Thursday Night and I'm in the pub. The Stanley Arms in Preston waiting for a series of monologues to be performed by Lancashires Peoples Theatre the night is part of Lancashire Fringe Festival. The festival consist of over 20 performances in 7 venues across the city covering 10 days.
It feels a bit alien to me as a gig photographer there is no stage, no lighting rig, no security and no pit. There are chairs arranged in rows facing the centre of the room and they are full. There is still 10 minutes before the night is due to start and people are already standing at the backs of the room. The various actors performed in the centre of the room which resulted in a really intermit feel to the night.
All seven actors were amazing they played the roles so convincingly I was almost surprised at the end when we were introduced to some of the writers. The acts were very different but each really seems to stir emotions, from humour in the story of romance at Darwin Tower, sadness in a story of grief, hope and triumph in pregnancy and all available emotion in the watching of kids football. I glanced around the audience and very word was being absorbed, considered and believed by the audience.
I was surprised that just over an hour had passed as the final act finished. I was disappointed as I could have watched another hour so good was the night.
As with all events at this festival there is no charge. A bucket is by the exit for any donations which from this performance were being donated to an arts charity.
If you don't think spoken word sound like your thing this is the best way to give it a go. No expensive upfront tickets just top class performances in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.
Thanks to Gary for organising the festival and inviting me to shoot the night. Thanks to staff at Stanley Arms for their hospitality and all involved with such a memorable performance.
I haven't done much shooting recently for a variety of reasons. It was a nice to be asked to shoot some publicity photographs for Steedy.
I rode down the highstreet taking in the relaxed Sunday evening vibe as people enjoyed food and drinks in the sun.
Steedy met me and on entering his flat it was evident he was a very talented artist. There were large graffiti pieces on boards propped against the wall. On the walls are hand drawn images and tattoo designs. Several guitars are propped in the corner of the room and notebooks contain handwritten lyrics.
I was then lucky enough to have a performance of his latest song Backflip. What a great track with a mix of traditional spanish sounding guitar with powerful lyrics delivered over the top. As soon as I get a link I will include it.
Thank to Jot (Rum thief) for making the introductions.
Big thanks to Steedy for making it such an enjoyable shoot and really looking forward to hearing more of your music.
Saturday night and the Party is on. A friend of mine introduced me to a manager of company who holds a staff party in February.
The venue was the Impossible Club in Manchester. It is a great venue and I enjoyed the night.
The shooting of party people is not my style of photography but I enjoyed the challenge and learnt a lot. The acts on the night were also very good and I will credit them once I have their details.
Jess Kemp performed at the Castle in Manchester. It felt like entering a proper old school boozer and was very inviting on a cold winter night. The room had a small stage at the end of the room sound desk at the opposite end and a strange high ceiling.
It was great to see the clan Kemp and other familiar faces in the already busy room at the Castle.
The night was being live streamed by Show Stream who did a great job and clips from the night are available online.
The opening act was Lyza and what an opening. She had an incredible voice which was tender but also had an edge. She has a new single out SYA which is well worth looking up.
Lyza introduced the next act Jack Woodward as having the greatest speaking voice. Well Im not sure that his speaking voice had the same effect on me as it did on a lot of the audience. What I can say is that is singing voice was first class. He has a great set of original songs including the one he performed on the X Factor Live Tour. He has a new single and more plans for 2019.
Jess Kemp took to the Stage with Sam and provided nearly an hour of great musical entertainment. The highlights for me included when she put down the guitar and moved behind the keyboard. Her latest song Leave a chair out is an incredibly moving song and its no surprise it is getting such great reviews. She also performed No Shouting (or with an Irlam accent No Shoutin) which also had the crowd singing along.
In-between songs and instrument changes Jess chats and her open friendly style is instantly likeable. The quote of the night "This is a new one or it might not be depends if you have heard it before". Genius.
Sam Butterworth must get a mention as his guitar playing was incredible with a couple of great solos.
Thanks to Jess for asking me to shoot the night.
Thanks to Kemp clan and friends for making me feel so welcome.
I have enjoyed the music of Rum Thief since the first listen. I challenge anyone to listen to Dirty Shoes and not join in singing along. As well as his hard hitting songs there is also a more tender side to some of his tracks.
At every gig he plays a devoted group of family and friends are there supporting him and having a party. His band played a great set and also looked to be having a great time.
I was really pleased to see that Guy Fiddler the Harmonica Guy was at the gig to join Jot on stage and add that special harmonica sound to the song. The two of them sounded great together with the crowd joining in.
All too soon the set was over the big lights came on and time to hit the road.
Thanks to Deaf Institute great staff and sound.
Thanks Jot and team for the invite.
Unfortunately the lighting was red lights and a lot of fog which made photography difficult. (Red lights should be saved for a brothel!).