Category Archives: Music

Metallica o2 Arena

While in hospital I said to myself i am going to do something fun photography-wise, and that is shooting metal bands again. First show to shoot for Metal Forces is Metallica. Last time I shot them mid 80’s on The Puppets tour. Last seen live twice in 1999.

I have never shot in the o2 arena and with Metallica this doesn’t prove to be much fun, as we are about 50 meters from the stage for 3 songs, meaning shooting at 300-400 mm, like a sports photographer. No chance to smell Metallica at all…..

Metallica-o2 Arena Oct. 24th 2017 by Bartolomy

Metallica sound good although the first song sounds boomy, but once sorted it is all systems go. Well for three songs for me, as we are escorted out of the venue while Leper Messiah is kicking off. I had not seen the band for a while and would not have minded to see some more.

I loved the LED cubes, which could be suspended down and raised up in various formations,, for the visuals,

Metallica-o2 Arena Oct. 24th 2017 by Bartolomy

The light show, at times very impressive, a lot of B&W lighting, but very erratic at times which drives the camera light meter bonkers…ah well.

Then all of the sudden Lars Ulrich spots me and points to my lens from almost 50 meters away.

Metallica-o2 Arena Oct. 24th 2017 by Bartolomy.

 

 

Also posted in Heavy Metal Tagged , , , , |

Die Die Die in Paris and London

The boys are back in town, mainly to record a new album and to do a couple of warm up shows before they embark on a two week tour in China. I catch the Eurostar a few hours before they arrive in Paris and wander about the Montmartre district, an area I had not been before. It is 28 degrees not a cloud in the sky and it is blazing. I take a few shots and wander about past the many artists who have their paintings on display, some of whom are very good. Although the whole thing is rather relaxed it has plenty of markings of being a tourist trap as well (too many shops that sell the usual rubbish).

I make my way back to Gare Du Nord and see the band arrive, from there we depart to a hotel which is very close to the venue the Olympic Cafe. The band are on at 9 and there about a 100 odd bodies in the basement which resembles a sauna, just standing there makes you drip with sweat. The gig itself is ok (they have not played any shows since Jan.) but from a sound p.o.v. it is a letdown, actually the worst sounding one of all Die Die Die shows I have witnessed, but the crowd don’t care, it’s party on and everyone has a great time. Set-wise it is all well balanced, every album gets tapped into and they even play a new song as an encore.

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The next morning at 8 AM sharp a two man crew and their pneumatic drill have a rattle for a solid 90 minutes there is no way to get back to sleep after that, and in the end I just laughed. The hotelier was very apologetic and thought we’d never come back, but for a cheap place to stay in the 18th district I recommend Hotel Du Globe actually!

We catch the Eurostar back around lunch time to London to go to Birthdays in Dalston. Here the band play a blinder of a set in front of again 100 odd bodies who need a few songs to get into it (a London thing….). And here the band sound on fire, A.T.T.I.T.U.D. is being played with such vigour, it is easily the best version of that song I have ever witnessed. Sadly the set is shorter than Paris due to starting late and the curfew. But in the end a fantastic show.

I show a few pix of both shows, the rest will be in the book that no one will buy. The book will be part 2 on this lot. Even though the band are to release a new album seeing them live will be less frequent due to the fact that Prain and Wilson have decided to become college nerds and later on bank tellers 😉 instead.

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Die! Die! Die! London Fields Brewhouse

Almost taken a month ago, completely forgot about these.

I wasn’t going to shoot Die Die Die at all but thought what the heck, and I am glad I did as the b&w lighting (merely due to absence of a lighting guy for the first 20 odd mins) worked in my favor. The LED lighting is a pet hate of mine, I am too bloody old fashioned with a preference for a more pointed light than just a wash.

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Sanctuary

The Seattle metal outfit Sanctuary graced London a visit before embarking on a mainland Europe tour with Overkill. I shot Sanctuary back in the 80’s when they played Aardschok Festival in 1988. where Megadeth was the headliner.

I only found out by chance that they were coming down a fortnight ago, and after nabbing their album, which is very good btw, I booked a couple of tickets as I was keen to see them perform live, you never know how long this lot is going to be around 🙂

Roughly 100/150 people came down to The Underworld in Camden, which made it easier to position yourself wherever you liked.

