Just a few images from the open afternoon of Jack’s Restaurant and Coffee House in Old Town Swindon. It was formally knows as Café Art.
I start most of my working days with coffee here. It is a lovely place. The people there make it of course he staff are just great but the coffee is excellent and the food is to die for. Along with free wifi it is a great place to while away a few hours, working or people watching.
I really enjoy music photography. Especially when you get blown away by somebody that is new to you. Monday night I photographed the re-launch of The Academy of Music and Sound Swindon. Nick Harper performed a master class to some of the students that were there that night. I have to say I was blown away by his sound/music he is so good. It really is worth checking him out. You may like it, you may not, but he is certainly very very good at what he does. I managed to have a chat with him and he is a really nice guy as well. I for one will go to one of his gigs to check it out properly.
As I do every year I went down into Swindon Town Centre to the Cenotaph to photograph the very moving short service for Holocaust Memorial Day. It was a cold day but at least it was not raining like last year. Cold enough to cause one young man from a local school to feint. I wont name them but many of you will recognize some of the faces of the crowd that attended.
Saturday night I was at the Wyvern Theatre again, this time to photograph Supreme Queen. They were awesome, what a performance and so much like the original Queen band. They were so good I got really carried away and shot nearly 1000 images. So I found it quite difficult to select and process them down to a reasonable level. This is just a very small selection of the gig. I am sure some people are against ‘tribute acts’ as they are not ‘the real thing’ but trust me, this band are awesome and well worth going to see.
Saturday lunchtime saw me in Kent Road Swindon where there was the unveiling of a Blue Plaque for Diana Dors who was born at 61/62 Kent Road in Swindon. The plaque was unveiled by her youngest son actor Jason Dors-Lake and her granddaughter Ruby Lake. Diana Dors Cadillac was also there in front of the house, now pink but was originally white and presented to Diana by the film studios. It has to be said that Jason was quite a ‘character’ and was spreading peace and love for much of the visit to his mother’s birth place.
An interesting and of course enjoyable couple of hours for me.
Friday evening found me at The Wyvern Theatre. I had been allowed to go side of stage to take photos of Dick and Puss an Adult Panto. Well firstly what lovely lovely people they were or are should I say. They invited me up into the dressing room and I had such a lovely chat with them. They made me feel so welcome and at ease which of course is so important as I firmly believe that my (or any photographer for that matter) state of mind is reflected in the passion and quality of the photographs I (you) take. I like to think my photos are or border on art rather than just a ‘record’ of what went on.
Anyway, I laughed so much during the performance I sometimes found it hard to hold the camera steady. I like bawdy humour and it was bawdy but I and the audience really enjoyed it, and the audience joined in very enthusiastically.
So, if you ever get the chance to get to see them, do so, don’t take the kids though it is an hilarious adult panto.
Well, what can I say. I have had so much fun photographing and being ‘sort of’ involved with this years Pantomime Cinderella at the Swindon Wyvern Theatre. I have photographed and obviously met and chatted to all of the cast and I have to say what lovely lovely people, every one of them. Victoria Farley as Cinderella and Abigail Matthews as the fairy godmother are two just stunningly attractive and talented young ladies. Dickie Wood as Buttons and Cole Dunn as Dandini hugely talented young men. Ryan Thomas as Prince Charming is excellent. I have met many ‘famous’ people and some are not particularly friendly. Ryan is the opposite, he is so friendly and very modest and is as good in Panto as he was as Jason Grimshaw in Coronation Street, indeed a star. And what can I say about David Ashley as Ballsy Brenda and Louie Westwood as Sweaty Betty the two Ugly Sisters that has not already been said. Both legends in the Panto world, just stunning performance and lovely people to talk to off stage. At times I couldn’t photograph them because I was laughing so much.
The chorus dancers (both teams) all juveniles, hugely talented and professional.
I also want to thank the technical team who have welcomed me and made me feel comfortable and almost ‘part of the crew’ and all of the staff of all of the departments that are just so friendly and helpful, they have all made me feel so much part of a ‘team’ which is something I have not experienced for many years.
It is at times like this I just love my job, well it isn’t even a job, I enjoy it too much.
I think most shows have been sold out but try to get tickets anyway. It is a must see Panto and you will not be disappointed.
Today’s update is of a shoot a couple of weekends ago. I was allowed to be back stage at The Wyvern Theatre Swindon for the performance by Ben, The countries finest Michael Jackson Tribute artist. This is the second time I have photographed Ben and it never ceases to amaze me just how realistic Ben is when ‘in character’. And as I am sure those of you who know me I love Michael Jackson music from way back when in the early 70’s to the present day so I for one really enjoyed the performance and was so lucky to see it from the side of the stage.
This is another act that I would definitely recommend you go see if you have the opportunity, you wont be disappointed.
Saturday evening found me at The Wyvern Theatre for the Bowieexperience a David Bowie tribute show. Well I was really really impressed with the show. He and the band sang most of Bowie’s hits and sang them well. I think it is true to say that it is not very often I see pretty much everybody in the theatre standing and dancing but they were at this show. He raised the roof and was just awesome, well worth the effort.