Wednesday 27 October 2010

Tim Robbins and The Rogues - Oran Mor 2nd October 2010

I was looking forward to hearing Mr Robbins live. Just a few months back I'd read Tim's thoughts on Dylan - and that his favourite song of all time was Joni's 'A Case of You.' I thought here's a guy with good taste in music - plus he acted the lead role in one of the best movies ever made.

Tim Robbins and his 6-piece band, the Rogues Gallery, played a highly entertaining set that went down well with a packed Oran Mor. Tim is 6ft 7 ( the tallest to person to receive an Oscar!) and his head practically touches the stage's ceiling - about which he makes a few jokes. He has a relaxed warm air about him for a Hollywood A lister and has a 6-piece top quality band with him - which included a mandolin, clarinet, accordion, double bass, many guitar changes! and drums. The band featured such talents as Roger Eno, David Coulter and Kate St John.

While his voice may not be the strongest and he is not a seasoned performer all his songs tell of an emotional journey and few artists do this well. He sang songs of Americana roots blues from his new album as well as songs by folk legends - Johnny Cash's 'Flosom Prison Blues', Tom Waits 'All The World is Green', and Billie Holliday's 'What A Little Moonlight Can Do' - as well as some more upbeat rocky numbers. He also had the crowd singing along for 'Mary Don't You Weep.' His liberal political views run through his music with songs such as 'Crush On You'; a song about meeting Mandela entitled ' Lighting Calls' and a 'Time To Kill' a song about talking with an Iraq war veteran.

Monday 25 October 2010

Hurts Oran Mor 4th October 2010

Hurts gave a operatic performance to an appreciative Oran Mor, as part of their first sold out UK tour. They played tracks from their new chart-topping album 'Happiness' - including 'Wonderful Life' and 'Better Than Love'. Hurts play 80s style synth pop with big melodies. They are a British duo from Manchester with singer Theo Hutchcraft and keyboard player Adam Anderson, and there was an expectant air to see this hot new duo.
They were supported by Clare Macguire in a dramatic scarlet red feathered outfit, performing with her rock band one of her very first live shows. She certainly wooed the crowd with her theatrical performance and power vocal- and there are big things expected from Clare. The gig was started with the lovely local Glasgow girl Kelsey Hunter on guitar.

Monday 18 October 2010

Edinburgh Book festival 2010

I come to my hometown on a sunny Tuesday - I come to be inspired, and it never disappoints. My theme is 'words' - perhaps oddly for a photographer? - and also fittingly I am covering the book festival.
I wrote back 2005 that Glasgow has so much music, but that Edinburgh has more stories, and it's as if they bubble up from the cobbled closes and the city of forgotten black spires, a hidden backdrop to those past stories.

Words and Folk nights Edinburgh! I had a bonny time at Edinburgh festival where character, poetry, art and music flourish for a few sunny weeks - actually it was freezing also in the press pod! I am incredibly proud of my book festival shoots - and such diverse, colourful and memorable figures from the worlds of Irish poetry, political thought, children's authors, dramatic thrillers, autobiographies and more - including Irish poet Seamus Heaney. This is the first serious portraits shots I've taken.
Randomness on Tuesday. At the Book Festival I met my cousin, and an old school friend and was also greeted as a 'long lost friend' by a friend of the famous Irish poet Seamus Heaney, who seemed to mistake me for Seamus Heaney's wife, who was coming in behind me! You could feel the love. Check his new book 'The Human Chain.'
The Book festival is very much for families, the well manner educated set and the literary set who wear light coloured jackets and cream hats. I attended a talk on the importance of the 'story' with the challenge and the resolution - that help us to make sense of our very random existence.

Saturday. Melvyn Bragg's talk. He spoke of his interest in living poets and the merits of Popular Culture as opposed to high culture - and he said that he wondered why all the great artists had to be dead to be considered great.

Friday 8 October 2010

Pretenders and Creep