The band played 6 tracks of the new album ‘The Year The Sun Died’ and of course plenty of songs from ‘Refuge Denied’ and ‘Into The Mirror Black’, which the crowd loved of course. The new material sounds great live and new touring guitar player Nick Cordle (ex-Arch Enemy) fits in all right, although he looks at least ten years younger than the rest of the band. His and Lenny Rutledge’s solos were like a nasty slap in the face, I loved it. Some peeps are keen to compare Sanctuary to Nevermore, what they tend to forget is that there would be no Nevermore without Sanctuary. Secondly there is no shredding, instead pure old skool Judas Priest style heavy riffs.

Warrel Dane’s voice was better than I thought it was going to be, the high pitched vocals were there, although lacking in strength here and there, and this became obvious during the song ‘Sanctuary’, as this is the first date of the tour one wonders whether his voice will grow stronger or weaker during this European endeavor. Time will tell, but I am glad I saw them.

 

Also posted in Heavy Metal

Terry O’Neill

Just happen to read an interview about Terry O’Neill on the Treats Magazine website (I go there for the interviews honestly……)

I like Terry’s work, some fab images he has made that have stood the test of time, may he sell loads of prints!

One part of the interview stood out, after which I could only exclaim ”EXACTLY”

Here’s a copy and paste of that part from Harvey Kubernik’s interview with Terry O’Neill:

Access to celebrities today isn’t what it used to be. How has this affected your work? 

Yes. You can’t spend time around them when they’re working, which is the most interesting pictures of all. You can’t take off-beat shots of today’s celebrities because of the PRs. The publicists destroyed the type of photography that I do. They forced every star into not letting photographers into their lives, or give them any time. They don’t strike up working relationships with them. It’s awful, really. It’s gonna cause a huge rift in the photographic history of Hollywood for a start. I mean, it’s just gone now. The publicists want approval of everything. The words, the pictures…it’s a joke. If you want to photograph anyone today who is famous you have to do it in a studio or in a hotel room, and the PR stipulates which shots you can release. It has impacted my journey. Absolutely.

That’s precisely the reason I don’t do celebs (personally I don’t care much for the culture around it) and some of the people that hang around them (and that’s what they do hang around…) aren’t very nice people at all and could ruin the making of a great image completely.

The best PRs? Simple. The ones that say you got 20/30 minutes don’t walk off to far and be back in time. Great way to get the job done and everyone goes home happy and the results will be way better.

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Touring with Die! Die! Die!

The band is back in the EU and since I missed out on their massive Summer tour I wanted to hang out for a week and shoot some.

They arrive late on a Sunday and therefore are forced to cancel their show in Manchester so their first show is at The Shacklewell Arms in London, a good show and former bassist Lachlan Anderson is in the crowd, too bad there was no little jolly up. One more note for the owners at The Shacklewell Arms: please get rid of that stupid arch on the stage!

Die! Die! Die! play well, especially the songs from SWIM sound great, but I miss a certain oompf and wonder whether Lord Wilson has lost his edge.

This is being thoroughly discussed the next day in the van on our way to Tilburg in the Netherlands. During our journey we are stuck in Belgian traffic for 6 hours (averaging 10 mph). Lord Wilson gets the hint and goes for it and so do Mikey Prain and Michael Logie, a very good show. The next day in Lille it gets even better, where the crowd is mad for it in a sweaty basement club called El Diablo, wicked show. My fave.

We head up to the north of The Netherlands to Groningen where they play another good show, slight changes are made to the set, shifting songs, all for the better. In Leuven (a very pretty city to the East of Brussels) they introduce ‘We Built Our Own Oppressors’ which goes down extremely well and gives Lord Wilson another ‘excuse’ to rummage through the crowd once more…..

Bruges, at Club Cactus, the next day has the best stage and lighting for me and next door in a bigger auditorium I take a few minutes to photograph the band.

The gig itself is ok, Andrew keeps being touched up by a 40 year old woman, rather bizarre…..

I post a few pix, and I am going to put a 2nd book together. It will be released next year.

The first book on Die! Die Die! can be ordered here.

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Rose Elinor Dougall

Shot in 2011 for Spindle Magazine.

