All too aware that this March is turning into this April all too quickly, I had better step up my pace and keep the world up to date with my whereabouts. 2013, slow down will ya?
To coincide with the release of Steve Mason’s Monkey Minds in the Devils Time, The Skinny asked me to shoot him for this month’s cover. I heard the words “protest” and “somewhere like kind of a wasteland”, and my head skipped a few chapters and went straight to “smokebombs!” We took a walk to a lesser-known spot overlooking Leith Walk and stirred up a storm of smoke and flashes. In hindsight, only in hardy Leith could this go unacknowledged.
Back last month it was very much business as unusual. Bouncing over Edinburgh cobbles in rush hour, our headlights on a freezing dusk, I found myself very unexpectedly riding shotgun in a hearse. A situation made all the stranger by the company of Frightened Rabbit, riding coffin in the back. The Skinny managed to pluck them from a very intense media day of interviews and photocalls in a local bar, so we could bundle them in the back of Ed’s hearse and chauffeur them around to a soundtrack of heavy metal.
We did have a slightly larger agenda though. For their forthcoming release of Pedestrian Verse, we wanted to accompany Darren’s feature with images of death. Not the graveyard and lightening bolts type, but death that mirrored the solemn and mature journey of the band’s transformation to now – a glowing portrait of expressive and rooted Scottish songwriting on a world stage.
Forboding and dark, especially for January, our shoot was actually very light-hearted by the absurdity of it all. Thanks to the band for laughing off the cold, Ed for the civility of an undertaker and big thanks to Matt for helping out so last minute.
Its not everyday the photographer gets a mention! When a picture is worth 1,000 words (on the old exchange rates anyway), there tends to be little editorial real-estate for the creative process behind the scenes. And rightly so, articles can be in depth enough without needing to know about the textile content of the backdrop materials and nasal shadowing of the subject. But interestingly, the interview and the photoshoot are almost as enjoyable as the finished product.
This flattering quote is from Julian Corrie in his New Blood feature in this month’s Skinny. The shoot in question was arranged by the creative folks at The Skinny at the Glasgow Science Centre. If you haven’t visited or don’t know anything about it, be sure of this: it is a world of fun. You could end up having too good a time. And so it went. Legging it through wonderful, interactive floors, setting up images at instruments, mirrors and displays and getting distracted by all the toys. Me and the staff bombarded Julian with sponge balls and built him a fort out of tetris foam blocks. Hardly what you can call “effort”, when you’re splitting your sides.
Continuing our winter round-up, here is a selection of some live music i have been shooting between here and Glasgow for the Skinny the last few months.
|Gruff Rhys @ The Bongo Club|
|Muscles of Joy @ Orán Mór|
|Gillian Welsh @ Clyde Auditorium|
|The Dirty Dozen with Clean George IV and Riley from Aberfeldy|