Showing posts with label pkimage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pkimage. Show all posts

Wednesday 29 May 2013

Photos May 2013

Some exciting times in May!
Viking Galaxy played King Tuts on 17th May to a packed and enthusiastic crowd it was all very exciting really!    
I go to many fun gigs - yet it is hard to explain what its like when it is your son's gig at such an iconic venue as 

King Tuts Glasgow. On the stairs are painted the lists of top bands who have performed here over the years. Simply ultra cool! : ))  
Emeli Sande sang at the White House for a tribute to the incredible singer songwriter Cariole King!  How amazing that must have been for her.

Some exciting new music releases in 2013 - Biffy Clyro, Haim, James Blake, Laura Marling - who has taken things back to guitar, voice and song (minus band) which perfectly showcases her intimate sound.  

Copyright. I try to be patient when I find my images being used on any major websites or for other promotions such as flyers without requesting my permission for the use of the images…? Most media people are fully aware they should contact the author in the first instance. One site using my image was the Arts Council of England!  Very strange really. Links are always appreciated, but for all my efforts to get the image not really enough.
Music and Portrait Photography. Celtic Connections, Edinburgh Festival.

Monday 29 October 2012

Photography Inspirations

I first got inspired by photography through the amazing images in Life magazine, Vogue and later in Vanity Fair. I can’t remember exactly when, but I don’t remember a time that I wasn’t drawing either fashion, ballet or portraits -

Thursday 31 May 2012

*New Scottish Portrait Gallery

I visited the recently refurbished Scottish Portrait Gallery a month back and left somewhat disappointed. It is housed in an imposing sandstone building that sits on the corner of Queen street and down from George Street.The gallery owns 3,000 paintings and sculptures, 25,000 prints and drawings and 38,000 historic and modern photographs.

I can’t help but wonder that it’s location amidst the Hanoverian Edinburgh new town has affected the choice over whose portrait is considered important enough to be displayed in the new collection – rather than be stashed in it’s rather full basement. I wasn’t sure what I had expected after reading the hype but certainly a gallery proud of Scottish heritage and reflecting both Scottish traditions and Scottish contemporary artists with the main focus on portraiture. However many of the inclusions appear obscure.   

I went with my two older children and they were not impressed either. They thought the boring dark images of past kings and queen, who all look the same strangely, held no interest for them. My son was puzzled by the inclusion of a whole section of shiny and not very good photos of Asian families which he said seemed rather incongruous.  

The photographic images that stood out were - Mark Neville - Port Glasgow Town Hall Christmas Party 2004; Oscar Marzoroli - The Castlemilk Lads 1963, an iconic image by an Italian photographer; A Photo of Bob Dylan in Princes Street; the portrait of Robert Burns and of Mary Queen of Scots on the third floor.

The gallery celebrates many respected photographers, which is fine, but there lacks an emphasis on portraiture. Many of the most significant Scottish writers, poets, artists, and musicians appeared to be missing and the displays seemed ill thought out. I was puzzled by some of the inclusions as to why they were considered portraits at all.
Scottish Writers, Poets, Artists and Politicians Not on Display -  Liz Lochead (Scottish Makar), Carol Ann Duffy, Hamish Henderson, Norman McCaig, Sorely MacLean, Iain Crichton Smith, Jim Kelman, Alex Salmond, Gordon Brown...
Today I read an article in the Scotsman (below ) and agreed with so much of it. (Extract below) Lesley Riddoch points out that the Portrait gallery appears to focus on the Upper Classes and in this sense does not represent the inclusive forward thinking Scotland of today. 

THE National Portrait Gallery lacks images of Scots the general public would recognise or could name, writes Lesley Riddoch, May 2012
Is the Scottish Portrait Gallery capturing the zeitgeist of modern Scotland? Is it meant to?
Reaction to the gallery’s renovation has been overwhelmingly positive since it reopened at Christmas. There’s no question the building’s interior looks splendid – but what about the contents? I found myself mightily disappointed by the relative absence of modern Scots on display and slightly bored by the much larger areas given over to “imperial history.” Hey ho, I thought. That’s just me. 
But then last week, the genial giant and subversive sculptor George Wyllie died and I found myself thinking about his curious absence from our National Portrait Gallery. George was universally popular. With the Straw Locomotive, 80-foot Paper Boat, giant nappy pin outside the Glasgow Maternity Hospital and Walking Clock outside the bus station, George fused everyday life, industrial heritage and Glasgow humour together like a master welder.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Loss of Robin Gibb

The Enduring Songs of the Bee Gees

For a while ‘disco’ went out of fashion and so did the Bee Gees songs. They drew a lot of attention for their songs for the cult movie Saturday Night Fever in 1977 (Night Fever, More Than A Woman, Jive Talking, You Should be Dancing) and also for the movie Staying Alive in 1983.

