. Supersonic

Supersonic was a new event for charity, Manchester Pride. The red carpet was rolled out for this auction and dinner held at the Concorde Hangar at Manchester Airport, and it really was a spectacular and unusual setting. It’s not every day I get to photograph onboard Concorde and wear the pilot’s cap! Headlining act was an energetic set from The Feeling, with support from local lass Ren Harvieu, who also sang an amazing and highly appropriate version of Aretha Franklin’s ‘A Deeper Love’ from the steps of Concorde with the Manchester Airport Choir. A new patron for Manchester Pride was announced as Alicya Eyo, who is best known for her roles in ‘Emmerdale’ and ‘Bad Girls’, and she gave a very warm and heartfelt speech. Even David Gest put in an appearance, chatting with ‘Hollyoaks’ star Nicole Barber-Lane and Manchester Evening News’ Dianne Bourne. Items auctioned off included Manchester United and Manchester City signed merchandise, ‘Emmerdale’ signed scripts, champagne dinners and VIP tickets to this year’s Manchester Pride festival. The image which seems to have attracted the most press from the evening is the moment when The Feeling’s singer, Dan Gillespie-Sells, seemed to forget that he was performing underneath Concorde. He enthusiastically climbed on top of the drum kit before launching himself into the air… banging his head on Concorde in the process. No pop stars were injured in the taking of this photograph and it was a brilliant moment, in a fantastic evening. He’s a selection of my favourites…

http://www.manchesterpride.com/2013

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. Lfest 2012

I’ve been having a bit of a recap and here’s something I never got around to sharing last year, and since tickets are now on sale for this year’s bigger and better event, it seemed rude not to post. It was my first time at Lfest and I found it to be a lovely, friendly festival with a really good vibe and I’m looking forward to photographing for them again this year. Here’s a link to the festival website if you’d like further details…
http://www.lfest.co.uk

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. Heather Peace . Fairytales Tour . 2012

I had decided to write less on my blog and to let the photo’s speak for themselves, but it seemed rude to start on this post, for various reasons. So here goes…

I was fortunate enough to go along and photograph some of Heather Peace’s sell-out ‘Fairytales’ tour in June, and rather marvellous it was too. Support was provided by the very talented, yet refreshingly humble, AMiTY. I’ve photographed AMiTY before and was suitably impressed. Now she’s added more songs, and yet more instruments, to her repertoire. Dressed in her trademark black and white, with a flight case doubling up as a bass drum, AMiTY was very well received and really got the crowds tapping their feet and singing along, and it’s a well-deserved success for such a hard working songwriter.

And so to the main act… It was evident from the start that everyone was united in the success of ‘Fairytales’. From Heather, the band, her team and the fans who’d pledged their hard-earned cash to make the album in the first place. Everybody was proud, everybody loved it and everybody was going to enjoy every minute, or so it seemed. I met such lovely, warm people on my travels. On the whole, the crowd went to enjoy and to listen to that amazing voice and to watch as Heather flitted effortlessly between piano and guitar, cracking jokes as she went. She was obviously enjoying every minute and there was a lot of emotion came through in the songs. A solid bunch of musicians made up the band who created a smooth and polished sound which complimented Heather’s rich, jazz infused vocals.

I have so many photo’s and it was tough to choose. How do you capture an entire show with a few images? But here are a few of my favourites. You can find more on my Facebook page in the very near future.

And finally, Heather in reflective mood… Is she quietly counting her blessings? Praying for her hard-earned success to continue? Let’s all hope so, for Heather Peace certainly seems to spread a glimmer of happiness wherever she goes these days.

. Stand Out Comedy Tour… extra, extra…

Since it’s fast approaching EDINBURGH FRINGE time again, I thought I’d take the opportunity to promote 3 of my favourite comedians again. Yes, they’re all women. Yes, they’re all extremely funny. And, yes, I do think more could be done to promote female comedians.

So, going back in time, to the STAND OUT COMEDY TOUR, I’d found myself with the opportunity to take in an extra bit of the Tour, and I was so very glad that I did. The strength of these performers meant that no gig was quite the same; the material varied, the audience reaction altered, and the lighting was different… immensely different. From the dark, muted blue and red tones of SOUND CONTROL, Manchester, I found myself with the warm, peachy glow of the GLEE CLUB, Nottingham. This venue was much more appropriate for this type of gig as not only did they provide much more flattering lighting, the crowd were much closer and, with no barriers to peer over, very much more involved in the performances.

JEN BRISTER played host tonight, in addition to her own set, with SUZI RUFFELL and ZOE LYONS taking the stage in between. The comedy was again rounded off by a sterling musical performance from AMiTY.

All four of these ladies provided me with so many photo opportunties that I was spoilt for choice, but couldn’t resist the ‘shoe shots’. I’m always intrigued by the variety of footwear worn on stage (Well, when you’re in the Press Pit, that’s pretty much the first thing you see!) I always think that the choice footwear tells a little story about the performer. Maybe I’m just weird.

Anyway, they’re all marvellous. Go and see them, if you can. And to the person whose ear I guffawed in rather too loudly at Zoe’s overtly enthusiastic ‘Dog Pram’ joke, I’m sorry!


. Second Hand Wings . The Cavern . Liverpool

Here’s a band that I know I talk about a lot, but I think they’re brilliant and deserve success. Their sound grows and evolves each time I hear them and I can’t wait for their new EP, which is due for release shortly. You can see them at the IPO Festival in Liverpool where they’ll be playing at THE CAVERN on Saturday 19th May at 4.30pm and then again on Monday 21st May at 9.30pm.

Here’s a little taster from a recent band promo shoot we did recently. More to follow.

. Jill Jackson ‘Getaway Driver’ Tour 2012

And so, the wait is over. The ‘GETAWAY DRIVER’ Tour is upon us. JILL JACKSON’s latest album is a carefully crafted rollercoaster ride of emotions and so, for the live shows, expect laughter and tears, a plethora of musical instruments and a healthy dose of audience banter and singing. It may sound like a church meeting, but it really, really isn’t!

Here are a few shots from Jill’s last gig at the beautiful ORAN MOR, Glasgow, during ‘THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY’ tour. So much fun with a megaphone. Please enjoy.

. SNOWMAGEDDON

Despite the UK’s recurrent inability to deal with the annual winter snowfall, it has been an amazing week for me, with music lifting my spirits.
At the weekend, I was fortunate enough to see HORSE play her homecoming gig at Glasgow City Halls, which wraps up her “Same Sky 2010” tour. An amazing performer, in an amazing venue, with an equally amazing crowd. So, the Scots like to dance, eh?!
Wednesday saw a very snowy trip to Hebden Bridge to see HEATHER PEACE perform at The Trades Club. Heather was on fine form, despite a very long and tedious week driving the UK’s snowbound roads, and it was great to hear her sing more of her own songs.
An added treat was JILL JACKSON, who performed also at the Trades, both with Heather and solo. I’ve been wanting to see Jill for some time and I can say…I was not disappointed. Hugely talented and very entertaining. Jill and Heather also worked really well together, and subtely complimented each other.

So, as you’ve probably guessed, photo’s on their way shortly….