Fort Nelson - show going up

Opens on Saturday!
thanks to Sadie Scott for all her hard work and the pic

12 Bar Club

Sad to hear the 12 Bar Club has closed down, here's some pics of John Moore and Jim Reid of the Jesus and mary chain playing there back in the day, 3200 asa pushed one stop and hoped for the best.

cafe royal notes

From about 1999-2006 I used to photograph a lot of protests on the streets of London, I was never much interested in the cause of the protests more the act of 'protest' itself.It was its own kind of street theatre, with its own cast of characters and roles to be played out.

Mayday in London had been a flashpoint for the last couple of years and in 2001 the police penned a couple of thousand protestors in Oxford Circus; one of the first examples of ‘kettling’The day had started quite slowly, the standard march, the standard slogans, the standard photographs, the standard rain, however at Oxford Circus things changed, the police sealed off the four exits holding the protestors in the middle of the road junction.  
“You are being detained here to prevent a breach of the peace and criminal damage to property. You will be released in due course.” was the police line. 
The 'kettle' was in place, the 'normal' police blocking the exits were replaced by those in their full riot gear. Any attempt to leave the cordon was met by shields and batons.
The rain continued to fall, by now my equipment was getting a real soaking, my cheap flashgun gave up the ghost and the Nikon F4 got water in the body resulting in only half rewinding a film, ruining some pictures when the back was opened. Luckily the old Leica M4-P had no electrics to go wrong, so soldiered on.
I had not been in London long and was still finding my feet as a photographer, going back through contact sheets and dusty negatives I found that I’d spent a lot of the time photographing the police rather than the protestors or the protests themselves. It was the first time I’d really seen riot police in their storm-trooper uniforms (quite strange if you’d been brought up in a place when the police’s most high-tech piece of kit was a Mini Metro) and quickly became fascinated by the only section of them that was visible, through the visor of their riot helmet. It seemed that I had spent the whole day concentrating on this little window of humanity. Once I'd found this angle I started to work, at the same time watching the game of chess between the police and protestors unfold, the clashes, the insults, the boredom. 
At this point in time I did not have a press pass, I shot really just for myself and the camera gave me an excuse to witness events I was interested in, so when I saw press photographers showing passes and being able to leave the kettle I felt a pang of jealousy but at the same time felt determined to stick it out. 
I was finally released from the kettle at around 6/7pm. At least the rain had stopped.

see original article HERE

Interview with Bruichladdich

We get a double dose of the We Made It ethos here. Brian David Stevens is a craftsman in his own right – a unique photographer whose work sits somewhere between high art, documentary, agit-prop and subculture, and who is as appreciative of the presentational qualities of the photocopied fanzine, or indeed a digital gallery for theartsdesk as he is of the top-end digital print for the gallery wall. But his most recent exhibition and print series are in themselves an appreciation of craftsmanship, too.
His screen print series Notting Hill Sound Systems, which has been showing at notorious west end bar The Social and sold in a boxed magazine edition by Cafe Royal Books, is a love note to London's speaker-stackers and bassbin-luggers. Its depictions of the huge soundsystems set up on street corners in preparation for Notting Hill Carnival, with not a human being in sight, are a reminder of the hard labour and street-smart technical wizardry that gets the all-important music playing at one of the largest public events in the world.
“I've always loved speakers,” Stevens says. “I paid my way through college working as a roadie, so I've been physically close to them – and these one were great, hand made old systems, each with their own fingerprint visually and sonically. I want people to see them as objects: they're strange and beautiful in their own right.” As to why he would present them so starkly, alone on the street: “It's playing with context really. It's odd to see them in public but without people, so you end up looking at them in a different way. And also, by photographing them you've removed their primary purpose – which is to create sound – so they become something else.”
As to how he chooses to present his pictures: “I'd rather do a show with giant photocopies than not do it at all because there's no budget for prints,” he shrugs. “The photography world can be quite insular and people end up producing work that's only seen by other photographers – which has it's place – but it's fun to mix things up a bit. Jeff Barrett from Heavenly Records loved the Sound Systems so having them up in The Social was a no-brainer. It's nice to put photography in different environments whether that's bars, tunnels (as I did with a set of photos of graffiti writers), streets... whatever.”
But the real mark of Stevens's ability to adapt to any context or subject matter is that alongside his pictures of spraycan artists, soundsystems and rioting protestors, his best known work is They That Are Left, an ongoing 10 year project photographing the faces of  war veterans on armistice day. It's going to exhibited this year at the Royal Armouries in Leeds and at Fort Nelson in Portsmouth and, he says “people seem to really connect with it.” It might seem a leap between this and reggae/rave soundsystems, but in fact there's a clear theme in Stevens's work of the physical manifestation of real lives lived – and thanks to the work he puts into creation and placement of photos as physical objects, this work is a rare and important reminder of life away from the digital fizz of our online lives.
They That Are Left is exhibited at Leeds Royal Armouries from next month:

Article HERE

Brian David Stevens

My Photo