Punk’s Not Dead…….

Brought up in Scotland during the original Punk era of the late 70’s and 80’s I have many fond memories. In fact, I owe my nickname ‘Spike’ to my distinct hair style and the fact that I was one of only a few punks in my school class.  To this day my CD collection contains many a Punk Rock album.

Imagine my delight when I was given the chance to shoot the UK Subs.  I admit to not having heard much of their recent recordings, in fact I wasn’t really aware that they were still a going concern, but what an opportunity!!

Having confirmed the details with tour manager and wife of Charlie Harper, Youko, I headed off to Hannover.  Bei Chez Heinz is reminiscent of King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow and has hosted probably as many big names.  First up was TV Smith of the ADVERTS fame, another blast from my past!!!  As if it was yesterday, I remembered the DJ at the youth club announcing “Clear the floor for the punks” and us lost bouncing up and down to “Garry Gilmores Eyes”………..A fast, energetic acoustic set during which Herr Schmidt played them all.

Alvin Gibbs and Charlie Harper sauntered onto the stage followed by Jet and Jamie Oliver (no, not the chef).  Something they had done countless times before.  A quick hello to the crowd and bang!!!…..full speed into a set of memories…….Warhead, She’s not there and of course Stranglehold.  It wasn’t long before the crowd began moving in on the front of the stage and I had to make a sharp retreat.  The UK Subs may have seen more than a few line-up changes since their hay day over 30 years ago.  They may have gained a few pounds, replaced some hair with a few wrinkles, but they still have it.  At almost 71 years old Charlie Harper has an abundance of energy and a stage presence that artists half his age would be proud of.  I read an article today that cited “Charlie Harper is less a punk than a heroic old soldier”, never a truer word has been written.  I take my hat off to you Mr Harper, may you continue for many years to come……

A special thanks to Simone @ Muttis Booking for her assistance and to Yuko for meeting me and making sure I had no problems at the venue.


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Busy, Busy, Busy……….

A crazy weekend just passed……but, as always when it involves music and photography, a fantastic weekend.

First up on Saturday I had a studio shoot with our very own ‘Fun Lovin Criminals’ the Bad Nenndorf Boys. The band had never had any professional level photos taken before so it was a new experience for them (I hope also an enjoyable one)…….A couple of hours and a few laughs later I think we produced a great set of images. We even arranged a live shoot their festival slot in April. My thanks to Dennis and the boys for a great afternoon.  My thanks also to my good friend Arnd @ Phototeam-Hagenohsen for arranging the studio and assisting during the shoot.

Bad Nenndorf Boys


Next up, the soulful and extremely talented Astrid North. Reminiscent of 80’s soul singer Sade, that soft, smooth sound. I came across Astrid’s concert by chance, a bit of research and I knew it would be a good gig to shoot so I contacted her management. I think I done them justice. Many thanks to Astrid North and to Nanna at Agentur Maganda for her assistance.

Astrid North


I received a phone call from Rockline Promotion in Hameln, Germany on Friday 14th asking if I was free to come down to their new event centre located in the town. It probably holds a couple of hundred people and at one time the venue was a department store then a huge photography studio. Inside the building has obviously been stripped so it looks a bit more industrial inside. A great location for a shoot at the best of times.

Anyway tonight The Silverettes were playing. Germany’s first ladies of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the all girl Rockabilly outfit consists of Ira. Jules and Sassy.  A fantastic vibe that you couldn’t help tap your feet to, great lights and best of all 3 great girls to photograph, what was not to like?!! Many thanks to Gerd & Luka @ Rockline Promotion for inviting me down and to The Silverettes for making the shoot easy.

The Silverettes


A huge thanks to all of the artists and management.


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The Fast and Furious……Lessons Learned

One of the bigger gigs I have shot in a while.  Dropkick Murphys at the Swiss Life Halle in Hannover, Germany. Admittedly I wasn’t there to shoot the headliners, I was there for one of the opening acts, The Mahones.

