sunday afternoon.  Sorry Elaine, I’m sure you completely nailed Grizabella in Cats but I’m afraid we will never have the kind of airwaves relationship I enjoy with the likes of Simon Mayo and Mark Radcliffe.

Anyhow, one of the people who gets a decent amount of airtime on Two is Irish singer songwriter Imelda May.  I love her sound – kind of swinging 50s blues  but with a bit of an edge and her voice is amazing. I’ve only seen her once before at a festival so when I got the latest Retna summons, to photograph her tour stop at the O2 Sheffield, I was really chuffed.

It turned out to be a really great, and very relaxed gig.  The Imelda May fan base is so broad that you end up with an audience of all ages; lovers of rockabilly, Americana, dance and jazz, and I even spotted someone I’m pretty sure was a punk in former life. So, a brilliantly eclectic mix of people, all there just to enjoy an entertaining show.

Imelda performs with a huge amount of energy and with a style that’s an extension of her ‘properly dressed up’ vintage look.  I’m hoping the shots have managed to capture the energy and the elegance especially as there’s an outside chance she might actually see them herself!

One of her chaps was there taking some snaps and catching up with a guy I know from Richard Hawley’s band.  We all got chatting and since then I’ve established a Twittter correspondence with Ms May and she’s tweeted to say she’s going to check out the pictures on the blog.  Now I’m under no illusions here, the tweeting may not be directly attributed to Imelda but you never know.  She might just find time for a wee peek.












So Imelda – great gig – brilliant look – hope you like the pictures.  One day, maybe you can show me how to get properly dressed up, or even properly dressed. In fact, I’m off now to climb out of the Levis and into a vaguely posh frock for the Dyslexia Action Awards…pictures and backstage goss coming up next week!!

Leeds Fest – through a not so long lens…

September 5, 2011

Leeds Festival – always a highlight of my summer despite the weather and this year was no different…Muse were flogging a large brolly and I could certainly have done with one!  But rain or no rain from the teletubbies to the dad dancing my fellow festies were in good form and for a couple of days real life stopped in its tracks while we took it all in – the bands we knew and loved, the bands we’d never heard of and everything in between.

Headlining on Friday, Muse delivered a fantastic production celebrating the first decade of first album ‘Origin of Symmetry’ – the build-up was amazing and if anything the threatening weather added to the drama.  Leading from the front Matthew Bellamy’s personal life may have gone a wee bit Hollywood these days but a damp Friday night in Leeds still seemed to hit the spot.

After five or so years on the festival scene I have now risen to the heady heights of the VIP loos (yes the one’s where you don’t have to carry a ‘she pee’ and a ton of triple ply in your back pocket). Marginally more important, I have earned the right to roam with the luvvies and steal some behind the scenes stuff.  Here are a couple of my favourites – local talent The Pigeon Detectives [who looked nice and comfy in their first main stage set]

and for me the ultimate best bit of Leeds 2011, on stage and off, Seasick Steeeeeeve with fellow legend, albeit slightly less beardy, from Led Zeppelin, John Paul Jones.  Being speechless doesn’t make for good copy but for a moment – I was.

Battle of the Sheffield Bands – Pulp versus Bring me the Horizon – for me Pulp edged it (with the brief return of Mr Richard Hawley) but they both looked and sounded fab.  Here’s one of Jarvis and a few more found their way into local press.


Final snap – the charismatic Julian Casablancas from the Strokes.

Thanks again to Retna for getting everything sorted for me – the access was seamless from the car parking to the stage and VIP areas.  Did I camp?… absolutely not. I’ve got my own Leeds pad and before you ask – no you can’t book it for next year!

Next week…if we’re lucky…Dolly Parton….!!!