Ok, I’m aware that it sounds like I say this about everyone I seem to meet through my photography, but Opeth are such friendly, down-to-earth people… I’m starting to believe there’s no such thing as the stereotypical rock & roll ego! I recently joined them on a couple of dates of their UK tour to shoot some behind the scenes pictures for Guitar World magazine and they were so very cool & accommodating. Frederik Akesson is an incredible guitarist – at one point I was up on the balcony of the Birmingham O2 seeking out a new angle to photograph sound check from but was so enthralled by Frederik’s intricate playing I almost forgot to take any pictures!
What a lovely man Richard Hawley is! A couple of months back I travelled up to Sheffield to photograph him with Jamie from Guitarist magazine and he couldn’t have been more welcoming. We met at Yellow Arch studios, a quirky little red brick building that has a kind of bleak Victorian workhouse vibe from the street but once inside I was amazed; wall to wall guitars (at least a hundred, if not more), stacks of vintage gear and an enormous mountain of empty guitar cases. Hawley had relocated his entire collection to the studios while recording the new album and every instrument had a wonderful story behind it. I shot endless guitars and Jamie recorded so many fascinating stories that the feature seems to have spiralled into an eight page monster! I’ve included some of my favourite pictures below but there are lots more on the iPad version of the magazine here.
If you ever wondered just how much gear a major stadium band take on tour with them, check out some of my shots from a behind-the-scenes rig tour at Bon Jovi’s Ashton Gate gig. You can read the MusicRadar article here for more pictures and detailed info, facts & stories from the techs. I couldn’t believe how much stuff they’d brought for a one off gig. There was a whole extra layer of backstage beyond the actual backstage area! It just went on & on forever; flight cases & crates & cables & boxes & monitors & strange bleeping gadgets. The techs told us that for every item they had, there was a spare waiting out back in case of disaster!
The Big Chill festival at Eastnor Park the other weekend was a welcome break for Chris & I from what has been an endlessly hectic summer. The vibe this year was kind of different to when we went previously (& the comedy tent was nowhere to be found!) but still good times. This year Big Chill was all about delicious cider cocktails from the Somerset Cider Bus with fresh mint and raspberries. Standing almost right at the front for Robert Plant & The Band of Joy. AMAZING! I saw this photo yesterday of Led Zeppelin at the height of their fame and they seem so huge and unreachable. I could hardly believe just a few days before we watched Robert Plant from such an intimate distance. His Band of Joy were legends too which is more than can be said for Kanye West… hmm. Laying in the grass in the sunshine tasting my very first jelly nut before the appearance of dramatic black skies and the obligatory summer festival downpour. Abandoning the tent in favour of my cosy warm car. I love sleeping in my car! All the complimentary chocolate puds, yoghurts & cereals we could eat (and a strange…
Look what arrived via FedEx from New York yesterday afternoon… the latest issue of Guitar World featuring my Rory Gallagher gear shots. Best of all, my photo of his iconic Strat is the pull out centerfold poster!I took the pictures a couple of weeks back in an attic in West London (dragging my studio kit up the rickety wooden ladder was an experience I’ll never forget!) crammed with Rory treasures; priceless guitars, magazines, tour ephemera, recordings and his inspirational floor to ceiling vinyl collection. Rory’s family do a great job of looking after his legacy and I was very grateful for the opportunity to document such valuable items. I also drove past a Stormtrooper skipping hand in hand with his sweetheart down a Chiswick high street on the way home. Which was weird.