30 November 11

Posted at 9:30

I spent today with the N30 protest march and rally in London. I started in Archway where I'd left my car (around the corner from the small flat I'm trying to sell so I may have an income/pension!!!) I walked to various picket lines, including The Whittington Hospital where my grandson was born last month and my daughter had excellent care with a difficult birth (I'm relieved it was last month and not today!). I then joined strikers in Camden and made our way down to Lincoln Inn Fields to start the march to the Embankment.

I am compiling a series of images of Protest 2011, today's images will contribute to that project. In this blog I'll share just a few. Too Many Placards

My first image is at the start point Lincoln Inn Fields. This image is the overiding image I have in my mind, every group taking part appeared to have over estimated the number of placards they would need. I have other images to this at the embankment later in the afternoon. I can only guess that the turnout was well short of expectations. The turnout was not easy to assess. If you took out the togs and tv crews, the children who would have been at school but for the strike, the wannabe anarchists and hangers on and the public who got swept up with things and had surplus placards thrustinto their hands I estimate that only 75% of those present were actually protesters. Those real protesters fell into two schools (excuse the pun). The minority, perhaps 40% of the 75% were obviously public sector workers and pensioners who were there obviously incensed by their current pension predicament. They were ordinary people, health workers, teachers etc. they had an axe to grind and did it in a dignified manner. The majority attending today were political activists with a broad range of issues, most against the current government and from what I could glean against and potential government our current system could offer. So the minority of what I estimate to be a poor turnout were actually protesting specifically about proposed public sector pension cuts. Perhaps that's why it crossed my mind that this protest paled against the student protests earlier this month. Well that's my observations but what I was there to do was record the culture in the UK of protest in 2011 through photography so here goes...

This is at the end of the rally with speeches from union leaders and Ken L. I think the image of the obvious father and son and their message is very strong. Well George?

Well George?



The number of photographers of every shape, size and genre was unbelievable. No wonderI'm not earning a lot!!!!

/ Togs

I mentioned The Whittington Hospital earlier. My most recent experience of the national health was there - excellent beyond belief

emotionally I'd give them anything they want - I guess that's our dilemma.

/ The Whittington

This guy seemed to be everywhere. I spoke to him to find out about him but he didn't communicate. Is he a public sector worker? pensioner?

or just a guy who got hold of a spare placard. I still don't know. Whatever he put a good shift in!

/ Strike Back

Point taken luv!

/ No Thanks

Lewisham pensioners at the end of the rally - some of the sincerest folk I met today.

Lewisham Pensioner

Here I am balanced up a street sign in order to get an ariel view. It's all about differential focus not demos. Well I am a photography student!

Just a Face in the Crowd

Wear a Guido Fawkes mask at any protest today and you'll be sure to meet long lost relatives

Hi Bro

Here he is again - this time in the front line - tell me he's not famous/infamous!

Got To Go

Another shot that's more about photography than the topic. Took me a while  to get this.


This is a characterture by Kaya Mar. An artist and I suspect entrepreneur, marketing himself very well indeed in the midst of an anti capitalism rally!

What a job he's doing. In the Metro and Guardian today and constantly at the forefront of today's march. It's ironic. 

Check him out here 

Dogs Life

Some Cuts Never Heal

Some Cuts Never Heal

Today's top banner holder - well done buzz.



Dizraeli and the Small Gods

27 November 11

Posted at 9:29

Last Friday I managed to catch Dizraeli and the Small Gods at the Southbank. I first saw, heard and shot them at Chai Wallahs at Sunrise Festival back in June. Loved the set, the music the words and Dizraeli such a sincere guy and so talented as are all of his Small Gods. Big mistake was I did not have my camera with me on Friday - rare I know but there is an explanation! I did manage a short video clip of Bellatrix, one of the Small Gods also a member of The Boxettes and the world champ female beatboxer - see the clip here

Since June I have listened endlessly to Engurland (Dizraeli's album) and I am working on an audio visual project fearturing a track, Maria, which I really rate. Dizraeli is currently on a spoken word tour and won't be live with the Small Gods again until March next year. By which time the band will have releasd their first album. I suggest you make a point of catching both the spoken word tour and especially a future Small Gods set - you will not be disappointed.

Meantime here is a selection of images from back in June at Sunrise.

Dizraeli 8


Dizraeli and Small Gods 3


Dizraeli and Small Gods 2


Dizraeli 7


Dizraeli 6


Dizraeli 5


Dizraili and Small Gods 1


Dizraeli 4




Dizraeli 3


Dizraeli 2


Dizraeli 1


Protests, Cuts and Poetry

16 November 11

Posted at 2:21


Last week I photographed the protest march against cutbacks and at the same time I popped into the Occupy protest at St Paul's. I've been there a few times shooting film for a project at Uni but last week I had my digital camera with me as well. The reason for blogging about it today, a week after the event, is that my good friend Ian Colville, communications marketeer, Scottish historian, avid Tweeter (@Iainthepict) and sometime poet, saw my images on Flickr and added some prose to some of them. Impressed I was! So I'll commence with the images Ian put poetry to, with the poetry underneath each one;

London Wall

London Wall


When all at once, I spied a crowd
A throng, a host, of golden cops
Like daffodils around the edge
Of protest marchers forced to stop.





















