11 – 13 JUNE 2010 – DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL, DONNINGTON, UK

I’ve just been on an exciting journey with Godsized who played to the largest amount of people in their career so far, opening the 2nd Stage for the Saturday – a tent capacity of 5,000 people. Exhausted, still slightly damp from the torrential rain on the way home I write this. We arrived and set up camp on Friday early afternoon and wandered around the festival to check out the stage that they would be playing, got some drinks and had a very chilled out afternoon while the boys prepared themselves for the morning. We enjoyed AC/DC’s set and got a relatively early night. We did wonder exactly how many people would grace the 2nd stage hung-over at 11am the morning, especially after the show that AC/DC put on! Everyone woke to alarms (yes alarms at a festival) at about 7:30am as the guys had to showered and be at the stage for 9am to get their gear set up and sound checked. I followed shortly after and took a walk to the tent. This is what it looked like at 10am. Deserted! As the noise started emanating while they were sound checking, people started appearing from nowhere…The delay in […]

AN AFTERNOON WITH GUTHRIE GOVAN & ALEX HUTCHINGS

I must admit, on being booked to shoot with Guthrie and Alex I had no idea who either of them were. I was told that Alex was known around the world and Guthrie was “Britain’s best kept secret” and had toured with Dizzee Rascal among others. I looked on the internet for some more information to be prepared and get inspired for the photo shoot. I was impressed. Very impressed, and was looking forward to the shoot. We met up in Hackney at a photo studio I use often. Guthrie arrived first and we spoke a little while I set up my lights. Alex arrived shortly after, suitcase of clothing and suggested that they have a jam as he had all his live gear in the car from a show the night before. Guthrie was well up for the idea and I was of course eager to hear them both play. It would bring a natural approach to the shoot as I could tell neither of them was ecstatic to be posing for shots, but know it’s a necessary evil for promotion. They jammed for about 3 hours. At times I had to remember I was there to be taking […]

PHIL DEMMEL LOVES ROCKY

Every time Machine Head are in London we always hang out. Today I had a shoot with Phil for Ed Stone Rockwear. I went earlier in the day after they had sound checked to see them all. Last week I had quite a bad fall and bruised my fibula bone – thankfully it wasn’t broken. Hobbling with my camera gear I wasn’t going to miss seeing the guys! Phil had some press interviews with Jackson guitars just before his shoot with me so I had plenty of time to set up. I spotted a small figure of Rocky Balboa resting on his guitar rack which sparked a debate as to which of the movies was the best. I personally love Rocky IV, but Phil’s favourite is Rocky. We had a picture together including Rocky to commemorate, both clearly doing impressions of Stallone. He then wore a couple of new Ed Stone designs and I got him to pose with his Randy Rhoads guitar as it’s one of my favourites that he plays. I went to catch up with Dave in the dressing room after I had packed down. He was loading the new Ratt and Rob Zombie CD’s onto his […]

10TH OCTOBER 2009 – DREAM THEATER & OPETH AT WEMBLEY

A double-whammy booking I had for Ed Stone Rockwear with Mike Portnoy AND Mikael Alerfeldt at their Wembley show. I had worked with Mikael before, but not Mike, and I’ve always liked him when watching behind the scenes footage on Dream Theater DVD’s. Arriving at Wembley I was to meet the Tour Manager in the underground parking lot and be taken to where the shoot is. I was hoping for a really cool area to do the shoot as usually I have to make so with a pokey dressing room corner or a paint peeling corridor. At Wembley they should have some nice areas for pics. There was a photo shoot actually going on with Big Elf, Opeth and Dream Theater in the parking lot when I got there, I thought maybe this is where it will end up being. Press had over run, photo shoots had overrun too so I was in for a wait. Plenty of time to find a section to do the shoot in with the Tour Manager Steve. I ended up setting my gear up in front of the rolling doors. They had these large plastic curtains – like the kind you would find in […]

