I spent the day feeling upset and angry that people could go out to enjoy a night of music and it ended in tragedy. I am not a manc but I photograph most of my gigs in Manchester. I have met so many amazing people through the music scene. The one thing that I have learnt about Mancs is that they will not be shut up or put down. They will dust themselves off and come back stronger and louder.
Love and thoughts to all those effected by the attack.
See you at a Manc gig soon
The Factory Manchester is a venue housed in the original Factory Records building. As you enter a large picture of Tony Wilson looks down on you.
The gig kicked off with Red Light Effect. I have not seen this band before but enjoyed their set. I also liked the sense of humour of the lead singer. The back of his t-shirt read "sing in tune drummer boy".
Mad Winter were next on the stage with a full crowd in the venue. This Manchester band really seemed to enjoy performing and played a good set.
Orchid Hunters describe their sound as "high energy grooving rock" and I agree. They have some videos on their Facebook so have a look. I really enjoyed their set and look forward to seeing them again.
Rum Thief are one of my favourite Manchester bands. I saw Jon perform a solo set and was transfixed by his style. He plays the guitar hard and yet has sensitive clever lyrics. He now performs with a full band and this has increased my enjoyment of the set. He was launching his new EP "Time To Make A Move".
Jon also used the night to raise money for The Sanctuary which is a centre that provides a place of safety and support for adults at crisis point. Contact details are at bottom of blog.
The night also also provided people the opportunity to think about Priya and have a drink and dance for her.
The only downside to the night was the lack of time to enjoy the full set of songs planned by Rum Thief as time beat us. This just left me wanting to know when the next gig will be.
Thanks to the bands for entertaining me.
Thanks to Jon, family and friends for making me feel so welcome
The Sanctuary can be contacted at
0300 003 7029
Im sorry but I missed shooting Saytra Play due to a minor issue getting into the venue I could hear them and they sounded great. Definitely catch you next time.
53 degrees is part of the UCLAN buildings the room is a large rectangle with the stage at the end and a small pit in front of it. On arrival the room was at capacity and I battled my way to the front. On stage the opening act where on their knees with screaming guitars and the crowd loved it.
Jordan Allen is a performer who I have been trying to catch for a while. I watched and shot him several years ago and have seen him go from strength to strength since. He has a full band and new songs the crowd loved him.
The Sherlocks are another band that I shot a few years ago and they have really developed into a class act. It is a sign of their quality the amount of airplay they are getting on the big radio stations. I would see them soon before they move onto playing the huge venues where you watch them on a screen!
It is quite a low stage stage and narrow pit which resulted in tight angles for shooting the pit was also a bit cramped due to a film crew sharing the space for the first acts.
I also want to praise the security staff at the event. Due to the shape of the room and the capacity crowd it was getting very warm and tight at the barrier. The staff quickly provided water and helped a fan who was getting too hot. They didn't make a drama just acted quickly and effectively.
Also a shout to the guitar tech working for the Sherlocks who was able to replace, restring,tune a guitar and passed it before the song finished.
Thanks again to the bands for allowing me to shoot them.
Thanks to the promoter for putting on a great show
Cheers to all at 53 for looking after me.
One Voice Community Choir are based in Preston and were invited to perform at the Harris museum. I have been visiting the museum all my life and I still enjoy looking around at the exhibits and the building itself. The choir I have known for a very long as my wife sang with them when I met her and I used to run the sound desk for them at gigs.
The choir leader is the ridiculously talented Tyndale Thomas who is a very skilled singer, composer, pianist as well as choir leader.
The man on the keys was just a young boy when I first met him but as I expected he has developed into a very special musician Aidan Thomas.
The Harris is a really interesting building but not used for live performances and so I was really interested to see how this night would work out. The choir performed a lot of songs that I was familiar with and also a couple of new ones I did not know.
The choir sounded great and the soloists sounding amazing I could have put my camera down and simply enjoyed the music.
It was a tricky venue to shoot in as the pillars blocked the view from some angles and the room was quite dark. The Harris staff were really accommodating and allowed me to shoot from the first floor of the museum.
Many thanks to the choir for inviting me to shoot them and great to catch up with you.
Thank you to all the staff at the Harris for your hospitality.
Is a group of artistic misfits from Blackpool and the Fylde. The some of us don't seem to think we would benefit from traditional groups but do appreciate the benefit of supporting each other. Through the group I met a wide range of talented artists all willing to help each other out and a committee that puts on great events. Look out for us in 2017. It was through a member of this group that I got to shoot Tatcon and Blackpool light switch on as well as exhibit my work and win best new comer at the Linda Eaton awards.