Transfer debt not unto us
We won't stand for fees you'd hike
'Cos even if we do look like
A beachhead full of bobbing seals
[chant] We're not the walrus!





















The invisible man in the iron mask
You know who; don't have to ask
Protestors takin' him to task
Banners raised, walking past!


















It's Not A Calumet Festival

It's Not A Calumet Festival


"Care to dance?", policeman said
"No thank you." - man with no head
"She might though." - from 'Camera bag'
"Here she comes. Rag, mamma rag."


















Thanks Ian for those words.

Now to finish off a shot of Billy Bragg entertaining the activists (and photographers!) occupying the area around St Paul's. Plus a couple more images from the day.

Billy Bragg Plays St Paul's




Buy a Starbucks




The Lugosi and Idiot Joy

09 November 11

Posted at 10:36

Following a big night at The Borderline last Thursday resulting in my last blog being completed around 3:30 Friday morning I spent a long day at Uni only to head off to another gig at the Water Rats, Kings Cross. I'm not too proud to say that by the time I got there I was pretty knackered and looking forward to getting home for some kip. I had promised a new friend from my course, Lucia, that I would shoot her band, The Lugosi, and was not about to let her down. There were two bands still to go before The Lugosi so I met the band and some of their friends, had a drink and perked up a little. The Lugosi were on at 9:30 for a thirty minute set so with a bit of luck I could make the 10:20 train home. Lucia understood and was pleased that I'd bothered to come along at all. By now I was looking forward to seeing The Lugosi having met them and had a chat. We stood at the back of the venue and talked as the penultimate band came on. I didn't catch their name intially and to be honest took little notice other than joking that they looked young enough to be at school (sorry lads! Oh but then you are students eh?)

I started to take note of their second number and by the third I was down the front shooting them.

Idiot Joy 1

Two guitars, drums and what I (ignorantly) thought was an alto sax. I've since learnt it's a soprano sax, so I guess I was close! Anyway what matters is the music. These kids are soooo talented. It's a big ask to follow an 'indie rock' band in the back bar of a Kings Cross pub with what I can only describe as a jazz instrumental set. The crowd initially at least paid little heed. Gradually more and more of the clientele took notice until midway through the set they'd attracted everyones attention and their talent was being acknowledged.

Idiot Joy - George Whinstone 

They are called Idiot Joy, not the only band of that name according to Google. These are the North London variety made up originally of two bassists Claude Newcombe and Lewis Hargreaves and drummer Tom Reeder. They were joined later by George Whinstone and his soprano sax. As my old mate Mark Knopfler said - 'The boys can play' (well he said boy but a bit of poetic license eh?).

George Whinstone - Idiot Joy

You could be fooled into believing that George and his sax are the leading light of Idiot Joy (especially at the Water Rats as the only decent light in the place was on him) but you'd be wrong. The talent runs through the whole band and the way they harmonise instrumentally is just beautiful. Check out their sounds here . Better still check them out live at their next gig December 20th (time to save up the admission of £4) at 93 Feet East  in Whitechapel.

Oh dear I've been rambling on about how enthused I was about Idiot Joy I nearly for The Lugosi - the reason I went there in the first place. Well they were the icing on the cake. Check them out here .

Other than to say The Lugosi were the icing on the cake, a total contrast to Idiot Joy, but again so talented. I understand it was their bass players last appearance which was such a shame as in true rock and roll fashion he had his shirt off within two numbers - guess he had to do something to compete with the flamboyant lead singer Richard - who was a joy to both hear and see.

Mike - The Lugosi


The Lugosi - Richard


Lucia - The Lugosi




The Travelling Band at The Borderline

04 November 11

Posted at 3:27

I've been waiting for this gig mainly to compare TTB now with the last time they were here. They have grown so much - its like the venue has shrunk!!

Anyhow I aint about to write a critique - if I did it would be short - The Travelling Band are the Dogs Bollocks full stop. I take pics so here are some from ce soir....

For starters here's Adam givin it with that hippy hair and beard underneath look ...

Adam 1 Borderline


and here is Chris - a rare monemt hands off guitar and encouraging the crowd to get into it. Must admit the crowd at a Travelling

Band gig need no encouragement - but it's nice to see Chris having fun x

Chris Borderline


Jo and Adam Borderline 2011

Says it all TTB in action


Adam Jo and Chris - one of my arty shots!


Adam close up

and Adam singing. I'll post some more later - need some sleep now!