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Paper vs Digital

Since dropping my Facebook account I have replaced it with reading a load of books, I suggest you all do the same 🙂

I realised that whenever I had a spare moment I ended up grabbing my iPhone and browse through the timeline and concluded that the large majority of my so called ‘friends’ had nothing interesting to say, how many food/cat/dog pictures does one need to plaster on there? In a nutshell I got really bored with it and deleted my account in May 2013, not one regret since.

Instead I started to read books while sitting down on the loo or while travelling on the London Underground or flying abroad, and this is something I have started to enjoy a lot. Before I used to read books while going on holiday and that was that. I can not imagine myself reading an entire book of a screen, be it an iPad or Kindle or PC screen for that matter, it is too intense for my eyes and I find paper just more relaxing.

The books I have read concern mostly the JFK and RFK assassinations, and that is not because I am such a conspiracy buff (then again anyone claiming Oswald did it alone should actually pay attention to the surplus of evidence around!), but because there is so much info available, be it in media or written word and it is a fascinating subject. To me the question here is actually who wasn’t involved in the conspiracy to kill JFK and cover up the act.

There is a lot of disinformation spread through various authors in books and websites above all and it takes quite some time to sift through all that to form an adequate picture of the whole happenings, and even now after reading close to twenty books on this subject there are probably more questions than answers, one can only speculate and that is something I am not keeping myself busy with,  to me it is fun to read about.

In between all that, while I was away in Holland I just read Enter Night by Mick Wall, the book on Metallica. Especially the first half is excellent and really nails down the vibe of the first ten years and chronicles all the happenings very well, I can attest to it as I was partially there myself.

Been scanning more stuff in, but that will appear here at a later date. I am getting ready to leave for Malta, the missus and I are on a week’s break. Hopefully plenty of pix when we come back.

 

 

Also posted in Heavy Metal, Travel

Ice Age

After I left military service (444 IBC) in August 1988 I stayed at my parents’ house for a few months where I managed to get on their nerves and was more or less told to get my act together (read: get a job and move out 🙂 ) so I started to become an apprentice at Harry van der Brugghen’s studio Ima’gine in the south of Holland in Den-Bosch, where I became his assistant later on.

Harry was an advertising photographer who taught me pretty much everything from late Oct 1988 to Aug 1990. No job was ever the same, and if it did we (Petra Banning the other assistant and I) would bitch to him about how mundane the work had become.

Anyway, having shot bands from mid-1982 to late 1987 and putting a stop to it because of time restraints of the military service, but also because how common the whole metal scene had become, a load of fanzines/magazines had become the competition plus the fact that I had ventured into advertising photography I remember that in 1989 I only shot two shows, one being the Dynamo Festival with Savatage and Armored Saint, and Ice Age.

Ice Age consisted of 4 foxy chicks and hailed from Sweden. Pia Nyström mailed me their demo tape as she thought I was still active with my fanzine Headbanger and would do a review, I was impressed by the Swedish female thrashers and I visited them at the Elckerlyc in Luttenberg (a venue in a  highly religious community that had Mercyful Fate, Slayer, Vandenberg and Nasty Savage play there, oh the irony….. This was on Feb 17th 1989 and I only know the date as that is what is written on the contact sheets. Grunge was about to kill off quite a few types of metal, especially the hairspray bands got a right kicking, and Thrash Metal had run its course after 5/6 years as well.

I ended up shooting during and after the soundcheck and also at their show, I don’t think the pix ever got picked up by the foreign mags I used to write and shoot for. The other thing that I also remember was Pia writing to me after the show that the band in that particular line up of Sabrina Kihlstrand – Vocals/Guitar, Pia Nyström – Lead guitar, Vicky Larsson – Bass and Tina Strömberg – Drums had ceased to exist. Looking at these images I see some improvement compared to the shots I used to do before I started working at Harry’s. For starters I shot more material than I used to. Scanning them in for the very first time and I must say I am pleasantly surprised. I post two as I save the good stuff for the book of course.

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Blackfoot in Amsterdam 1982

Since I have been spending some time scanning some of my archive in I came across these two shots of Blackfoot, Rickey Medlocke, Charlie Hargrett, Jackson Spires and Greg T. Walker who opened up for Iron Maiden and Scorpions. Funny thing is that these two shots are actually the first two shots I ever took at a rock concert. I also realise them being the opening act it was easier to get relatively close to the stage, something I could not do when Iron Maiden kicked off.