But the caricature of Travolta in his white suit, while successful did little for the Bee Gees image, as Disco fever became passé with the advent of punk.
And so the Bee Gees began writing songs for other artists – the incredible ‘Islands in the Stream’ was covered by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rodgers. Yet check the BeeGees own version which I much prefer.

I first heard the Bee Gees songs when Massachusetts, How Deep is Your Love, Gotta Get a Message To You were played at the end of Disco dance nights and I thought the close harmonies and powerful emotions of the songs really stood out.

If you check their back catalogue they have written so many unforgettable songs. Recently on YouTube I discovered some amazing clips from a concert the Bee Gees did in Las Vegas in 1997.  

Just two weeks back I found this song they wrote for Celine Dion ‘Immortality’, yet again I thought wow. 

They always knew the heart of the song, and they never over sang or over played their songs. Robin Gibb sang  Massachusetts and he had an awesome falsetto voice. He was such a great and unassuming talent.

(Robin's twin Maurice died in 2003. Robin is survived by older brother Barry Gibb.)

The Bee Gees have sold in excess of 200 million records worldwide. At least 2,500 artists have recorded their songs. Their most popular composition is "How Deep Is Your Love", with 400 versions by other artists in existence.
Among the artists who have covered their songs are Ardijah, Michael Bolton, Boyzone, Eric Clapton, Billy Corgan, Destiny's Child, Faith No More, Feist, The Flaming Lips, Al Green, Jinusean, Elton John, Tom Jones, Janis Joplin, Lulu, Elvis Presley, Nina Simone, Percy Sledge, Robert Smith, Take That, and John Frusciante. The band's music has also been sampled by dozens of hip hop artists.

Celine Dion ‘Immortality’

Friday 25 May 2012

*Great Scottish Bands

For such a small country Scotland has had an amazing number of very creative artists and scientists. People in countries like Japan think a lot of our indie music.  Here are some great Scottish bands in no particular order. These bands are still out there touring the world.

Biffy Clyro -

Primal Scream  -

Belle and Sebastian   -

Simple Minds -

Travis -

Deacon Blue -

Del Amitri -

The Sensational Alex Harvey Band -

Runrig -

King Creosote -

Frightened Rabbit -

Franz Ferdinand -

Battlefield band -

Mogwai  -

Sunday 20 May 2012

Admiral Fallow Photos King Tuts

I took photos of this up and coming Scottish band Admiral Fallow at King Tuts Glasgow - and I noticed how much fun they were having on stage. Oddly.  I was checking through my images of new Scottish musicians and posted this blog last night  - and low and behold they are releasing their second album "Tree Bursts In Snow" Monday 21st and getting good reviews. I'm getting psychic now!?  
Admiral Fallow formed in 2007 and is led by singer song-writer Louis Abbott and based in Glasgow. They write and perform folk/ pop. Their first album “Boots Met My Face” was released in the UK and worldwide in 2011. Their song "Squealing Pigs" was  used on NBC's Chuck, featured in a commercial and was performed live on BBC television's Hogmanay Live 2011.In July 2009 the band headlined the Sunday night T Break stage at T in the Park. They have also played at the Wee Chill, Rockness, Loopallu Festival and Insider festivals. The band has supported many artists - including Guillemots, King Creosote, the Futureheads, Paolo Nutini, Frightened Rabbit, Belle and Sebastian, The Low Anthem. In 2011 the band played a UK headline tour and also attended Austin, Texas for SxSW 2011. Shows followed in New York. UK summer 2011 festivals included Glastonbury, Latitude, Cambridge Folk Festival, Green Man, End of The Road. They co-headlined the HMV Next Big Thing Festival 2012 and are touring for their next album release 21 May 2012 of Tree Bursts In Snow. The band members are -. Louis Abbott, Kevin Brolly, Philip Hauge, Sarah Hayes, Joe Rattray. 

