Monday, 24 September 2007
The only place to be on Saturday night was the Carling Academy. The moment the utterly
brilliant Alabama 3 hit the stage the crowd went crazy. I'm no music journo so I'll let you get a description of their brand of
music from their own web site. The whole gig was pulsating from the start to the finish. I went along to simply enjoy myself but as usual, I couldn't resist taking a few shots using my girlfriends handy wee Lumix. As the show came to an end and the inevitable encore spot came along out popped a piper, hotly followed by the rest of the band. I was trying to work out what must be going through the pipers mind. He could never have played a gig like it and would probably never again.
The obvious question is, why the Alabama 3 when there are at least nine of them and they hail from Brixton? I'm not really that bothered myself. At one point we were all asked to salute with the left hand, as you can see by the photo, this had a lot of people confused. I was not confused by the gig, it was sheer magic.
Monday, 17 September 2007
A few years ago my friend Paul Shields, arrived at the studio with this fantastic photo. It was taken in 1963 in McCormack's Music shop, Bath Street, Glasgow. The Stones were on their first UK tour and had played in Hamilton the night before. When they got back to their van after the gig, everything in the back had been nicked. When Paul's aunt, Adelle McCormack, who ran the famous McCormack's Music Shop at the time heard that the next night's gig in the Odeon might have to be cancelled, offered the guys pick of the shop in return for a photo. What a deal and here is that photo. Paul told me that she had eventually to throw them out as Keith and Brian were helping themselves to guitar picks.
There are so many stories surrounding the Stones that who will ever know if that is true and in my opinion, who cares. The Rolling Stones, in my opinion are simply the greatest band that have ever been. I can't see another outfit ever eclipsing them before I peg off.
I've popped on a few of my own photos from the "Steel Wheels" tour, 1990. What a band!
On Saturday night I was asked to cover a 35th wedding anniversary in the Glendaruel Village Hall. I set off early thinking I would enjoy a walk with my wee dog in all the fabulous scenery in that neck of the woods. Wrong! It was tipping it down all day. I stopped at the visitor center at he bottom of the " Rest and Be Thankful" and thought the two chainsaw sculptures were very clever. Shortly after, a couple appeared from the trees and I wondered who was taking who for a walk. I stopped at the top of the "Rest and Be Thankful" and took a shot looking down. See what I mean about the weather ? Spectacular nonetheless!
The party was brilliant but as it was a private affair I'll not be showing any of the photos.
Friday, 14 September 2007
Thursday night at the Radisson Hotel had all the movers and shakers in Scottish property gathered together for the Herald Annual Property Awards. I was invited by my client Kier Homes to the glitzy event and what a night was had by all. We were awarded
second place, not bad for our first ever entry.
Thursday, 13 September 2007
I have been collecting photographic memorabilia since I was twelve years old. In that time I have amassed a huge collection of all things photographic. One of the spookiest things that ever happened to me arising from this was down to my late mother. She bought a box of jumble in 1972 from a church hall as it had two old cameras on the top. I remember her saying it cost 50p. In the box were hundreds of old glass negatives going back to the 1920's. In the late 1990's I stated to sift through them. They were all in mint condition. It turned out they were taken by a very keen amateur photographer who worked for the Singer Sewing Machine Company.
I was looking at them on the light box and discovered one of my late mother Jean and her best friend Marjorie taken in 1935. She was able to identify this by the colour of her school socks. That's mum on the left. When I showed her the positive print she nearly had kittens. She clearly remembered the the shot being taken but on seeing it some 65 years later for the first time was flabbergasted. She said, "You know son, that has survived the blitz and my friend passed away many years ago". It was a truly moving experience for us both.
As you can see there are various shots on view. One of Cloch Lighthouse, Loch Lomond,
Cross Keys Hotel, a Singer outing to Glen Fruin, old worthies and a cracker of a fellow astride his Ariel motorbike. I know exactly where that shot was taken, as in the background, is the swing park I used to play in as a child. Clydebank College now sits on top of it. It is ironic that the College is now due for demolition, as they say, nothing is forever.
