Finally, I’m back photographing bands again! In fact, thanks to Loftus Media, this month’s blog is a bumper, two for the price of one.
Of course under normal circumstances, we’d be reflecting back on highlights of another festival season. Sadly this year, we were scuppered from the start. Much as we’d hoped that things would have sorted themselves out by the time we arrived at Leeds Reading, it just hasn’t worked out.
However, many of the bands that were about to make their first appearance at the festival have found their moment in the spotlight courtesy of BBC Introducing and the BBC Music Hot List. One such band is pop-punk trio Bigfatbig, and I headed North East to photograph them.
I’ve been hoping to do something with Loftus Media for a couple of years now. This is the first time things have worked out in terms of commissions and timings so…brilliant to get the call. The brief was to photograph the band (and record a few interview responses) in the context of ‘What are you doing with your Leeds Reading weekend’. Katie, on the left here, has just bought an apartment in South Shields just outside Newcastle and I guess the pictures kind of speak for themselves really. Robyn and Chaz had joined her for a ‘not playing the festival’ painting party and we had a lot of fun with the colours they were actually using for the walls. I think there’s something of a modern day Three Muses in the images here.
The shoot was fairly late at night so I took my studio lights with me. While I set up, the girls donned their specially purchased white dungarees to get into the decorating groove. They like them so much they’re now planning to wear them on stage…whenever that actually happens! In the meantime, you can see more of the pictures, along with more on Bigfatbig and the other featured bands here. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1lts6py9SzR9DK3L2F6Dgk8/jelani-blackman-bigfatbig-downtown-kayoto-and-star-one-tell-us-how-they-are-spending-their-reading-leeds-weekend
A week later, another call from Loftus and I was off to Hebden Bridge to photograph Syd Minsky of Working Men’s Club. BBC Radio 6 Music were putting together a feature on independent venues. Syd was super easy to work with. We have loads of people in common through local haunts in Sheffield and elsewhere so there was a fair bit of chatting. The venue gave us a perfect backdrop for the pictures including the statement We Will Be Back. Let’s hope, this time next year, all our independent venues are back up and running. And perhaps we really will have enjoyed a summer season of amazing live music. In the meantime, thanks to the Loftus team for giving me a timely reminder of what we can look forward to.
All images courtesy of Loftus Media, © @BBC.