Wednesday 16 May 2012

*Where are the Troubadours?

Singer songwriter legend John Martyn, famous for 'May You Never'
'The highlight of my career? That's easy, Elvis recording one of my songs.' Bob Dylan. 

Our most loved singer song writers become like our best friends. 

In ages past there were Troubadours who toured their songs. It used to be (not so long ago too) that young artists would get out and perform on the circuit of live folk clubs, uni refectories and local bars in the UK and Europe and elsewhere. It used to be not so long ago that creativity was alive and well in the world of music. Back then it was all more organic rather than a production line. Musicians then played 'residencies' where they might hone their song craftsmanship through the varied experience of playing to a live audience. In the 50s singers toured with the Big bands and money was made through the Publishers Sheet music.

Since the advent of recorded music the Studio (and therefore Radio too) has taken precedence in music. Recorded music has led to a break down of boundaries of place and time and has also brought about vast changes to our tastes. The drums of Africa have mixed with the European folk tunes, the sitar with pop, the jazz clarinet with the violin solo, the rock of The Who with modern electronica.The advent of the iPod broadened our taste yet again with thousands of instant tracks. Of course 'quantity is the opposite of 'quality.'
There are problems now over who should define or select the great from the average. Who are the 'experts' in music anymore? There are the taste makers the Labels, the music reviewers and music websites. It used to be that the Royal Court would decide which artists to commission - who decides today?       

I read about writers and producers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
They wrote - HoundDog, Stand By Me and many other great rock and roll hits. Yet how many have heard of these incredibly gifted artists? I don't understand the system at all and I am not an Elvis fan for a start - give me the singer songwriter any time. Apparently Elvis added the line to HoundDog 'Aint' nothing but a rabbit and he ain't no friend of mine.'
For me the voice of the writer of the song simply has more to say to me.

Quote from Mike Stoller, 'Beyond the brilliance of his mind and the mastery of his story telling, Jerry had in abundance two beautiful qualities that guaranteed his immortality. Jerry had spirit and Jerry had soul. '
'He could sing - and man, he sang as midnight. By the way he interpreted lyrics, we were sure he'd grown up in the same ghetto as us,' Quote vocalist Carl Gardener. 

It is only through knowing the 'knowledge' of the 'old' that the young can build something great. There are still some great Troubadours here in Scotland, who have great individual strength of character and something that matters to say in their voice, music and songs - Dick Gaughan, Michael Marra, Rab Noakes.... I'm just not sure where the young Troubadours are though?   

Folk Songs and Pop Tunes, ballads are ?

Folk songs may not grab you first time- but they get under your skin in a more subtle way and you never tire of them - unlike the simple pop tune. 

I'm always rather puzzled by the loosely defined definitions regarding songs or tunes between the genres. A song sung by a folk balladeer is a 'folk song' wheras a song sung by a pop star is a 'pop ballad.'
Folk singers and Dylan wrote and sang highly memorable 'folk ballads'. Some pop singers sing formulaic and forgettable 'ballads'. What is the difference though, after all I hear some dull folk songs as well as dull pop songs?  
The dictionary defines the Ballad as -  a narrative song with a recurrent refrain; a slow sentimental song, especially a pop song.
The folk song as - a song that has been handed down the generations; a modern song that reflects the folk idiom.

I was sitting at Prestwick airport and heard this truly awful whiny song. I asked my son who it was, he said that ridiculous Justin Beiber. I said that he reminded me of 'Donny Osmond' in the 70s and his soppy ballad 'They Call this Puppy Love'!   

Well that's the difference to me between the folk ballad and the 'soppy pop ballad'? That song by Beiber is a soppy shallow empty pop Ballad. By comparison Someone Like You by Adele is heart wrenching with it's honesty of emotion.    

Awful ballads? An example might be James Blunt's cheesy ballad song 'You Are Beautiful.'  It is so hackneyed and has those over-used tired old clichés and song formulas. My ears would feel ill on hearing this song and need to listen to some Dylan to feel better! 
Westlife ballads use those predictable key changes when the boys manage to rise up off their tall stools..... oh dear...

