Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Get Better : A Film About Frank Turner

Frank Turner at the Vue Cinema, Leicester Square December 13th, 2016

I went to a screening of Get Better : A Film About Frank Turner in Reading. The film was getting a one off cinema screening to over 50 cinemas nationwide. Frank, himself, was at the Vue cinema in Leicester Square, where he did a Q&A session and then a short acoustic set before the screening. So here's my photo of Frank on the cinema screen in Reading playing live before the film.

The film is absolutely fascinating and follows Frank over an 18 month period taking in the release of his most recent album, Positive Songs For Negative People. The film takes in the period when album sessions were delayed and Frank and his band were left in limbo with no shows to play either. The film covers this dark time in Frank's life as he goes on a downward spiral. The film including many interviews with band members, family and friends brings to the screen an honest account of how complicated a character Frank is, but more importantly a genuinely nice guy who will always go the extra mile for people whenever he possibly can. Frank turns things around and the film ends in a positive light. Here's hoping for a Blu-Ray release sometime soon.

I am one of those lucky people who has been on the end of Frank's support. He very kindly agreed to take part in a fundraising book I am currently putting together for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. I go to meet and photograph him back stage at his recent show at the Reading Hexagon. He couldn't have been nicer and it's going to make for a great chapter in the book which will be out in a year or so. I am writing the book, where I meet and photograph celebrities, in memory of my Mum who recently passed away after a 4 year battle with bowel cancer. Interestingly I think that if I had seen the film first I might not have approached Frank, as the amount of time he puts aside for his fans is staggering. I felt a little guilty if I am being honest.

Frank's live shows are something else. The energy that Frank & The Sleeping Souls bring to the stage makes for a brilliant show ensuring that everyone leaves wanting more. The recent gig in Reading was one of the best concerts I have been to in a very long time. Frank manages to capture on record something close to that of a live performance, although if you haven't yet seen him live you really must...

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Vapors Are Back In Business

So here is the news that fans of The Vapors have been waiting over 30 years to hear. The band are and rehearsing for some UK and Ireland dates in the autumn. I can't wait to see one of my all time favourite bands play live as I was too young to see them first time around. Click here to go to the bands facebook page.

At the beginning of 2015 I was fortunate enough to meet Dave Fenton. I was writing a book to rasie funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity where I met and photographed people. I managed to track Dave down and he immediately agreed to me. We met outside Big Ben and I got my News At Ten photo for the book. The photo below is one that I didn't use in the book. Lives & Times was published last November and has raised over £1350 for the charity. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and is still fighting this awful illness. The cancer has spread to her brain and she is now in hospital after her condition recently deteriorated. 

Although The Vapors are best known for their massive 1980 worldwide hit Turning Japanese, I was a massive fan of their second single News At Ten. It should have been a massive hit, but lack of exposure, including a strike at BBC's Top Of The Pops resulted in the single just missing out making the UK Top 40.

I have already booked my ticket for their gig in Wolverhampton on November 19th. I am forever playing their compilations on my iPod and the one track I am desperate for them to play on tour is Letter From Hiro, which is just most gorgeous song!

Monday, 22 February 2016

Eddie Macdonald from The Alarm has a new band Smalltown Glory

Smalltown Glory is the new musical venture by Eddie Macdonald, co-founding member of The Alarm. Eddie has put together a three piece band which includes Paul Evans and Charlie Fowler. This is Eddie's first proper venture back into mainstream music since The Alarm folded in 1991. In the intervening years he has forged a successful career as a commercial photographer.

The band's debut six track release, Tenements Commandments EP Vol. 1 is available exclusively on Pledge Music, and it has already smashed through its target. To  buy the Tenements Commandments EP Vol. 1 on Pledge Music click here.

It's a welcome return for Eddie, and the songs the three piece have put together for this first release are stunning. Eddie has lost nothing of the knack for coming up with a decent tune. His songwriting partnership with Mike Peters in The Alarm was the driving force behind many of the band's finest songs.

I have already got my download copy of the EP and if you are a fan of Eddie or The Alarm you won't be disappointed. Nigel Twist from The Alarm makes a guest appearance on drums and the final track is a new 2016 version of Third Light by The Alarm. I am looking to see the band play live later this year, and I am already anticipating more new material.

Eddie has been a great supporter of the Lives & Times fundraising book I recently published to raise funds for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. My mum has been fighting cancer since 2012. I was lucky enough to meet and photograph Eddie and Nigel for the book in London.