I took my boys to watch Circus Starr in Blackpool. This was the third year that we had visited which says how good it is. I was sat with my boys and had a line of bulbs across my view I thought it would be tricky to get any shots.
The circus is a brilliant display of what humans can do. The strength, grace and bravery of the performers was evident in every act.
A very funny clown kept everyone amused while the equipment was changed between acts.
Thanks to all at Circus Starr
I spent a brilliant day at Blackpool Tatcon. This was the second year that I had been invited to take shots and I had a great day.
The room has rows of booths with artists doing tattoo and at the end a large stage. There is also a separate room with trade tables.
The quality of the tattoos being produced had to be seen to be believed. On stage Johnny Strange help my attention with an act that included: cutting an apple with a chainsaw while blindfolded, balancing a running lawn mower on his chin and sword swallowing.
Am over 6 feet tall and so its unusual for me to sense being looked down on but today these ladies looked down on me. They also did a great stage act which included use of fire. The stage manager was looking slightly twitchy at the size of the flames.
Massive thanks to Anna and Sham for inviting and looking after me.
If you are tempted check out their work at inked tattoo Blackpool
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.