The soppy pop ballad is written to a formula and lacks emotional realness or any credibility. To me the difference is 'substance' and having something to say. Those unforgettable folk ballads offer new insights with imaginative and creative melodies and words. It is also in the music production.  
And sometimes 'cheesy' can be good too! 

The Best Songs
Occasionally a song comes along that transcend the personal as it has a universal emotion we can all recognise an share in. 
Good Examples - Let It Be, Imagine, Stand By Me, Here Comes The Sun, Case of You, Something, Islands in the Stream, Reason to Believe, Sound of Silence,

The Ballad of Hollis Brown 

Best Folk Songs
Westlin Winds
Outlaws and Dreamers
Both Sides the Tweed
Girl From the North Country
Vision of Joanna,
Who knows Where the Time Goes
The Blacksmith
Are you Going To Scarborough Fair 

Thursday 3 May 2012

*Head and Heart

Head and Heart were fun to shoot at the beautiful Oran Mor auditorium. They were supporting The Low Anthem last year.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

*Dick Gaughan Interview with Phil Cunningham

This photo of Gaughan was taken at Milngavie Folk Club in 2011
Dick Gaughan Interview with Phil Cunningham Radio Scotland March 2012
Dick chose five songs that have influenced him –
(1) Big Bill Broonzy – Glory of Love
(2) The Shadows – Apache
(3) The Beatles – Love Me Do
(4)  Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
(5)  Davy Graham – 67

Gaughan talked about his musical influences. His chat is often profound, sometimes humorous and always entertaining.
He said that The Shadows were the first eclectic guitar group and that back then we were discovering all these new sounds for the first time. Before that nearly every American singer  seemed to be called ‘Frankie’ and sang songs about what it was like ‘to be a young lad at summer camp!’   
Gaughan said that ‘Love Me Do’ from the Beatles was another defining song.

He became obsessed with songs - he was like a magpie and studied songs at the National Library. In 1979 the Thatcher government made him first think about ‘why’ he was singing the songs and he became a political artist then. He said that Traditional music is about fair play, the totality of life and about the community.
Nowadays the barrage of media attempts to put forwards ‘one’ message he claimed and he likes to be part of what he calls the ‘awkward squad’ who are the grain of sand in the ointment and have other ways of looking at reality - and try to at least think about it!
He spoke about Dylan’s beautifully crafted songs that punched out images such as ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’. Gaughan played with Aly Bain’s Boys of the Lough and a punk band called Five Hand Reel. Like many others on the folkscene back then he developed a drink problem and then he had a breakdown. He had to clean up and dry up.
Lastly he talked about Davy Graham’s guitar which was tuned differently. His musical ideas were unbelievably creative - he was predictably unpredictable!  Hearing Graham's guitar it becomes clear where Gaughan had learned his distinctive playing style from. His list of favourite song choices is interesting too and shows the breadth of his roots in both traditions and more contemporary musical styles. 

Gaughan is best known for singing the songs Both Sides the Tweed and Westlin’ Winds. 
Some very few artists have the ability to transport and transcend the moment, and Dick does so with forceful guitar playing and classic traditional songs with a strong message and a deep expressive, growling voice.  He draws from both Irish and Scottish folk traditions. I first heard Gaughan play in the 70s in Edinburgh when I was dating a folk guitarist who raved about how incredible and very distinctive his playing was. Many years later (after being in America for nearly ten years and having three children) I heard Dick again at Milngavie Folk club in 2007, and this was an intimate gig where his chat between songs was worth going for alone. In his own so distinctive style, Gaughan hammers and speaks with his acoustic guitar. He performs traditional folk tunes, Robert Burns, favourite cover songs and his own songs.
He doesn't play the predictable smoothed-over sugar box 'tartan shortbread' songs - and he may not be to everyone's taste. Gaughan is plain spoken and holds firmly held beliefs on the rights of everyman and at one time he took past folk stories and songs from the library archives and put new melodies to them. You come away from his gigs questioning but ultimately renewed in the faith of our shared humanity. Dick Gaughan is a Scottish living legend, and he usually performs every January at 'Celtic Connections' Glasgow.   

