The need to be quick

I did say somewhere sometime ago that my blogging was going to be very add-hoc and very intermittent. There is a reason for that and it is because I do not have much time to do the things I want to do. Much like my personal photography projects such as the Gents ‘n’ Herberts! Taking portraits and a short interview of frontmen from bands that influenced me as a pre-teen and through my teenage years (along time ago now).

Its not that I am a lazy photographer but I am genuinely pressed for time. Even on the blogging side of things… I only follow a couple of blogs and despite enjoying them I rarely get the time to catch up with those, never mind trying to put something out on a regular or frequent basis.

Anyhow, last night I went to a documentary showing about The Anti-Nowhere league. It was a great night and a few things in the film really made me chuckle. Like comparing suburban Royal Tunbridge Wells as being as rough as being in Brixton; if they’d suggested the same for Hackney I think I would have sprayed my mouthful of lager everywhere. I also never thought the word ‘Reggae’ would ever make me literally laugh out loud but in the context, the delivery and timing of blurting out ‘Reggae’ was just simply comic genius. Unfortunately you really needed to be present to get it.

That aside, Nick, the frontman for the Anti-Nowhere League is one of the few singers that I really wanted to include in this particular project.

I remember going into a record shop in Whitechapel when I was about eleven or twelve and finding this cover that looked cool.

I asked the fella in the shop if I could have a listen and he put the record on a dec and I plonked the headphones on. Wow! What the hell?!

Thats were it all started going wrong (he said tongue in cheek), yep I’ll have that and I’ll have more of that for the next thirty odd years.

Nick had previously agreed to take part in the project which I aim to use to raise funds for a charity called Changing Tunes. I don’t recall how much the last book raised but it was in the region of about £500 so that wasn’t too shoddy.

I haven’t been able to catch up with Nick to get the portrait and interview done and last night with bikes on stage, the band’s back-drop hanging and their local venue name on the wall I thought that I probably wouldn’t get a better setting for the portrait.

That said, what I have found taking these portraits with others around is that the subject can be distracted by onlookers and any other cameras (usually bloody phones) that people inevitably raise and point in their direction.

This was also a small venue with a capacity of around 230 making it a somewhat intimate celebration of the band hitting their fortieth year.

So obviously lots of people wanted to chat with the past and current band members that were there. Nick’s time was in demand so I would only have a very small window of opportunity to get the portrait last night.

I got someone to stand in for Nick and quickly got together my camera and flash settings. Unfortunately the person holding my flash was the one that appears to have got distracted resulting in the lighting not remaining directed where it should have been.

This was also in part to Nick wheeling a very nice 1800cc Harley across the stage. (The bikes sounded great – Noisy cans save lives!)

Moment almost lost but none the less I managed to get a pretty decent portrait although the composition of the back drop had to changed with no time for fart-arsing around.

The portrait of Nick will go in the book but for now here is the fella that kindly sat in for a really quick test shot and a Lady called Nixs that wanted a quick photo with with Nick who is a captivating frontman and total Gentleman.



If you happen to read this, thank you Nick for the time, especially on a night like last night. NeeNee for helping with the lights, thanks to the unknown fella for being a stand-in and thanks for Nixs for agreeing to be in the blog.

It also goes without saying…. but thank you to those that visit this very intermittent blog when I do publish a random post; it is very much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy James


  1. Jim, I was the lead guitarist from the early to late 80’s and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed your post and these great images. Sadly I missed the party last night due to being stuck in Calais Port for 4-5 hours. The irony is that I am vehemently opposed to Brexit and this of course has made me even more bitter and twisted.

  2. Nice post Jim and great images. I was the lead guitarist throughout most of the 80’s and sadly missed the celebrations last night due to being stranded in Calais Port last night for 4-5 hours. Being vehemently opposed to Brexit it rapidly became something of a double punishment for not adhering to the ‘will of the people’.

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