For those not aware, The Mahones are an Irish-born, Canadian Irish-punk band, formed in 1990 by Dublin-born Finny McConnell, as a one-off band for a St. Patrick’s Day party. The rest, as they say, is history……

The usual rules applied, first 3 songs from the pit then out.  Being a survivor of the UK punk era, and having researched my subject, I was well aware that the songs would be fast, furious and short.  Man, how I underestimated………..the fastest 3 songs ever!!!  Ordinarily this is not a great issue, the aim of this game is quality not quantity. Unfortunately for me though, I had made a schoolboy error which I only noticed when I downloaded the images to my computer at home.  Somehow my shutter speed was at 1/100th for the whole shoot (for the non photographer it means blurry images due to the band members being fast on their feet).  Gutted is an understatement.  I did manage to salvage a few images, it could have been a costly error though.  Lesson learned……..the hard way!!!

I was a bit disappointed with only having 1 DKM song to shoot, I suppose it’s their train set and Al Barr does like to get into the crowd close up.  All in all though, a fantastic night of Irish Punk.  A good friend of mine (Franky McPherson) commented that it would be like the Pogues on speed, how right he was!!!

My thanks go to Kate and The Mahones for their assistance, I’ll see you again.


The Mahones


Some big concerts coming up so stayed tuned…….



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Years end…….welcome to 2015

Wow…..I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I wrote anything here. Crazy days, sorry folks!!

December saw us covering one of the loudest gigs I have ever been to.  A thrash metal, fast and furious affair organised by Rockline Promotion.  Consisting of 9 bands, some admittedly more subdued than others.  The gig ran for around 7 hours and turned out to be a fantastic night.  As well as the great music it saw me catch my shot of the year, thanks to King W Rock

A quick rest during Christmas and New year, then it was a fast and furious beginning to 2015.  We took the ferry across to the UK and headed to Glasgow to cover an event at the world famous King Tuts Wah Wah Hut.  2015 is their 25th anniversary year and they celebrations began with a string of Scottish talent gracing the stage.  Foreignfox, Indigo Velvet, The VanTs and Weekend Wars amongst many others.

A last minute call from his manager saw us racing across the city to cover the legend that is Paul Carrack playing at the Royal Concert Hall.  It was a thrill and a privilege to be asked to cover such an artist.  Unfortunately we had to rush back to King Tuts after the first few songs, but I got some great photos.  My thanks to Paul and Allan Wood at carrack.biz


Before returning to Germany I managed a practice studio shoot, arranged by my old friend Stevie Ward, with a fantastic band from my hometown.  Life on Standby are an incredibly talented 4 piece outfit with an original sound.  Having completed a successful UK tour late last year they have now returned to the recording studio to complete the last couple of songs from their forthcoming album that should be released in March 2015.  Look out them, they will be enormous……..remember where you heard it first.  Many thanks to Stevie for arranging things and to Erin, Gavin, Gianluca and Liam for a great afternoon.  I hope to work with you again soon.

My final outing for January was to shoot a new band on the scene.  Saaga Rootz are a rock band through and through.  All of the band members are accomplished musicians in their own right and I was invited down to the rehearsal studio by the delightful Piia to capture some images for them.  From what I heard in the studio this may be one to watch…….

February’s live concerts include Simple Minds, The Dropkick Murphy’s and The Mahones.  In the studio we have the Bad Nenndorf Boys and Mpath

’till next time………..


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The Arkanes

Every now and then life throws someone a little nugget, just to remind them that it’s not all bad. Tonight, for the first time in a long time, It was my turn.

The Arkanes are a 4 piece rock outfit hailing from Liverpool, England. They describe themselves as ‘four working-class lads who share 3 common fidelities: a love for good music, a hatred for bad music, and a passion to stand up in front of a crowd and show the world what they can do’.

Tonight They were opening for The Rifles at the Mephisto Faust in Hannover, which I suspect may be one of the smaller venues either band will play on this tour. Even I was surprised at how little space there was on the stage. On the plus side, it doesn’t take a huge audience to create a good atmosphere.

The Arkanes - Faust Mephisto Hannover 2014

From the opening bars of ‘Nuclear’ The Arkanes had the crowds attention. Blasting their way through ‘Terracotta’ ‘Guilt Trip’ and ‘Stand alone’, (all tracks from the current album W.A.R) the audience lapped them up. Unfortunately as tonight was a support slot It was over all too soon, however, as all the great bands do, the best was saved to last. ‘Command’…… which is obviously a Zeppelin/Kasbian inspired number with great guitar, great beat, great lyrics. This finale petered out before coming back with a vengeance of outstanding guitar play and sheer showmanship.

