I need a dodge in Camden.

Well finally something I think I will enjoy is on locally. Unless I’m getting a Hackney Carriage home and he decides to take the scenic route!

Actually it was a very entertaining journey and he knocked the meter price back down to where is should’ve been.

FARE PLAY!

Sorry! Just couldn’t resist it.

So, the night begins in a mexican restaurant near to KOKO in Camden. For the older folk that have moved away, this used to be The Music Machine.

Me and my date for the night (The lucky lady has been my date for the last 27 years) walk in to a mexican restaurant to get some grub and The Urban Voodoo Machine are there chilling out. To my surprise they don’t say a word to the table of ten girls sat next to them in their net ball outfits. Not very Rock ‘n’ Roll but very gentlemanly.

I know one of them has clocked the camera (The band not the net ball team) and I feel like saying to him, relax, yes I know who you are but there is a time and a place for photos and I’m not disturbing your last hour before a gig.

Its just not the done thing…. Its not how I work. I want people I shoot to trust me. I do not want to put sneaky photos out there and I’m not going to put out anything I would consider unflattering.

Entering KOKO. “Excuse me Sir, No cameras!” What the….. You’re kidding me right?

My wife then asks rhetorically “what even though almost everyone has a phone?”……… I have to say at this point that the security chap was extremely polite and I asked for his supervisor who offered to call the manager…. Its not on the tickets that we have, nor have I noticed anything on their website stating no cameras.

So here I am, camera in hand and ready to demand a refund when the manager of the venue apologises for the situation, appears empathetic to my concerns over the safety of my kit and gives a personal reassurance that it will be looked after.

Reluctantly I accompany him to a secure area and hand over my baby. I feel like its in safe hands but there is a niggling doubt that leaves me a little uncomfortable and somewhat diminishes my enjoyment of the show.

You know what else detracted from the show…. people holding up phones to take substandard photos and videos….. other people with DSLRs without battery grips turning their camera into portrait position and holding the camera in such a way that their elbows are poking out and obstructing other peoples views. Flashes going off… I wouldn’t have used a flash, the lighting at the venue was great, I’m always mindful of an audience that has paid good money to see a gig, nor am I recording moving images and sound, … I am not sure if this is a policy of the venue, the particular promotor or the artists? I’m disappointed.

The front man for the urban voodoo machine is our master of ceremonies, our compare…He is perfect, one or two little slip ups but does a fantastic job of keeping the evening moving. The Crunch start us off and are much better than I expected. Terry Chimes starts hammering out a rhythm accompanied by Dave Tregunna on Bass and Mickey Geggus showing us how to play an axe with attitude. On vocals and the second guitar is Sulo Karlsson.

The Crunch go on my list of bands to see again but preferably somewhere both I and my camera are welcome.

Don Letts then spun a few tunes before Chris Salewicz confidently gave a reading from his Joe Strummer biography ‘Redemption Song’. As a side note Mr. Salewicz came to the Joe Strummer underpass because he heard something was going on there one night. It was just me tinkering with my guitar… I’m very novice at guitar and most certainly do not consider myself a vocalist but if your interested it is here (Building work was going on in the subway and it was one of the most stressful things I’ve done). Intended to be just a record for me and a way of me looking back to see if I have improved. If you do decide to view it or even comment, be gentle.

I’ve no idea how Chris heard about it or what he thought was going on but none the less it was nice of him to stop and spend five minutes chatting.

Back to last night; the screening of ‘I need a dodge’ directed by Nick Hall. This was mostly in Spanish with English subtitles. It was an easy watch and at points it raised a few laughs. There was a bit of a racket from the bar area during the reading and screening; some fella that looked like Gary Bushall but surely it couldn’t of been him? He surely wouldn’t be that loud? Really THAT LOUD!

Then more music with various artists and singers. The billing from the KOKO website read….

….Cadiz Music presents Rock N Roll Cinema – The premier UK screening of ‘I need a dodge! Joe Strummer on the run’, on  Wednesday 25 March.

As well as a screening of the film, the evening will also offer an all-star band, playing The Clash and Joe Strummer songs. All Star Band with Special Guest Vocalists including… WAYNE KRAMER from MC5
CHARLEY HARPER from UK SUBS
RUTS DC
CHRIS BAILEY from THE SAINTS
NORMAN WATT-ROY from THE BLOCKHEADS & WILKO JOHNSON BAND
MARTIN CHAMBERS from THE PRETENDERS
PAUL RONNEY ANGEL from THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE
TYMON DOGG from THE MESCALEROS + ANTONIO ARIAS from 091
RACHID TAHA & HENRY PADOVANI from THE POLICE
LARRY LOVE from ALABAMA 3 THE CRUNCH – FEAT. TERRY CHIMES from THE CLASH / MICKY GEGGUS from the COCKNEY REJECTS / DAVE TREGUNNA from SHAM 69 and SULO KARLSSON from DIAMOND DOGS Plus Don Letts perform an exclusive DJ set.

Back to me: What an awesome gig, I really do not remember when I last felt the floor move so much.

I don’t write gig reviews so I will suggest you buy Vive Le Rock magazine as I’m pretty certain they will have it covered. If not I will be seriously surprised.

I’d happily watch this set again tomorrow. I thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed the night. Missed my camera, kept feeling anxious about my camera but what a great gig.

As far as photography goes I got nothing more than a quickly snatched shot of Don Letts and Chris Salewicz.

IMG_579312015-03-25

Along with a quick shot of my knee. Yep my knee!

In my day job I quickly learnt not to kneel and that every situation presents something to learn from…… in this case it was do not kneel.

Yes I made the school boy error of kneeling down in a venue and ended up with a patch on my knee that smells like vomit.

IMG_580222015-03-25

So thats that.

A very unsuccessful gig shoot.

Until next time, thanks for stopping and reading.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James.

2 comments

  1. Made for a good read Jimmy, even without the usual photos. Sounds like you had a great time anyway. I’ve never done any photography at venues, but I would have thought that you would have had to e mail the venue to get permission, or get agreement from at least one of the performers beforehand. Is it worth registering with some sort of ‘professional’ body, who might give you some decent credentials? I have no idea, but I expect that you have thought about it.
    Here is a list of suitable organisations/unions that issue press cards. Worth a try?
    http://ukpresscardauthority.co.uk/

    Cheers mate. Pete.

    1. From what I can make out it all depends on what you intend on doing with the images. That said I have never been denied access to a venue for having a camera. Personally if I was in a band I would prefer to see good images of myself rather poorly composed and exposed photos.
      I looked at press cards once but they are not that easy to obtain. I will have another look but with regards to venues and gigs its a case of try to build a portfolio and then approach musuc mags. Vive Le Rock would be my preference because if the music they cover.
      I’m assuming they already had a photog there but maybe I should have emailed them and asked?!
      Venue pass just gets you into the area between the stage and audience. Sometimes back stage.. Not always the best place to shoot from.
      Camera was safe, staff were extremely polite. I am a tad miffed that it happened but yes it was a great evening.
      Cheers Pete.

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