“Insomniaaaa!” A few months back I joined Grant Nicholas and Taka Hirose of Feeder at John Henry’s in London where they were rehearsing for their upcoming festival dates. A Newport girl and a Newport band! It was an afternoon of beaten up Jazzmasters, Telecasters and custom basses, scuffed & taped & toured to death, and Jack Nicholson’s face blindfolded in a sea of golden sparkle. We shot outdoors against the London bricks and were entertained by the muffled sound of another band practising in a studio next door… I think it was Travis! Oh to go back in time and tell my 14 year old self what I would be up to these days!
Download Festival 2017 was a quiet one for me as I was on another shoot for the first two days (talk about bad planning!). But thankfully I managed to make the Sunday and catch Aerosmith on their Aero-Verdici Baby tour. They’re always a dream come true, even when stuck in front of the mixer hoping for the best with a long lens and my D800! This year I also had the pleasure of photographing Slayer, Airbourne, The Cadillac Three, Steel Panther, In Flames, Opeth & Ministry. AND I discovered the Happy Maki vegan sushi truck – oh my word, be sure to order their Hoisin mock “duck” wrap if you ever find yourself in the guest area, mmm!
My first shoot day of the year was spent in the most incredible space at Spring Studios in London; think almost 3000 square feet of reclaimed wooden flooring and crisp white walls, flooded with natural light. It was such a treat to have a large, beautiful room to work in rather than a bustling backstage corridor or a cramped tour bus! I was there to shoot Ricky Gervais for Guitar Aficionado magazine – a luxury guitars and lifestyle mag from the states – check out the feature and some of my favourite shots below.
Ah the muddy, monsoon-like endurance test that is Download Festival – I shot ONE BAND before the metal gods cast a deluge of torrential rain upon us and so it continued for three days. I was perma-soggy and scoffed all the Colin the Caterpillars but as ever, it was the photo highlight of my year! I must enjoy the punishment?! My favourite weather related adventure was getting a golf buggy from one stage to another, weaving at high speed through the mud and the chaos of the backstage areas in order to make a tight schedule clash. We had absolutely no visibility through the rain on the plastic windscreen and there was definitely some screaming as we swerved around corners, narrowly dodging roadies and rig trucks! Check it out below for Iron Maiden (yeaaaaah!), Rival Sons, Sixx:A.M, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Haelstorm, Deftones, Disturbed, Shinedown, Megadeth and Nightwish.
In late summer I set up my lighting in front of the faded, peeling, historic homes on London’s iconic Princelet Street, just off Brick Lane, to shoot UK country band The Shires for the cover of Country Music magazine. We were joined by the BBC who filmed the session for an upcoming documentary. It’s fair to say I’m happier behind the camera than in front of it, but it never fails to amaze me where I end up on my photography journey!