I will post more stuff over the coming few weeks.

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Film scans

The last few days I have had my scanner on and threw a few negs in  and low and behold we have a few shots to show 🙂 Obviously these are the rejects / outtakes, call it what you want it, and the good stuff stays ‘secret’ until the book will be published, but at least it will give everyone some idea of what is to be expected.

Here are two shots of Kiss live at Donington (1996) from the best photo pit I ever worked in, check the videos on YouTube and you will see for yourself. These I took with my Olympys Mju a small compact camera which I only took a few shots with as I did (back then) all my work on a Pentax 67. I will try and regularly post some scans.

 

Been listening to the new Hell album Curse & Chapter, a worthy follow up to Human Remains, great sounding NWOBHM. I would like to see them again on tour next year, it seems I missed them when they played London with Carcass in Nov.

Of all the stuff I have watched lately only one thing really jumped out and that was Prisoners with Hugh Jackman and Jake Gylenhaal, strong film.

Going to Holland after X-Mas and I hope to go on a quick holiday in January to break this wintry spell.

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Scanning my metal archive

So I finally decided to start scanning my metal archive (I think Gerd-Jan Vleugels’ passing made me get my finger out I suppose), the large majority being from 1982-1987.

Quite an undertaking, I am looking at having to scan in about 1,500-2,000 images from which I will have to edit it down to about 10/20% of that for the forth coming metal book, I doubt this will be out before X-Mas more like summer 2014. So far I scanned in Saxon from 1985, Metallica in 1984, Black Lace in 1985, Venom 1984 and Alaska (Bernie Marsden’s band). Thank goodness I never made a career out of this because I would probably hung myself in the shed, the amount to scan now in at higher resolutions is daunting as it is already.

Going through the folders I see there’s some stuff missing, like Metallica at Aardschok (some wicked b&w shots, I do have a handfull of color ones), Slayer in 1985, Twisted Sister in 1984, Manowar 1984, Anvil from 1983, Judas Priest from 1984, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, Dio 1983 and 1984 and some more, I feel gutted considering how much is gone, and I have no idea where it is, unless Stefan Schipper has been holding back on me 🙂 I managed to retrieve Armored Saint and Savatage shots from the Dynamo Open Air show from his studio in Vriezenveen a couple of years ago.

Another thing I have noticed is how easy it is shooting digital at concerts, back then I was a teenager and I could afford one, perhaps two rolls of film and the processing/printing, now you just whack out 150 frames and it is only time invested, hence clients thinking it costs bugger all, yeah right!!!

I shall post some outtakes here and there, time allowing. I will also work on some text, as there are plenty of anecdotes that deserve a mention.

Going to Holland in about two weeks time, looking forward to that.

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Die! Die! Die! in Brighton and London

It’s that time of the year again, Die! Die! Die! are playing Europe this summer and of course a soiree in the U.K. was included. I joined them last week at their Brighton and London dates, this is  their third trip to the EU now in about 9 months time and this tour is quite long (three months) and they are hitting almost every European country.

They have already been on the road for six weeks when I catch up with them in Brighton. Lord Wilson is in a good mood and even lets me shoot them on the beach in front of both piers in Brighton, thing is it is raining, very fine misty rain, the one where you do not realise you are getting a right soaking. My lens is getting wet and I have to wipe the glass every few frames, focusing becomes a problem, still I manage to nab a few nice ones.

The show itself is very good, of the 30 odd shows I have seen them play they still have to play a bad one. London the next day at The Shacklewell Arms (I  do not care how trendy the gaff is DDD do not belong here) is an even better show but I do not shoot a lot of pix, as there are only 2 lights on stage and they are only beaming red.

I was supposed to jump in the van with them and go up north to Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh and Glasgow but a funeral prevented me from joining them. The band are still on the continent until the end of Sept. from which they are going straight to Japan to continue their tour of Harmony. The new album has been recorded and should be out next year.

Here is a spread from Damaged Goods Mag with my pix from the November 2012 and March 2013 shows.

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Gerd-Jan Vleugels R.I.P.

gerd jan vleugelsIt has come to my attention that Gerd-Jan Vleugels has passed away at the age of 44 due to thyroid cancer on Aug. 2nd. I am shocked that he is not around anymore, aged 44 years is way too soon to depart from this planet.

