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.

Tuesday 28 September 2010

Folk Nights Edinburgh

As I descended the narrow steps to the Royal Oak folk club in Edinburgh, I heard the rich energy of the folk band Bellevenue Rendezvous. We were greeted by a tall grinning man with a long shaggy beard and large smile who introduced the band in his broad Irish brogue and curled his voice with relish around the words. The club had that perfect warm folk  vibe that lets you know instantly that you are going the to enjoy your visit. Ruth played a Swedish nickleharper - an instrument that is a cross between a violin and a piano and she told us that it has a range of 3 and a half octaves. Gavin was an enthusiastic and fun fiddle player and the band mixed traditional and contemporary tunes. I've heard this band before and recommend them. 

Afterwards I made my way up to George IV Bridge to the famous the Sandy Bell's folk bar. that I used to haunt in my younger days, when I dated a folk guitarist. Such great FUN, and I got some cool pics..... many many memories here for me. 
 In the hub of Sandy Bells where smiles say it all - feet stomp, fiddle bows fly - and I reflect on those who have played here before.