Friday, 21 August 2009


The week begins on a Saturday sometimes. It was time for Club Cool vs Ligers & Dreams at Resistance Gallery; Guns 2 Roses were headlining, apparently the world's best Guns'N'Roses tribute band, or so some folks said.

The club is part of a growing scene coming out of Hackney Wick, combining dubstep and punk and the sort of cheaply-home-made-yet-highly-fashionable ethos of that part of town. It usually gets very busy and more than a bit messy. The first bands on were Molloy and then Tictac.

Then The Coolness came on. It's their club night. Their frontman, Chaz, is a nice enough fellow, and seems to have found a golden touch when it comes to promoting his events.

Clubs like this, they have started to feel like work, but not in a bad way. Rather, I go there looking for pictures. Still, it's nice to get to know the people who put on these nights, they tend to be quite dynamic people. Also, because Resistance is run by the Lucha Britannia manager, a lot of the Lucha crowd show up; it feels like our club. Here's Garry, head of Lucha (on the right) talking to Keith, and underneath my good friend Tammy, one of the Medical Bitches.

Guns 2 Roses had all sorts of technical problems. I have no idea why but it seems like the bigger bands, more used to touring, are far more likely to have technical trouble than bands which only play once a month. Regardless of the quality of the band, it was great to hear the tunes played live in a small club.

Obviously the crowd enjoyed it.

Afterwards there was a secret set by Yo Majesty, by which time the club had emptied a bit, but it was nonetheless rowdy in the extreme thanks to Mike and Jan from Dead Kids going balistic at the front of the audience.

Afterwards everyone was all smiles; they headed off to the afterparty, I went home to bed. I must be getting old.

Monday was a busy day; first of all my first cut-out shoot for a new client: Tesco. While cut-out photography is hardly as instantly exciting as shooting performance, as artistic as shooting fashion or as likely to get you meeting interesting people as portraiture, there is a sort-of striving for perfection that is satisfying in itself. Every time I find a new sort of photography to do, I become consumed with the learning process; whether it's shooting in a new venue, or just a completely new form, I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to do it best, even if that means squinting at packets of cosmetics in my bathroom at two in the morning. Monday also had another first: a test shoot for a girl I saw at Dice Club, who I hope to be able to find a modelling agency. I was pretty happy with the results, and got to work with some good new stylists.

Tuesday I got an email from one of our writers at lecool, asking if I'd like to shoot for one of the other sites he works for, Slutty Fringe. I said yes; although there was no offer of money, he's usually involved with interesting projects, and interesting projects, as well as having a certain value of their own, also tend to lead to other things to do, as well as raising your profile. As it happened, he immediately put me in touch with the people at Cargo, one of the larger, older Shoreditch venues. They asked if I could come along the next day to take some shots of some bands they had playing, offering money, free entry for me and my friends, and any drinks I wanted. I asked for soft drinks, he gave me beer and whiskey vouchers, which I handed out to people in return for taking their picture. Mostly though I was there for the band; I'd been asked to get shots for use in Mixmag. I think I did alright.

My final photos of the week come from tonight, which started with a trip to my old housemate's new studio on Hackney Road. He's a video artist called Mo Stoebe and one of the nicest people I've lived with. We played table tennis.

Then it was time to go back to the Gallery for Salon of Kinbaku, and Jon Blake's birthday party. People sometimes ask me if I'm involved in the scenes I shoot much. While it's true that I have friends who are heavily involved in several specialised scenes, I approach them in much the same way I approach the wrestling I shoot - the strong sense aesthetic makes for a great subject to shoot, the people who become obsessed with it are interesting, but I'd never want to get in the ring, if you can pardon a slightly crude pun.

All in all, a fairly busy week. Working a lot is best if the work is varied. The next week could also be busy; Cargo have asked me to go and shoot some more things for them, and Slutty Fringe want me to cover four events over the next two weeks, starting tomorrow. I also need to find an interview for this weeks lecool, do a couple of flower shots and maybe a beauty shoot also, as well as a ton of administration to get through. We shall see.

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