As part of my everyday sales pitch to my clients, I am constantly reminding them that every time I take a photograph of anything or anyone, I am by default capturing a piece of history. Never more obvious than by looking at these old ones. I wonder if sometime in the future, people will be looking at mine in the same way?
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
All right, you know I have a thing about sunsets but can you blame me after seeing
At about 19.00 hrs last night I noticed the clouds opening up over the west end. It only lasted for a few minutes. The church spire is connected to one of my favourite pubs, Cottier and no, it didn't tempt me to go in for a swifty.
I was saddened to hear of the passing of Dame Anita Roddick this morning.
I only came into contact with this charismatic lady twice in my career. The first time was in 1983 at an event in Sydney and the second, was at the opening of her Soapworks Factory in Easterhouse in 1989.
I remember her saying to me "I know your face", I replied with the obvious, "I know yours as well", she just laughed.
I can't imagine how many people she inspired and coming from a very poor background she always maintained if she could do it, anyone could. With all the good works she has been responsible for, I would say she will be an impossible act to follow.
Sunday, 9 September 2007
A job came in for Sunday night. The Radnor Park Hotel, Clydebank, was the place to be for a 50th wedding anniversary celebration.
As I was packing up my gear on leaving, I couldn't help but notice the couple's original wedding album on show on the table. I had to set up this shot before leaving. They were a great team, I hope they get me back for their 60th.
What an experience it is! The tour starts at the bottom of the tower where you are shown how the entire structure, 150 tons in all, sits on a bed of lubricant and steel no bigger
than the circumference of a frying pan, absolutely ingenious. You then ascend by lift, some 120 meters, in under two minutes before arriving at the top. The views are spectacular.
During December of 2000, I went up in the supply basket from the even taller support crane to take shots before the viewing deck was hoisted into place. This was a seriously scary experience. The basket was about two square meters and the assent was totally noiseless. The ground literally vanished from under my feet. Before I knew what was going on, I was hanging by a thread some 130 meters above ground. My poor brain could hardly cope with what was going on. The mandatory wearing of a hard hat had me laughing. Well, maybe not on reflection.
At £6.50 a trip it is the bargain of the century, get yourself up there and take a camera.
I was delighted to see in the papers and on TV that the brilliant Edwyn Collins is fighting back from his terrible illness. His sixth solo album, Home Again is due for release on 12 September 2007. Have a look at his web site, it is fabulous. I took these photo's of Edwyn at the QM in Glasgow in 1987. It was a fantastic night. My old pal Tom Morton was on hand to review the gig for Melody Maker. I am looking forward to hearing the new album and wish Edwyn all the best and a speedy recovery.
Thursday, 6 September 2007
I was sorry to hear of the passing of Luciano Pavarotti this morning. Several times over the years I have covered his concerts and various charity related events he championed. Hearing him sing live was an experience I will never forget.
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
On my second ever visit to Cumbrae, I was astonished by the goings on. It was the annual Country and Western gathering on the Island. Millport was literally invaded by
thousands of visitors. There were confederate soldiers, cowgirls, cowboys, gunslingers and a host of other people all getting into the spirit of all things country.
Even the dogs were suitably dressed for the occasion. The day started with a parade from Kames Bay to the town centre. Everyone from the Gala Queen, Daisy Duke and a chapter from Harley Davidson were on show. The Pipe band even donned appropriate attire. Little uns, big uns were all in the mood for a great time and a great time they
had. The weather, which was awful in the morning turned around but I don't think the rain would have stopped the assembled masses from the party that was going on.
In the middle of all the action, I noticed what was probably the biggest spider I have ever seen in Scotland, quietly getting on with the business of spinning its web for the night ahead. Out to sea, there was race going on. Whilst on land, there was a gunfight.
What a spectacle, what a great day. I'll bet there were more than a few headaches in the morning. " Standby Your Man", I don't think so. Well done Cumbrae!