Great guitar riffs, thumping bass lines and drum beats, complimented by front man Chris Pates’ classic rock voice (part Ian Gillan, part Jimmy Page). These guys are the real deal. It has been a long time since a band restored my faith in music and got me this excited. Tonight, quite literally, I bought the T-shirt, got the CD……..

The Arkanes - Faust Mephisto Hannover 2014

Chris, Dylan, Jake and Andy can rest assured that their fidelities are in tact, tonight the music was good, the passion was obvious and Hannover definitely knows what you can do. I cannot wait to see you on a bigger stage…….My thanks to you all for your cooperation and a special thanks to Alan Brophie, a top bloke and probably the busiest member of the team.  A top night.

Standout tracks:  Terracotta, Sharpshooter, Command

The Arkanes are:

Chris Pate – Vocals/Guitar
Dylan Cassin – Guitar/Vocals
Jake Hallam – Bass/Vocals
Andy Longy – Drums


The Current album W.A.R. is available on iTunes


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The Pineapple Thief

The Pineapple Thief are an indie and progressive rock band from Somerset, England. They have been around since 1999 and have an impressive 10 albums under their belt. I have to be honest and state from the off that although I was aware of the band, I cannot claim to have had them on my radar.

The Blues Garage is still a fantastic venue (albeit with difficult lighting). Tonight I was here to see ‘The Pineapple Thief’ on their current tour in in support of album Number 10 which was released in September 2014 – ‘Magnolia’.

The Pineapple Thief - Blues Garage Hannover 2014

Opening with past classics, ‘What we have sown’ & ‘Wake up the dead’ my attention was grabbed from the outset. A show of intent on how things were to progress? Most definitely.

Having been to more than a few concerts in Germany, I have a good idea of how an audience usually ticks. Not so tonight. As the band played ‘The one you left to die’ the Hannover crowd were already getting into the swing of things. It was difficult to tell who were novices and who were long term fans. Generally when I go to a gig I’m there on an assignment and concentrate on that. As they charged through the ‘Magnolia’ track list I began to get into the vibe now surrounding me to the point where I put my camera and notebook away and just watched

.The Pineapple Thief - Blues Garage Hannover 2014

The Pineapple Thief seem to have mastered the ability to move a concert crowd to the brink with their (sometimes Foo Fighteresque) riffs and extended prog marathons – (‘All the Wars’), then bring them back from the brink with a softer, ballad type number – (‘From Me’) and in the progress leave them wanting more.

A race through old and new material, the show was over in an instant. Ending with an encore that included – ‘Part zero’ & ‘Nothing at best’ , it was obvious the band work extremely hard at what they do, and it pays off. The only thing the Pineapple thief stole tonight was the show………..


Stand out tracks from the gig were ‘Simple as That’, ‘The One You Left to Die’ and ‘Magnolia’. All of which are now on my playlist.

The Pineapple Thief are:

Bruce Soord – Vocals
Dan Osborne – Drums,
Jon Sykes – Bass
Steve Kitch – Keyboards



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Who’s Afraid of the Black Man………….?

Last weekend I had the opportunity to photograph Greg Copeland at the Blues Garage in Hannover.  I had seen Greg a couple of times but never on a big stage and never accompanied by his band.

The Blues Garage Hannover 2014

Blues Garage Hannover 2014

Greg Copeland is a seasoned, hardworking singer/songwriter who has collaborated with artists such as Gerry Williams, Pete Budden and Big Daddy Wilson. Greg and has also graced the stage with some of Europe´s finest musicians.  His current band was formed in 2012 and they are almost constantly playing venues and festivals all over Europe.  I have been fortunate enough to have seen Greg Copeland a couple of times, either as a guest artist or doing an intimate acoustic set.  Tonight was my first opportunity to see him in full flow with his band, being a blues fan I was looking forward to it immensely.

After a bit of a detour we found ourselves driving round an industrial estate not too far from Hannover Airport.  In amongst the car dealers and repair shops sits the Blues Garage.  Entrance through a stable type door and into one of the coolest venues I’ve seen for a long time.  The walls adorned by massive artworks of Frank Zappa and Jimi Hendrix, and lined with the guitars of past performers.  The Blues Garage in Hannover is the self proclaimed ‘home of the blues’ in Germany, and not without good reason.  Artists such as Wishbone Ash, John Mayall, Buddy Guy & Joe Bonamassa played here.