Monday 30 April 2012

*Greatest Covers

John Lennon- Stand By Me

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah

Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind

Dick Gaughan - Both Sides The Tweed

Rab Noakes - Moonlight and Gold

Adele -   Make You Feel My Love

Chrissie Hyde - Angel of the Morning

Rolling Stones - Like A Rolling Stone

Frank Sinatra - Send in the Clowns

Greatest Singers (for me)
Oddly the above! 
I might add Dylan - for his questioning voice. 

I enjoy voices that are real and have substance.
Listen to some of the greatest recorded singers – singers that use the magnetism, the tones, and the soft and harder edged subtleties of voice...Billie Holliday, Sinatra, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Dylan, Buckley, Lennon – and one thing is clear, great art is about character.

The voice is one of the best instruments when used well, while beautiful songs matter too….
Mostly I love the voices of singer songwriters and the passion and edge in singers like Otis Redding or Dylan. It is not simply about perfect technique of voice. Some use inspired phrasing and subtle tones and interpretations of the song. A hypnotic voice means you can be lost in the moment. Some voices simply grab our attention with a magnetism of voice – they make it all seem effortless yet full of passions, moving edge and depth.

QUOTES Jeff Buckley -
‘Music comes from a primal place…
I’ve always felt that the quality of the voice is where the real content of a song lies. Words only suggest an experience, but the voice is that experience.’

Saturday 21 April 2012

Emeli Sande Photos 2012

 Emeli Sande BLOGS  -

*Emeli Sande Olympic Torch Relay

*Emeli Sande Old Fruitmarket Glasgow 2012

*Emeli Sande wins the Brits Critics' Choice award -

*Emeli Sande Old Fruitmarket Glasgow 2012

She sings with conviction and hope. What is so cool with Sande is that she keeps it real and old fashioned and about heart and the song. 
Emeli Sande held court at the old worldly Old Fruitmarket Glasgow in April. She is from Aberdeen and previously studied medicine at Glasgow university.

Emily Sande headlined her return gig to Glasgow and she performed songs from her Platinum number one selling debut album, Our Version of Events, which was released in February 2012. Sandé has had two number-one UK charts singles “Read All About It” and “Next To Me” and released her debut single “Heaven” in 2011 which made No 2 in the UK Singles Chart and was also a worldwide hit. Sande has been writing songs for other singers the past years and she has also performed as a guest singer on other artist's albums.
There appeared to be an agenda for big uplifted hairstyles at this gig – re the support acts Seye and Manchester singer Daley! 
Sande owned the stage and she moved around so much when she performed with her band it was hard going for the press photographers to keep up with her!  The excitement before the gig waiting in the pit was palpable and it is intense work at this kind of gig – I have to let my camera do the work....I hope.

She began the set with her forte the 'power ballad with a message' and the song Daddy, followed by dramatic thoughtful songs with Tiger, Suitcase and This Is Where I Sleep. After which Emeli took to piano where her journey began to take the set down for the moving song Clown, followed by Breaking The Law which was also acoustically performed with backing guitar and gave her the chance to express her voice clearly.  Before singing Mountains she said this song was written for her parents. She then took the pace up again with surging new single My Kind of Love.

Her new song Wonder struck many chords with one of those singable choruses she does so well, there were some shades of Coldplay in the chorus and this new songs is surely another hit for her. 'We are all wonderfulpeople/ Why are we so fearful/ Finally finding our voices' - she sang in her hit song with Professor Green. Sande states that her songs are about world peace and political issues.  Emeli finished her gig with a flourish and many in the lively crowd sang along to her songs Wonder, Heaven and Next To Me.  

The strongest parts of the concert were Read all About It, her latest single My Kind of Love and new song Wonder.  One tip - She has a band of excellent musicians with her and one might have wished for them to have been given more opportunities to add to the music.  She has a powerhouse emotional voice that smashes her memorable songs. All in all a most heartfelt, warm and enjoyable feel good gig.

She sings with conviction and hope. In a world full of shallow celebrities, here is a woman of some character and substance. There are not so many strong singers these days who can also write quality songs. What is so cool with Sande is that she keeps it real and old fashioned and about heart and the song.  