14th & 15th AUGUST 2009 – BLOODSTOCK FESTIVAL, DERBY, UK

Last time I was at Bloodstock was in 2007 and it was an absolute blast so I was excited to be going again this year. Working for Devolution & Terrorizer Magazine and also Ed Stone Rockwear…

I travelled up with Godsized – due to open 2nd stage – the Sophie Lancaster Stage on the Friday evening. Arriving slightly later into the Friday due to a Steak pit stop – if you have to know anything about Godsized they really love their Steak! Finally arriving at the venue, it’s an absolute nightmare to find where to go. We end up camping with the caterers behind the 2nd stage tent. Thinking a 1:30am curfew on that stage would be totally fine for us and karaoke can’t be that bad. WRONG! hahaha. We heard System of a Down and Guns and Roses being absolutely murdered! I started work by photographing the Godsized boys on the 2nd stage and did a little filming for them too. The tent was full and it was such a good start to the festival. Backstage I found this random sign where the bands kit is supposed to go. I did wonder whether it was a failed piece of artwork […]

18 – 22 JUNE 2009, HELLFEST, CLISSON – FRANCE

Firstly I was very fortunate to even make Hellfest. I had my ears syringed and unfortunately the doctor didn’t do it correctly resulting in a perforation in my left ear drum. An infection got in which left me with a swollen face, couldn’t eat or anything and some hearing impairment which I’m hoping will heal. I was on codeine and paracetamol and 3 lots of strong antibiotics. Still, me being a stubborn me bought some pro earplugs and went on my way to France – after all I had it all booked and wasn’t going to miss out.

I initially was to write a diary-like entry on here but didn’t want to bore you all with my drivel. So here’s the festival trip in brief: THURSDAY/FRIDAY…. • Killer of a journey – 11 hours all told from London – Lille – Kortrijk – Clisson. • Glorious sunshine and very impressive visuals at the festival. Arrived slightly later into the Friday – Buckcherry were on and playing ‘Crazy Bitch’. What a nice welcome :) • Friday I shot – Voivod, W.A.S.P., Anthrax, Papa Roach and Down • Hung with Parkway Drive who are awesome dudes. I think they used their meal tickets […]

MACHINE HEAD AT THE O2 WITH METALLICA

I was majorly excited about this show, and the first time I shot at the O2 Arena. Everything was a major rush as the transport to the O2 had issues as the tubes were closed, so it was replacement bus services and the ferry if you booked in time. I managed to make it to the venue with moments to spare before Machine Head took the stage. Annoyingly the venue wasn’t full at the sold out show for their set because I think everyone else had the same problems getting there. My pass was slapped on me by the Production Manager and off I went into the pit. A little unsure of where I was allowed to go as the stage was literally in the middle of the venue like a circle with the sound desk to one side. A lot of gesturing and nodding went on while taking pictures and running around. Talk about an adrenaline rush! Once I finished shooting the 3 songs I didn’t see where everyone got escorted to, so I checked with security that I would be able to watch the rest of the set from inside the pit as long as I didn’t take […]

ALL HOPE IS GONE TOUR, LONDON UK

At the Hammersmith Apollo with Machine Head supporting Slipknot was great! I arrived early into Machine Head’s press schedule and hung with Al in the Production Office while I waited for Phil to finish up and interview. Dave walked in with a huge smile and we hugged and caught up before he has to go and have his hourly fix of Starbucks. It was so cold here for him that he put on the thickest winter coat with fur trim before he braves the elements. I was just in a vest and jacket, but then again he is from Alameda, California so I couldn’t really blame him. Phil finishes up and gets ready for the shoot, looking at the new Ed Stone designs he’s going to wear. He suggested posing with his new Jackson custom with ram’s horns at the 12th fret. Of course I was up for that and we did the shoot. I did wonder afterwards about the hair band over his fingers like that but forgot to ask in the rush of everything. I will find out for you, if you’re intrigued like me. Back in the Production Office, Cheeky got the set lists ready and sorted […]