I first met him in the mid-80’s when he was running his own mag Metal Empire while I was running Headbanger, we were competitors in a way but we always got along great, we tended to run into each other at shows or press junkets (if that’s what you can call them) in Amsterdam and so forth and always exchanged ideas and pleasantries

I remember when Gerd-Jan and I met up in the summer of 1986 and combined our efforts  going to Middelburg in the province of  Zeeland in The Netherlands  to cover Joshua (Joshua Perahia’s band) who had released the album Surrender the year prior. Ken Tamplin was the second guitar player in that line-up. They were also demoing Intense Defense in Germany at Dierks Studios. I will try and dig some shots out in due course.

Headbanger was getting more difficult to run in 1987 (I was in the military) and we talked about merging both mags and give Aardschok a tickle of their own fancy but there was a third party involved who was not up for this idea, so it did not happen.

The other story that has sprung to my mind was at Aardschokdag in 1987 (I think) which I covered for BURRN! Magazine from Japan, when Megadeth were headlining along with Flotsam & Jetsam and Testament, Dave Mustaine was using heavily in those days and the EMI press liaison had a lot of difficulty trying to get Dave to do a press conference (he would not do singular interviews), so we all sat there and 4/5 questions in Dave Mustaine was in anything but a cooperative mood.

At the same time I realised I had left my camera bag inside the adjoining room so I excused myself and looked out for my camera bag, by the time I had located it Gerd-Jan was there as well, and told me what a dick Dave Mustaine was for being so uncooperative and refused to answer certain questions, so we hit the bar instead.

Later that night during Megadeth’s show Dave Mustaine was taking a cheap shot against the press during his show, probably because of  that particular press conference. He seemed to have forgotten that 95% of the people there were part of the  heavy metal press that had supported him and his band since starting Megadeth.

Gerd-Jan and I lost track of each other in the 90’s as I had moved to Italy only for me to find him again 6/7 years ago.

Gerd Jan Vleugels was an excellent writer who had a lot of knowledge especially when it came to melodic hard rock bands and he joined Aardschok in 1988 as a writer covering them. In 2006 he left Aardschok Magazine to begin a new chapter in the dance scene and wrote for various magazines in The Netherlands.

The good ones always seem to die young and the world has become more boring without you m8, R.I.P.!!!

 

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Tanya Auclair

Tanya Auclair, the first time I saw her play was as support for Stateless at the Jazz Cafe. Thought she’d make good copy for Ponytail Magazine as I really liked what she did musically.

The piece never got pubbed because the mag went belly up.

Some portraits shot during and after the interview.

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Also posted in Portraits Tagged |

May update

I have deleted my Facebook profile and also the Bartolomy page, I just grew tired of the whole FB thing, like MySpace it has had its best time. All the ads, and above all the pictures of people of showing their dinner/cats/back garden etc. Very tiring and very repetitive if you ask me. Time to move on.

Here is an article on stylist Juli Molnar, who I have been working with these past 6 months. The Into the Black story and some of yours truly in action can be seen there.

I have a ton of fashion pix to show, but I am simply too busy posting them, all in due course.

Die! Die! Die! are back here end of June for a few months, so expect some stuff on them as well.

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Jeff Hanneman RIP

Been reading that Jeff Hanneman has passed away due to liver failure at the age of 49. Far too early of course, I remember chatting with him and the rest of the band Slayer back in 1985 on the Hell Awaits tour, and although he did not say a lot, what he did say was funny and made us all roar with laughter.

Here is a page from Metallo, an Italian  magazine, I cannot find the original negative at this point, perhaps Stefan Schipper can sort me with a print 😉

 

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On tour with Lord Wilson, Prainy, Logie and Attwell.

Been on tour with Die! Die! Die!.

Did Paris, Brussels, Brighton and London. All good shows, the Paris and London ones being outstanding, Paris loves Die! Die! Die! that’s for sure. I did not shoot a lot of pix, but compensated that with some filming, which eventually will surface….

 

I left for Paris early in the morning on the Eurostar since I wanted to walk about and take a few shots, found a few shots for The Kiss obviously around the Eiffel Tower. Nice day, dry at least, until the band arrived ;), it actually started to pour.