It was good to meet her very proud parents. I have met Sande too and she has a warm sincere smile and she spoke of her musical influences with great earnestness. She said she also missed her days in the library, and it cannot have been an easy decision for her to take the risks of pursuing music and to forsake the more regular career path of medicine.  Sande will again be supporting Coldplay on tour. Her next single My Kind of Love will have a tear jerker video. Her album is due for release in America in June and I’d expect her to get good vibes there. Emeli Sandé is a Scottish R and B and soul artist and songwriter.  Sande won the 'Brits Critics' Choice award 2012.

Set List -  Daddy/ Tiger/ Suitcase/ This Is Where I Sleep/ Clown(piano)/ Breaking The Law/ Mountains/ My Kind of love/ Read all About It (Professor Green)/ Maybe/ River(piano)/ Hope/ Wonder/ Heaven/ Next To Me.   

Thursday 19 April 2012

Katie Sutherland at the Oran Mor

I took photos of Katie Sutherland at the Oran Mor Glasgow in April 2012. She was with a band called Pearl and the Puppets who played several big support slots and had songs picked up with commercials and films. I've taken photos of Pearl since 2009 and she is fun to take photos of with her expressive doe eyes.

I took photos of Katie Sutherland last week at the Oran Mor Glasgow in April 2012. She was with a band called Pearl and the Puppets who played several big support slots and had songs picked up with commercials and films. I've taken photos of Pearl since 2009 and she is fun to take photos of with her expressive voice.

Katie and her band gave us an entertaining set of quality songs. Singer songwriter Katie Sutherland introduced her band as now simply her ‘band’ and not the ‘Puppets’ anymore – they consist of Blair McMillan (drums), Gordon Turner (guitar), Scott Clark (bass) and Michael Abubakar (keyboard).
Set List: I hope you like It, I Can Drive, Complicated, I Love You So Much, I Do Like You, This Is What Its all About, How lucky I Am, Sinner, Let It In, 

Katie supplies the lead vocal and also plays guitar and mandolin. Her voice is engaging, natural and soothing.
She thanked all those who have pledged for her new album – and she sang several songs from the album including Sinner, That’s What It’s all About and more, and she said she would be recording the album in June. Several of her songs have positive themes with titles such as "Because I Do" and "Make Me Smile"
In 2009 she drew attention for her music and was signed by Universal. She played some big gigs that included the BBC One Scotland Hogmanay Live, supporting Elton John and The Hoosiers and main stages at music festivals Rockness and Wickerman. 

Pearl and the Puppets were a band led by singer songwriter Katie Sutherland (vocals/guitar), Blair McMillan (drums), Gordon Turner (guitar), Scott Clark (bass) and Michael Abubakar (keyboard). In 2008, the band's song "Because I Do" was featured on a Vodaphone advertisement. Their song "Make Me Smile" was featured in a Victoria Secret advertisement in the USA and an Orange advertisement in Romania. 

*The LA sound - The Byrds to The Eagles

Crosby, Stills and Nash; Neil Young; Joni Mitchell; David Geffen. And The Laid back acoustic sound of Laurel Canyon - All about the SONG

In the early 70s LA became the centre of the music business as young artists moved there rather than to New York city. Artists came to play the well renowned LA Troubadour venue.

The artist was the centre of the business, which was driven by the songwriter and by self publishing singer songwriters. Crosby, Stills and Nash were known for their beautiful 3 part harmonies and exquisitely roving melodies. Then we had flower power and hippies.

Carole King and James Taylor moved there from New York and King’s Tapestry album spent15 weeks at no 1. 

Ambition and idealism ‘counter culture' was the name of the game.
However.....eventually the business men moved in and it became more about managers and lawyers - more about business and less about the music. The Corporation of Rock.

Recently I thought... where are the great songs of today? 
And so I begin to wonder about the cheap club nights and that's what ears get used to.... and that it is it simply not about THE SONG anymore?
In my view the cheapening of music has led to some kind of diluted commodity with no thought about quality anymore.

Unbelievable clip  -
John Lennon and Paul Simon present the Best Song Award 1975 at the Grammy's when Olivia Newton John beats icons - Elton John, Joni Mitchell and Roberta Flack!!
The Industry never ceases to amaze me! 

 Most amazing CLIP of Judy Blue Eyes ( Joni mitchell)