Les Bonbons at Lodestar 2014

30 August 14

Posted at 12:25

My first (this year) and not last photoblog from Lodestar 2014. Lodestar for the uninitiated is a festival held in Lode, Cambridgeshire at the end of August each year. Founded and masterminded by Doug Durrant, a thoroughly nice bloke who has a knack of putting together an eclectic but constantly really high quality mix of musical talent, known and unknown. I've shot Lodestar for a few years now and it's always a joy to be there. I once heard the site described as a two hundred acre lawn and that's exactly what it is. The atmosphere is laid back beyond belief. A boutique festival with a definite East Anglan feel to it but festival goers from all over the country and beyond.

The photos in this blog are of Les Bonbons who played on the Laura Jane Stage (shold be the Laura Jane Tent) late afternoon on Friday. Being in a tent when on early has the advantage of it being dark, or at least not daylght and Les Bonbons deserved that. I had researched all acts playing on the main stage but had not looked at the line up on the two smaller stages. I drifted into the tent and what a pleasure it was to come across Les Bonbons.

Les Bonbons 2

Not French but with French connexions Les Bonbons. I won't even try to explain, the story is all  here . Les Bonbons music is as fun and colourful as this image. They are talented, 'melodramatic popular music' is how they describe their genre - that'll do for me.

Les Bonbons

Billy Bonbon looking like a latter day Pete Townsend

Jake Hutton

Jake Hutton

The Lady Bonbons 

The Lady Bonbons - sweet backing vocals.

Fred Bonbon

Fred Bonbon

Billy Bonbon

Billy Bonbon

Billy and Fred Bonbon

Fred and Billy Bonbon

Lady Bonbon

The Lady

Si vous 'ave le chance check Les Bonbons out and achete l'album en Octobre.  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Les-Bonbons/148549735201740?sk=timeline


Caliphate Encompasses London - 2028

24 August 14

Posted at 8:41

It's 2028 an 18 year old girl hiding in fear of her life in a basement in North London looks back at an old photograph of her and her father in 2014.

Caliphate Encompasses London 2028

2028 - "I remember sitting on Dad's shoulders as a four year old videoing a demo about Gaza on my iPhone - that's what us swipe generation kids used to do. A few weeks later Gaza was forgotten when an American journalist was executed in Syria. The rest is now history. How I long for life to be like 2014 when I could shoot video on my iPhone in London in safety and we were free".


Arles and Nimes

22 August 14

Posted at 10:46

I've just returned from a whirlwind trip to Rencontres Arles. Spent three days in Arles visiting 19 galleries and generally soaking up the atomosphere bookended by stay overs in Nimes. We chose Nimes as we really like it there but also it can be reached by train from my village in Bedfordshire in just 8 hours with two quick changes. Nimes is a short journey from Arles so it worked well.

Arenas Nimes

The Roman Arenas at Nimes. The last ime I was here it was to see radiohead play in the Arenas on the In Rainbows tour - what an experince that was.

Communiste Francais Arles

On to Arles - is this a communist activist harrassing an elderly lady on a bike? 

Vik Muniz Album

The main aim of visiting Rencontres was for inspiration and education relating to my photography. This is what inspired me most of all. The work of Vik Muniz. His series Album is amazing. massive montages created from literally hunderds, possibly thousands of photographs. The works are created manually  (as opposed to using software) the finished work is then photographed. This image does no justice to the work unfortunately.

Art Through the Door

Patrick Swirc and Vincent Perez have exhibitions in the Abbaye de Montmajor - an awesome building 5 kms out of town. I wonder how many visitors make the effort to see this one? We hired bikes and cycled there - well worth the effort.

Patrick Swirc Abbaye De Montmajor

Patrick Swirc Don't Move

Arenas d'Arles Gardians Carmargue

While in Arles we took the opportunity to see a display of Carmargue Guardians horsemanship and sharing their culture.

The Chase

It was an hour or so well spent - quite a spectacle


Not a Bull fight more of a Boy fight as in this event the bull had the upperhand!

