Dec 29

A Decade of Stories. Part 8. A Gig on a Skyscraper.

If words were food, this email I got from Metal Hammer in 2017 would be a medium-well steak drizzled with peppercorn sauce, served with fries and salad;   “How do you feel about a trip to Norway?”   Ooh, an adventure. Norway is on my ‘must-visit’ list. I replied a ‘hell yeah’, and repeatedly refreshed my inbox waiting more info.   The booking, Satyricon’s album launch in their hometown of Oslo, with 300 die-hard fans… and get this….   It’s taking place ON THE ROOFTOP OF A SKYSCRAPER    Killer! I can’t think of a cooler location for an album launch. Can you?   One minor hiccup.   The journalist and I had tickets booked to arrive at different airports. He would arrive at Oslo Gardermoen, and me, at Oslo Torp – a 3 hour coach ride south of my mag buddy.    Brief visions of walking the streets of a foreign land aided by Google maps were soon calmed with a phone call and simple directions from the journalist who knows Norway better than I know my way around IKEA (very, very well).   Leaving London, I bought a book for the coach ride after the flight. It stayed […]
Dec 28

A Decade of Stories. Part 7. It only took 10 Years.

These stark white words on the TV screen fused themselves into my mind “it’s not the size of the man in the fight, but the size of the fight in the man”, as the screen faded to black and credits rolled. In 2005, I’d just watched the Making of ‘…Ashes…’ from Machine Head’s newly released ‘Elegies’ DVD.   Little did I know, those words would bring fortitude for me in the coming years.   I’d enjoyed Machine Head’s music and, after watching that dvd, admired them as a band. They spoke of real emotions, persistence, strength, and staying true – packaged in the heaviest way. Me likey.   During the days of MySpace, I was an ’up-and-coming photographer’, shooting 4/5 shows most weeks, building a folio for the coveted ‘bigger shows’, and remember clearly when someone asked “How will you know when you’ve ‘made it’?” Without hesitation, I replied, ‘I’ll be on tour with Machine Head as their photographer’. This was 2006.   Saying it out loud was weird. How would it even happen?! I’d never met, or photographed them.   The following year, I’d had my first high profile gig, and from then on, an insight into the rock […]

A Decade of Stories. Part 6. I F*cked Up.

Looking at this photo, I’m constantly reminded of the time I fucked up. I’d been booked by a magazine to shoot a 2 day festival they were sponsoring in the Kent countryside. They assigned me the Country & Blues stage.   First day of the festival turned very wet. So wet, that the printed stage times sheet going in and out of my pocket became soggy, ripped, and the ink smudged. I took 5 mins to reorganise myself, enter the stage times on my phone using a scheduler app complete with alarms that would sound in the pocket of my raincoat. Winner.   A closer look at the times meant later in the day there’d be enough time for me to jump in the main stage pit and snap some of those bands too (I like making the most of shooting festivals).   I also decided traipsing back and forth with my camera through the mud was great for my step count, but unnecessary; especially as the Country stage was furthest from the press tent. Staying at my assigned stage and downloading all the images later would be a good move.   Evening came and the skies cleared. Hooray! Ponchos […]
Dec 26

A Decade of Stories. Part 5. The Spinal Tap moment

I’d just been booked for my third cover in a row for Terrorizer, and was well and truly on a roll.   L.G. Petrov, came to the UK for press surrounding the return of his Swedish death metal band Entombed. The cover would be him emerging from a coffin – dark and dramatic. Back from the dead.   The label booked a small studio in Shepherds Bush with lighting setup included, and the coffin prop couriered from a hire company. It felt weird to travel light for this kinda session so I kept checking inside every pocket and zipped section of my camera bag, making sure I’d not forgotten anything.   Arriving, from the outside the studio looked small but the entrance door wall was made purely of windows which made such a difference.   I rang the bell and looked through the windows   NOOOOOOOOO!?!   The wooden coffin on the floor was for a child.   Entering the studio and getting closer to the coffin didn’t make it look any bigger either. Fuck.   L.G. hadn’t arrived yet, I didn’t have a clue how big he was, but me propping the coffin on it’s end and standing next […]