Jimmy Hendrix

Jimmy Hendrix – Blues Garage Hannover

Large in stature, Greg has a voice to match.  His deep tone could not be a better matched to his Jazzy, Funky, Blues style.  The show kicked off with a few select tracks from the 2013 album ‘Who’s Afraid of the Black Man?’ including ‘A Womans gotta have the last word’ and ‘Celia’.  Song after song the band confirmed their skills as musicians and showmen, filling the hall with Blues riffs and rhythms.  A song that stuck out for me was not an obvious Blues classic but a reggae influenced number and the albums title track ‘Who’s Afraid of the Black Man?’ Inspired by Greg’s experience of prejudice in everyday life, sitting on a packed bus when the seat next to him was empty.  Deciding to ignore the negative connotations Greg looked for the humour.

Greg Copeland Band - Hannover 2014

Greg Copeland Band

A fantastic rendition of the classic ‘Rollin and Tumblin’ allowed Julian Braun to take centre stage for a blistering guitar solo.  I also have to single out Julian Trempel (bass) who is entertaining in his own right with the obvious passion displayed in his expressive style of play.  Greg Copeland and his band know how to put on a show.  Their sound is polished, their tempo is upbeat and their work ethic is obvious, even to a non blues fan.  If I am honest the turnout was a little disappointing, however this did not in anyway put the band off and it certainly didn’t put those that were there off either.  All in all a fantastic evening at the Blues Garage.  I look forward to my next encounter with Greg and his band.

Greg Copeland Band - Hannover 2014

Greg Copeland

Photo Gallery

Greg Copeland Band – web/facebook

My thanks to Greg and the guys for their cooperation.


Greg Copeland Band - Hannover 2014

The Greg Copeland Band are:

Greg Copeland – Vocals

Jo Decker – Drums, Percussion

Julian Trempel – Bass

Julian Braun – Guitars

Mickey Coppello – Guitars

More information on where the band are playing can be found on their web page

Purchase ‘Who’s Afraid of the Black Man’ here



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It just gets better ……….

Well, another busy period in my life as a Rock n Roll photographer!!! Hahaha, I wish………

It has been a great few days though, with 2 concerts in Hannover, both acoustic sets and both from 80’s icons. First up was Lloyd Cole (of Lloyd Cole & the Commotions fame).

As a venue the Kultuzentrum Pavillon is excellent. Tiered seating offers unrestricted viewing from anywhere in the hall and many vantage points from which to point a camera.  Surprisingly there were no restriction on where I could shoot from.  No pit, no segregation.  The 3 song rule still applied, however was not policed which is very trusting and very reassuring.  One complaint I do have though is the mount of DSLR users in the audience.

As photographers we agree to abide by the rules and most of the time the standard 3 song agreement is in place.  Allegedly after 3 songs the artist no longer looks their best, which I am happy with as no one likes a photo that makes them look bad. In my opinion though, the same rules should apply to the audience……I’m not talking about camera phones as generally, in low light conditions, camera phones do not produce images of any quality.  I counted 6 DSLR’s in the front row of the audience…….

Lloyd Cole Acoustic Tour - Hannover 2014

Lloyd Cole Gallery

Back to the matter at hand…….Lloyd Cole, I fear was a bit of a let down for me.  I was really looking forward to this one but old Lloyd gave me the distinct impression he was fed up.  No enthusiasm, no stage presence……nada.  For me, it was a guy with a guitar singing songs I kind of knew.  I have to say the second half of the show may have been spectacular, unfortunately I wasn’t there to find out.  Sorry Lloyd……………

Pete MacLeod - Hannover 2014

Pete MacLeod Gallery

Hannover was given a taste of Pete MacLeod, who is opening for Midge Ure on his current tour.  A Scottish singer/song writer now on the books of Alan McGee at Creation management (think Oasis) therefor probably destined for bigger things.  A relatively short slot, Pete managed to woo the Hannover crowd with a number of tracks from his current album ‘Rolling Stone‘, even somehow slipping in a verse from ‘Vienna’ in homage to his host.   I feel confident in saying that not many in the audience would have been aware of Pete MacLeod prior to last night.  I am even more confident in saying that by the time his Germany stint is over he will have gained more than a few more followers, myself included.  Definitely one to watch.  A special thanks to Pete for giving me permission to post the images.