Abbaye De Montmajor

Abbaye de Montmajor



The Travelling Band at Cropredy 2014

12 August 14

Posted at 11:52

Cropredy or Fairport's Cropredy Convention is a 'three day festival of music and good cheer' held in Cropredy, near Banbury in August. It has been held annually since the seventies. Fairport Convention, a legendary folk band of some note put on the festival and top the bill on the Saturday night. The festival is like no other I have witnessed for a number of reasons. First of all it is centered around an iconic folk band who are idolised by generation of families. Grandchildren, even great grandchildren of the hippies who followed the band in the sixties grow up with Fairport and Cropredy being part of their culture and all revel in the annual pilgrimage to Oxfordshire. The festival site is different. There is one stage set in a natural amphitheatre on Fairports farm. It is surrounded by campsites which stretch between the villages of Cropredy and Williamscot. Cropredy opens its doors, particularly its pub doors, to festival goers and fringe gigs are put on in the village. At 11am each day the gates to the site open to festival goers, many queue for hours before to get a prime position. The fans, 20,000 of them, then, all with camping chairs in hand, rapidly form rows of chairs, blankets etc etc and set up for the day. A large area at the front is left for those wishing to stand, dance etc. It all sounds so orderly for a festival and in many ways it is but its really chilled out and friendly and although it seems orderly there is no organisation - just tradition I guess. Real ale is the drug of choice but that is not compulsory and folk enjoy themselves in what ever way they wish - but at no other festival do many of the festival goers arrive with a pewter tankard hanging from their rucksack.

Another unusual aspect are the numbers of dogs brought along but there's an absence of any evidence of dogs stuck to your shoes. The dogs all wear  'Little Stephen' neckerchiefs - I've not yet discovered why. Cropredy is whiter than Midsomer, something I find a little disturbing - it is like going back in time to rural England about 70 years ago. The demographic is unrepresentative even for rural Oxfordshire but so be it. I first experienced Cropredy when The Travelling Band appeared there in 2011. I had followed the band for some years before that and spent much of that summer following their festival tour. A group of us went along - we had a brilliant time and witnessed such a broad eclectic mix of musical talent that I have returned every year since. This year with other committments I could not make the whole festival but as The Travelling Band were appearing again I made sure I had a pass to shoot their set at least.

So here are a few pics of TTB smashing it at Cropredy 2014 just as they did in 2011.

Jo Dudderidge The Travelling Band

Jo Dudderidge

Adam Gorman - The Travelling Band

Adam Gorman

Chris Spencer - The Travelling Band

Chris Spencer

Nick Vaal - The Travelling Band

Nick Vaal

Steve Mullen - The Travelling Band

Steve Mullen

Steve Mullen - Cropredy 2014

Steve Mullen

Adam Gorman - Cropredy 2014

Adam Gorman

Jo Dudderidge -Cropredy 2014

Jo Dudderidge


Checkout  The Travelling Band here

Checkout  Cropredy here


The Travelling Band have a new album The Big Defreeze out on 25th August and are touring extensively this autum.



06 August 14

Posted at 1:31

No sooner had I made yesterday's post than I received a message from a shy and retiring young man, Gary Payne, enquiring if I had taken any photos of the band he plays with, Neverworld, at ROTW 2014. Gary found me through my LeFlic17images facebook page (feel free to pop along and 'like') and his message began Hi Herr Flic! This threw me for a moment as LeFlic17 did not come from 'allo 'allo and I've never considered the connection before. It's a long story when it is derived from and no time for that now. On to Gary and his quest for photos.

Well I did shoot Neverworld  a talented and photogenic bunch - genre they describe as melodic metal - I'll go a long with that. So today's photoblog is dedicated to  Neverworld

Neverworld 3



Jack, Ben and Gary

Neverworld 2


Flying Dreads


Jack Foster - Neverworld


Gary Payne - Neverworld

As I said, shy and retiring - not!

Ben Cotton - Neverworld


Jack Foster - Neverworld

Neverworld played mid afternoon on Sunday - I would have preferred them to have a later spot (BBC Introducing Gareth Lloyd take note) as they would have reached a bigger audience. However they had a big following most of whom I did not photograph but this hairy bloke who was well into Neverworld did catch my eye...

Head Bang 1

He was not with the main crop of head bangers but ws isolated between two fans somehow oblivious to his presence, well in fact 'sneaky 'tog' to the left of him isn't oblivious :). After a long period of shaking and swirling his mop to the music he suffered a real bad hair moment..

Head Bang 2

I had to be quick to catch this as his head was shaking fast and he rarely came up for air.

