Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Photography December 2012

It’s been a year of weddings, nostalgia, resolutions and it has been an interesting hectic year. 
I continue to love music photography but I am more selective these days about gigs I cover as I have other priorities. This year was quiet for bigger artists for me – well in 2011 I saw Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and not much can compare with that!

Weddings. I shot a beautiful wedding up at Fasque house in Perthshire. A perfect day, a lovely couple and a fun learning experience.

Music and Royal Albert Hall. I continue to shoot occasionally at my local folk club. Along side this bigger concerts. It was my delight and pleasure to take photos of Emeli Sande at the Albert hall London at her gig there in November. It’s a venue I never dreamed of going to never mind taking photos at.

Festivals. This year at Celtic the highlight was the Gerry Rafferty Remembered concert organised by Rab Noakes. Rafferty was a truly great Scottish singer songwriter (Stealers Wheel, Bakers Street, Stuck in the Middle With You and much more) who sadly died in 2011. As always the Transatlantic Session proved the value of a great band and excellent musicianship.

Edinburgh Book festival, I particularly enjoyed Nile Rodgers talk as he strummed his guitar. Rodgers has written songs for some of the greats – Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson,and more.

Scottish Music. I’m so proud of the Scottish folk artists. Some have recently passed, sadly Michael Marra and there is a concert for him at Celtic 2013. It is also good to follow the new artists coming up such as Biffy Clyro and Karine Polwart.

 Scottish Singer Songwriters
*Emeli Sande.  It’s hard to know what to say. I have followed Emeli’s career for five years and to be there to see her take over the Albert hall stage this November was quite emotional for me, so I can only imagine what this year has meant for her. She sang the most moving moment at the Olympic opening ceremony with a haunting refined and breath taking version of the Welsh song Abide With Me.  Her single Heaven was her first hit song – she also sings of Wonder, Next To Me, My Kind of Love. It certainly has been her path in life to sing for us.

We have a lot to be proud of with Scottish music today – it seems as healthy and creative as ever. I enjoy seeing the traditional along with the newer pop sounds. We have many talented and popular ceilidh bands and also singer songwriters with character and depth. I might even hope with Scottish independence young musicians might feel they don’t have to head to London to record and write. Alongside our creativity we might feel the confidence we once had to realise we are as good today as we were in the Enlightenment. 

Quote: There’s Love in this world for everyone, Every precious smile you make, Be sure love is out there looking for you.'   Michael Marra

 *Michael Marra. He Paints With Words. Sadly quirky and humorous and sometimes poignant artist Michael Marra passed away in November 2012. I have seen him live several times and the last time at Milngavie Folk club in 2011. I wondered he didn’t look so well in the photos. At the sound check he set his keyboards on an ironing board. I will never forget his singing Robert Burn’s Green Grown the Rashes O at his concert at Mugdock theatre in 2007. He returned again in 2008 when I was lucky enough to meet and chat with him and where he signed one of my prints. He said he enjoyed playing in the small theatre with its semi-circle of tiered seats and grand piano. He looks so frail when he first comes on stage but then he lit up the venue with his deep gravelly voice - with his endearing manner and ironic dry wit, Marra sang his medley of songs which are full of unforgettable characters and images of place and time. Mugdock was a perfect venue for him and he held  the audience in the palm of his hands. I’m not sure I have ever been so engrossed at a live gig. Songs. Kelly's Visit to Dundee,' 'Muggie Shaw', 'Freda Kohl's Visit to the Tay Bridge Bar', and 'Lonesome Death of Francis Clarke', 'Schenectady Calling'.