 

The band play in a squat, La Miroiterie, in the 20th district, a cool and very cosmopolitan neighborhood.  The squat itself will be leveled this summer so they have parties there every night. The place is rammed with peeps over 30 years old and the 40 somethings seem to be up for  partying the most as they crowd surf more than any other. A fantastic show crowd wise, my all time fave. Lord Wilson’s response: “this is nothing, NZ beats this hands down”…….. I head back to my hotel down the road, the band kips at the promoter’s flat in north west Paris, where I hook up with them the next morning. Although tight, the seating accommodation in the back of the van is not like Ryanair.

Brussels the next day at Magasin4, not a bad sized place, if you play for 300+ people not when you have 80 odd.

A big stage and some proper lights, yay. I shoot the whole show from all around the stage. We end up kipping there as well, the place resembles a set of Stalag 17, 14 bunk beds in one room, we are fortunate, we are NOT sharing :).

We do not see a functioning shower so we leave for Brighton unwashed. Again at Customs the band members are picked out for preferential treatment and we end up waiting for a Customs Officer to finish his ten minute break while handling the case (I kid you not!).

The Brighton show at Green Door, I only video as it has only two lights setup, sound and show wise the least favorite of all four shows. Only 40 dd people bother, you wonder why when they ask for £ 9.00 on the door.

Instead of staying with friends we all make our way back to London to get to our own places and have a wash.

London the next day at The Hoxton Bar & Grill is a great show as well. Sounding tight, Lord Wilson & co. let rip and there is great crowd participation, no Paris, but still an excellent show.

I also shot them at Lightship 95, right across from The Dome, where they have started to record tracks for their new album.

Some more pix:

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On tour with Die! Die! Die!

Joined Die! Die! Die! on four dates of their Harmony tour in Western Europe; after landing in Germany instead of Eindhoven due to heavy fog I had to grab a cab to Nijmegen to get to Utrecht where I hooked up with the band at DB’s. This was also my first live show acquaintance with new bass player Michael Logie. The show itself was pretty good, the owner of the venue liked the show so much he ended up buying discs and t-shirts for all his staff for X-Mas! Ghent on the next day made us go to a club where Andrew claimed his stake on top of the bar. After which we also joined for quite a few, good times indeed. Too bad about the minimal lighting, a red wash is anything but nice looking on digital format.

Paris the next day was an amazing show, Le Point Ephemere has a great stage, great crew and without a doubt the best sounding show of Die! Die! Die! I have heard. Only minus was the strobe lighting which made it a bitch to shoot good pictures. Finally Old Blue Last, a venue the band should not be playing at any more, they deserve better, especially sound wise, the sound man was more active on the internet than actually paying attention to the band, only after yours truly told him to up the guitars did it start to sound like something. I had a blast, time flies when you are having fun.

There is talk of recording a new album early next year and come back to the EU in April, good!

Just finished shooting two fashion spreads, one based on stripes and one, shot on film, of dark nudes with accessories. I used polagraph film, a 35mm film manufactured by Polaroid and has not been made since early 2000’s and also shot Kodak EPY, which I will cross-process.

Some shots of Die! Die! Die!:

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Die! Die! Die! at The Bull & Gate

Die! Die! Die! are back in Europe again, this time they played a show at the Bull & Gate in Kentish town with very little promo before, still 100 people showed up. The band played a well balanced set, with no “Blue Skies” (the romper stomper has been assigned attic status for now, which isn’t such a bad idea). Good sound, dreadful lights (hence the b&w).

I will be joining them for a week in November while they are gigging in The Netherlands, Belgium, France and England.

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Zwarte Cross 2012

Had a fab time at Zwarte Cross 2012, went there on the Friday and Saturday. It started as a mudfest but the ground dried up over night and turned into a  dusty desert instead! Hell were excellent, it is great to see a band that dresses up and throws in a few show elements, amazing what you can do with a suit case full of outfits and masks and a couple of portable backdrops, well done.

Municipal Waste caught my attention as well and I was pleasantly surprised by Lizzy Borden, some of the 80’s stuff withstood the test of time. Pity I could not go on the Sunday, seems that Suicidal Tendencies had a crowd on stage.

Shooting from the photopit wasn’t as good as standing in the pit between the moshers, the angle was a lot more pleasant. During Hell I went on stage and managed to nab a bow shot at the end. Great atmosphere and very well attended too (156K).

Here are some shots:

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