Head Bang 3

Normal service resumed.

There you go Gary - apologies I missed you in the first blog - hope this compensates.

Check out Neverworld  here  or ideally catch them live (unless of course you have dandruff).


ROTW 2014

05 August 14

Posted at 6:40

Rhythms Of The World, Hitchin's splendid two day festival of music and much more, returned at the weekend after an enforced break last year. The festival, which started life as a street festival held in a mutlitude of venues across the town became so popular and big that it had to move to a single location. In 2012 the festival, which was a storming success (excuse the pun) was marred a little by torrential rain preceeding the event and causing a two hour delay on the Saturday. However that did not deter from a fantastic festival, run 100% by volunteers and attracting artists and talent from across the world and particularly a big presence from Beds, Herts and Bucks. The festival on top of the heavy rain caused so much damage to the grounds of the venue, Hichin Priory, that access for 2013 was denied. In a way understandable as the Priory serves as an event and wedding venue throughout the year.

However 2014 saw the return of ROTW to the Priory, no doubt after much arm twisting and praying for good weather. The event boasts six stages in addition to family areas, healing fields, bars, food outlets etc. There is no camping, perhaps a good thing, but the festival, considering it is totally run by a army of volunteers is both a credit to them and the town.

This year the first act on the mainstage was the Sir Walter J Wallis Band.

Charlie and Sir Walter J Wallis

Sir Walter, who doubled as compare on the main stage for much of the weekend, invited a lad name of Charlie to come up on stage and officially open the festival. Reluctant at first Charlie soon got over stage fright to did a good job of opening the show. The organisers aim to make the festival a family event and they do a briliant job of catering for families, children of all ages, old rockers, young rockers, hipsters, clubbers and ravers and even some classical music. Music lovers of every generation and genre are catered for. I flitted between stages but shot mostly at the BBC Introducing Stage hosted by Gareth Lloyd of BBC Three Counties Radio. Below is a flavour of the festival - more to come in future blogs.

Phili 'N' Dotz

Phili 'N' Dotz

Kool Hertz

Kool Hertz

Kill Confirmed

Kill Confirmed

Joe Savage - Kill Confirmed

Joe Savage - Kill Confirmed

Tommy Savage

Tommy Savage - Kill Confirmed

Tommy Savage Head Bang

Tommy Savage head bang

CC Smugglers

CC Smugglers

Indi Forde

Indi Forde

Black Noise

Black Noise

Dancing Boy

Young dancer

Zaheer the Producer

Zaheer the Producer


Rapper with Zaheer

Crazy World of Arthur Brown

Crazy World of Arthur Brown

I Am The God of Hellfire

The God of Hellfire

Arthur Brown

Arthur Brown

Zaheer's Crew

Another of Zaheer's Crew

Black Noise

Black Noise

Joe Savage - Kill Confirmed

Joe Savage - guitar face


Arthur again.

More pics of more acts in a day or two


London Protest Against Israels Attacks On Gaza

02 August 14

Posted at 9:53

On 1st Augsut 2014 Londoners of every creed and colur staged a peaceful protest outside the Israeli embassy in Kensington

Thomas Mann

The BBC, quite rightly due to their biased coverage of the atrocities, came in for a lot of stick from protesters and speakers

BBC Deaf Dumb Blind

One banner I didn't expect to see was Gooners Against Aparteid - nice one Gooners

Gooners Against Aparteid

The Jewish community had a strong presence - protesters and speakers

Zionism is State Organised Terror


To see more images  click here



01 August 14

Posted at 11:44

As you probably know I'm fascinated by street art, the culture and it's evolution. I often photograph street art, have published a book of a project about Stik and I have exhibited works derived from photographs of street art. Yesterday an infamous street artist, King Robbo passed away. He had been ill for a long time in fact since he had a fall in 2011 and was subsequently in a coma for many months, he never recovered. Channel 4 ran a documentary on the so called 'wars' between Robbo and Banksy in 2011. The two images below are from 2010 when the 'wars' were, I guess, at their height.

Banksy Robbo Archway

Originally Banksy's 'Anywhere' at Archway from 2004 this is it after a team Robbo visit in March 2010

Robbo in Camden

Another another Banksy after a team Robbo visit. This one in Camden in May 2010.

RIP King Robbo