I often have time to kill while waiting for my children who attend lots of activities. These shots are from Fairhaven lake and start of the illuminations on a cold winter night.
I was introduced to Sham the owner of Ink Den formerly Dragon Tattoo in Blackpool at an ICan social. He invited me to his Tattoo convention. I didn't really know what to expect and I loved the event. It was a mix of great entertainment and Tattoo artists all demonstrating their skills. Burlesque dancers at 11:00 in the morning is one way to snap you awake at a weekend! Looking forward to attending the event in 2017 Thanks again Sham and team.
Check out their amazing work on Facebook and their website at inkden Blackpool.
Took the camera to Carfest North which was at the new venue of Bolesworth. Had great fun shooting activities during the day including an amazing jet ski rider. At night traded with the Mrs to determine who looked after the kids and who watched the bands. My highlights included Seal and all the people of a certain age embarrassing their kids by going crazy to insomnia by Faithless.
Have never managed to contact Carfest organisers to discuss photos if anyone can help let me know.
I met the organisers of the Crafty Vintage events at a gig and they invited me to shoot one of their weekends. I have been fortunate enough to be invited to numerous events over the year. They consist of taking a great venue such as Houghton Tower or B? And filling it with a mix of craft and vintage stalls. There is then an area with a great bar and food sellers. A mix of top quality entertainment is the final ingredient. I think the thing that makes the events so popular is that the organisers are able to hand pick the stalls and entertainment this ensures are all top quality. Thanks again to Laura, Dave and Dan all the best for 2017
Crafty Vintage will be holding more events in 2017 including a new venue have a look, at their Facebook and website for details.
This a great festival with loads of amazing music all weekend and with free entry. I was only available on the Friday night. I headed to The Eagle Inn Salford. Had great meeting new bands and shooting at this unique venue. If you have never been go for a pint and check out the gig room.
Free gig good beer again they have a Facebook page that will detail the event.
The Ferret is one of only a couple of music venues in Preston, for a city of its size with a large student populations it seems to have a really pot music scene. The Ferret puts on top acts and is also a great pub with quality food. Please get out and support live music or be condemned to the tastes of Simon Cowell.
Facebook again is the best place to check out their acts.
Preston Swingaroo keep me on the bench for the nights their regular photographer Ruth is unavailable. They bring in the best acts to play and sing for the very talented dancers. It is always a great friendly fun atmosphere and they have cake! Hope to visit you again in 2017.
Last Friday of the month at the Masonic Hall Preston.
Blackthorn Music Festival
This was my second year at this brilliant festival held at a farm just outside Manchester. The headline acts this year were Craig Charles, Bootleg Beatles, stereo mcs and Maximo Park. A lot of the other acts including some of the unsigned acts could have taken to the main stage and given the headlines a run for their money. As well as the great music and food it is a great place to catch up with friends from the music scene. I'm already excited about the potential bands for 2017 just hope the Hancock can put up with me again.
Their Facebook and website will detail how to obtain tickets for this brilliant festival
Facebook website and twitter friends, I think all gig photographers go through times of doubt with regards to their photos. It is the comments and encouragement that help us get through these times. So a huge thanks to everyone who has commented on my photos. There are a few people who take the time to respond to my shots on a regular basis and your support is really apreciated.
I'm not sure if Manchester bands realise how many top quality photographers operate in the city. If you need shots drop us a line or speak to us at a gig. Nothing spoils a bands web site like crap photos. Thanks to all the photographs who have inspired, encouraged and tolerated me throughout this year. I wish you all the best for 2017.
Promoters and event staff. Thank you to all the promoters who have asked me to shoot their gigs this year it has been a pleasure and I wish you and your bands all the best. Thanks to security for preventing stage diving singers landing on me and idiots pouring pints on me it is appreciated.
On the music front we have said goodbye to some major artists. On a smaller scale 2016 has been a year when we have had to say our goodbyes to several local performers. In their own way they have affected many people and through their music and memory will live on. If you believe that there is a place after death it now contains some brilliant musicians and lovely people and should hold amazing gigs.
If you would like copies of any of my shots please get in touch. I also have a limited number of night out passes so please let me know as soon as possible if you would like me to shoot your gig or event.
All the best for 2017 and don't let the bastards grind you down.