Britpop United: Second Shoot

Here’s my second shoot with the excellent “Britpop United” in and around my very own Strangetown Studio. Their first shoot included a fifth member who later left the band and so new images were needed to reflect the new line-up. I have to say there seemed to be a better “vibe” about  the band this time around, with lots of banter and wind-ups.

I do enjoy band/musician shoots although it’s hard to avoid the cliches so it helps when the band already have a few ideas of their own and are aware of how their images are going to be used.  It also helps when the band come fully prepared with instruments and have discussed outfits in advance. Being a lovely bunch of guys is a bonus too.

I’m fortunate to have seen Britpop United (with this line-up) performing at a local scooter rally not long after they became a four-piece and thoroughly enjoyed their set.

You might be interested to have a look at Britpop United’s website, where you’ll find more photos plus videos and gig information.

Extreme Harping

Early evening, December, and I’m on a Birmingham rooftop photographing mega-talented harpist/tutor/entrepreneur Fran Barsby (of PoppyHarp) for a CD with a working title of (I think) “At the edge”. There’s a cold breeze and occasional spots of wintry rain. And it’s freezing!!!! Myself and my glamorous assistant Alastair Barnsley are wrapped up in thick coats, scarves, and wherever possible, gloves. Fran, however, is wearing what you can see in these images apart from brief moments in a coat as we walk between locations. I’m shivering just typing this. So just to make Fran REALLY uncomfortable, I persuaded her to climb onto various barriers and fences with her harp and try to balance. Easypeasy.

 

The Sweeney

You may have seen my last post about the excellent Daniel Specta who was one of two male models booked for the final session of the Portfolio Booster II course? Well, here is the other model from that evening – Sweeney. Sweeney has enjoyed some success as a rock guitarist but is such a lovely, gentle and polite young man (God, I must really sound old). I saw his portfolio online and decided at that moment that I must find a reason to photograph him. It didn’t occur to me later but I do think Sweeney looks rather like early Human League era Phil Oakey. What do you reckon?Anyway, here are a few of my favourites from the many images produced that evening…

The Beat Goes Bang

Another “6 degrees of separation” chain of coincidences and connections. Sean Williams is an old friend of mine from the days when we played in a couple of bands together. He has modelled for a couple of workshops for me and also happens to be the cousin of Pete Williams of Dexys (who I’d met through the same bands) and so Pete kindly asked me to shoot some promo pictures for him a couple of years ago. Now Sean is playing with The Beat Goes Bang, a band consisting of members of original 2-Tone band, The Beat. Sean put my name forward to photograph this band too and so I was delighted to go along to their rehearsal in Birmingham last week to take some promo photos of them too.

I took along a couple of speedlites and took a lot more more images than I’d expected to, both inside and outside the studio. Here is one of the group shots from outside…

A Swift Harp

I’ve photographed the multi-talented Fran “Poppy Harp” Barsby quite a few times over the last couple of years and last week I had the opportunity to see the performing “harpist” and “event organiser” aspect of her very diverse range of talents.

Fran had organised a harp music event in Digbeth, Birmingham entitled Hidden Gem by The Future Blend Project and I (along with a couple of intrepid members of FOTO-CLUB) went along to record the event photographically.

The guys who arrived early were able to get some great shots of the setting up of the event as well as non-performers trying out some of the fantastic range of harps that were being prepared for the show.

However,  I arrived rather later (don’t ask) but was in plenty of time for the start of the show. What I hadn’t reckoned on, however, was that the concert was being recorded too which meant that our noisy DSLR shutters were messing up the sound recordings even from some distance away. This meant that I didn’t get as many shots of the performance as I would have liked but it was a very enjoyable evening and we were treated to some simply beautiful new compositions and performances. Here are a few shots from the event…

The lady herself - Fran Barsby

The lady herself – Fran Barsby