There are two excellent and tenuously connected things happening in Medway this month to help the homeless.
Former Singing Loins guitarist and songwriter Chris Allen (a.k.a. Arfur) has recorded an absolute beauty of a Christmas song called Homelesss For Christmas. He’s releasing it on the Vacilando ’68 label as a limited edition CD and download on December 18th, with all proceeds going to Crisis. It features artwork by the brilliant Lupen Crook and I’ve contributed the photo above for use as part of the package. Keep an eye on the label’s website for more information about the release, but in the meantime have a listen to the song on Soundcloud.
Many thanks to my friend Hannah for trudging about in the cold to be in the photo. Hannah is organising something brilliant that we can all take part in. She’s looking for donations of shoeboxes with appropriate, non-perishable gifts to hand out to the homeless during the week before Christmas, or items which can be placed into shoeboxes. Practical gift ideas include:
• Socks and underwear
• Gloves, hats, scarfs, earmuffs
• Non-perishable food items
• Vouchers for food/clothes (I.E Supermarket vouchers)
• Baby products
• Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, plasters, deodorant, razors, nail clippers, baby wipes)
• Feminine hygiene products
There are drop off points in Chatham and Rainham that will be open until Friday 18th December. For more ideas and information, CLICK HERE.
Time flies. Last week saw the third Homespun festival in Medway. Homespun started small and independent and remains independent, yet slightly bigger and arguably better than ever before. By the people for the people and all that. It’s the best festival in Medway in my view. Mind you, I can be a bit opinionated sometimes.
As ever, there’s only so much you can see with just the one camera and no Tardis. I managed to get shots of (in order of appearance) Bob Collins, Mark Morriss, Sleep Society, Tiny Ghost, The Only Sun, Spectres, Theatre Royal, Lost Film Foundation (formerly The Parade), Wiremother, Frau Pouch, Gavin Alexander, Maggie Zenwa, Harvey Fishbone and the Aquarium Klezmorium, Stuart Turner and The Flat Earth Society, Dead Belles, The Dredgermen, Reavsey, Balance Lost, Brigadier Ambrose, Silent Front, Graham Day and The Forefathers and Shitwife.
Click HERE or on the photo of Sleep Society above to see more.
I’m looking forward to seeing shots from the other photographers I bumped into over the course of Homespun. I’ll share when I see. Thanks for looking.
I was recently asked to contribute some photos to a book called Do It Yourself: A History Of Music In Medway by Stephen H Morris. It’s out now, available from the usual outlets, but I’d recommend ordering your copy directly from Cultured Llama Publishing. Click on the collage above to see the original photos, and if you want to find out more, this review that I wrote for WOW magazine is as good a place to start as any.
The Sine Waves at Sun Pier House
This last week (July 23rd to 26th) saw the second annual Homespun music festival in Medway. Homespun is independently run and combines performances from the wealth of Medway’s musical talent with guests from further afield and forays into other forms, such as comedy and poetry. It was an extremely well run affair. I was asked to be one of the official photographers for these events and can happily say I had an excellent time and saw some stunning performances. It was great to walk around and hear quality music coming out of so many venues. The streets were alive with the sound of music. Of course, one camera can only capture so much from such a huge roster of gigs, but I did my best. Click HERE or on the photo above to see photos of the following:
Dave Read : Rastko : Jowe Head and the Demi Monde : Punching Swans : Theatre Royal : The Wolfhounds : Bear vs Manero : Carmen Delicia IV : Christopher Quietly and His Special Orchestra : Clair Meyrick : Balance Lost : John Forrester : The Flowing : The Love Family : Stanley Knife : The Sine Waves : The Galileo 7 : Younghusband : The Parade
See also the photos of m’colleague Bill Gooch as he posts over time. He’s a top geezer :0)
This weekend saw Medway Eyes (a local independent grass roots creative thing) bow out after five years of doing interesting stuff in Medway for the love of it. A fifth download album was released on Friday for charity, and there was a sort of mini-festival. I was at two of the gigs with my camera, and it was brilliant.
Click through the photo above to be see the rest on Flickr. Click HERE to download the album.
The A-Lines who, quite frankly, blew my bloody head off.
Last weekend saw the inaugural Homespun festival in Medway. 50+ bands and artists over 9 venues. Rave reviews and feedback from press, performers and punters alike. All busy. All happy. All for love and not for profit.
My prize in all of this was a lovely, sweaty Nag’s Head and a spotlight (although I was allowed out earlier in the day).
More photos HERE.
The Singing Loins played their last ever gig, after 24 years together, this Saturday as part of the Sweeps festival in Rochester. Frankly, I’d been a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. The Singing Loins mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Their songs are raw and honest and encompass pretty much every aspect of the human condition, and their gigs are the closest thing to a congregation that I’m ever likely to walk into. It had the potential to be messy, but instead it was joyful and affirmative.
I’ve been lucky enough to have a minor walk on part in the Loins’ story relatively lately, and I’ve been made to feel like a member of the family by the Loins and Loinesses as I’ve photographed, amongst other things, the triumphant launch of ‘Here On Earth’ at the 100 Club last November and their farewell gig this weekend.
The aim, on both occasions, was to take the essence and atmosphere of the room and pop it into my camera. I think I managed that, and I hope I’ve left the band and their fans a set of images that they might delve into occasionally when they’re listening to the Loins’ extensive, brilliant and beautiful back catalogue.
If anyone from the band reads this, please can you put me down for an AAA pass to the 30th anniversary bash? Ta x