Midge Ure - Hannover 2014

Midge Ure Gallery

Midge Ure…. Thin Lizzy, Ultravox, Live Aid, .singer, songwriter, producer and all round musical genius.  Surely he wouldn’t disappoint……?  I cannot confess to being a huge fan of Ultravox or his solo work.  That said, it has been there as long as I can remember and I never disliked it.  Knowing that Mr Ure is very much music royalty I was feeling hugely privileged to have been given this opportunity and I was going to make the most of it.  Hymn, Breathe, If I was, Dancing with tears in my eyes, all the hits were there as well as tracks from his new album ‘Fragile’.  All acoustic and all sounding great.  The only song I missed out on was probably his best known……Vienna.  Not because he didn’t sing it, because I had to leave before the end!!!  I could kick myself when I think about it, but it didn’t dampen the evening one bit. Midge Ure did not disappoint……

A fantastic gig and my thanks to Berenice at midgeure.com and to Pete MacLeod for their assistance.

For more information on the artists:

Lloyd Cole web

Pete MacLeod – web/twitter/facebook

Midge Ure – web/twitter/facebook



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Great bands, Big sounds, Good times……….

I’ve been trying to update my blog for over a week now, I am pleased to say I have just been too busy!!!

Talkin Wire - Lalu Traumfabrik 2014

I was invited along to shoot a local band called Talkin Wire by my friend Arnd Wöbbeking.  I have to admit, I wasn’t too familiar with them but I was informed by a few people that they were a big affair.  This year is the 25th anniversary of the band and this show was to be a celebration of this momentous event and the launch of their new album Today.  From striking the first chords to the last song I was blown away.  Everything from the sound to the lights and effects was perfect.  The previous 25 years had obviously been put to good use, nowhere was out of bounds and the band had a stage presence that a lot of more established artists could learn from.

From a photography point of view It doesn’t get better.   Thank you very much to Talkin Wire for the opportunity and thank you to Arnd for the invite.  If you haven’t already done so check out the new album on Itunes.  My personal favourite:  ‘Fields of Fire’……..

Talkin Wire Gallery

88 Miles - Lalu Traumfabrik 2014

My next outing was to cover a band a 12 piece outfit with a brass section and a big sound.  88 Miles are essentially a pop cover band made up from members of various other bands in the area.  I have never been a huge fan of poppy stuff from a listener point of view but after conducting a little research it was obvious that these guys were special.   I arrived early to get a feel for the place and stake out a few select spots to shoot from.  The band were conducting a sound check when I arrived and the sound was incredible.

Now, as a photographer I am used to arriving, shooting 3 songs then being sent packing without making direct eye contact or getting within a stage height of the band.  Jessika (singer) took some time out to show me round, introduced me to the band, gave me my pass and free access to drinks.  I admit to being a bit uneasy with this as it caught me off guard, however it was greatly appreciated.

The venue was pack to bursting making it a challenge to find vantage points, however I was allowed to shoot the whole gig which allowed me to pace myself a bit more than usual.  It’s been a long time since I worked with a band who so obviously enjoy what they do.  The audience were loving every bar and I had a great night. These guys were a pleasure to shoot.  Thank you to you all……

88 Miles Gallery

Details of both bands can also be found on their Facebook pages:

fbTalkin Wire  – 88 Miles



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Hameln – a music scene to rival anywhere !!!

The past 10 days or so have been extremely busy, plenty of concerts and group bookings, just the way I like it.

The music scene in Hameln seems to be going through a bit of a resurgence with local bands, musicians and collaborations springing up all over. New dates are being announced every other day making It a good time to be here.

Recently I was lucky enough to receive invites to cover some more established artists during their European/Germany tours. Die Happy, Nick & June, Luxuslärm, Ansa and Australian singer songwriter, Mick Hart all played Sumpfblume in Hameln.  Another fantastic bunch of musicians and singers proving again that the local music scene is well and truly alive.  Many thanks to XtraTours, LuxusPromotion and Mick for arranging the photo passes.

More images can be viewed on my website.

Luxuslerm - Sumpfblume 2014 Nick_and_June-64Mick Hart - Sumpfblume 2014Luxuslaerm - Sumpfblume 2014 Die Happy Acoustic Tour - Sumpfblume



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