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DJ Greg Wilson’s ‘Reels of Steel’ at Band on the Wall, Oct 2011

I’ve recently been working with the seminal Mancunian music venue Band on the Wall, helping them to showcase the unique venue and their facilities.

When I started this project I was particularly keen to capture one legendary North West DJ, Greg Wilson, in action as I’d originally shot him back in 2008 at the Electrospective event in Islington Mill. Ever since then I wanted to catch him in full effect, with his trusty Revox reel-to-reel tapes onstage.

I’d seen Greg back in April for the first outing of his new ‘Reels of Steel’ project, which he’s since taken on tour, so his recent return to Band on the Wall for Dan Soulsmith’s ‘Stretch Disco’ night gave me the perfect opportunity to snap him as he played to a buzzing crowd. It was a great night, and as you can see, the place was jumping. Check out Greg’s mix from the night on Soundcloud here to immerse yourself in the full experience…

Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser

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More performances from Festival Square, MIF

More views from Festival Square at Manchester International Festival 2011

Sunday 10th July. First up, on the decks is Dom Sotgiu from Manchester’s finest reggae label, Blood and Fire. Dom dropped his usual mix of righteous dub, roots and reggae on a hot summer’s afternoon in Festival Pavilion. A perfect soundtrack to the mellow warmth outside…

(Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser)

Next, an evening view of Festival Square, with gorgeous fading light providing a wonderful close to an afternoon of perfect warm summer sunshine. Manchester felt just that little bit more continental, and plenty of people took advantage of the conditions to sit out and enjoy a drink and a chat, surrounded by music and mellowness.

I only realised when I was stitching this together that I’d caught Damon Albarn, who’d been starring in Dr Dee, as he bobbed out of the Pavilion. Paparazzi pano 🙂

(Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser)

Also on Sunday 10th, the wonderful Candi Staton (in her second performance of the Festival), live in the Theatre. She held the crowd utterly enraptured with her sweet soulful voice. I was really impressed by the sheer presence she commanded, leading a very tight band and backing singers and rocking the place. A very special moment from a gospel / soul legend.

(Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser)

Below is the ever-sophisticated Barry Adamson, in conversation with Dave Haslam. An intimate, enlightening and often hilarious insight into the history and motivations of this Mancunian musical luminary.

(Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser)

Finally, I had genuine difficulty standing still during this set by the Disco Mums, Manchester’s very own maternal disco & boogie posse. Five ladies with children, attitude, funk… and record boxes stuffed with pure dancefloor gold! Sunshine outside, and sunny vibes inside, on a family-friendly Sunday afternoon in the Festival Pavilion.

(Click/tap the image above to view a fullscreen panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser)

Graduale Nobili choir live in Festival Square during MIF

I’ve been shooting a series of official panoramas at this year’s Manchester International Festival, working for Toasted Productions on their wider media package for the festival. Now in its third year, MIF is going from strength to strength, with another selection of well-received original productions encompassing the full artistic spectrum. All of which helps Manchester make an even bigger mark on the global cultural map.

The location for this view is Festival Square, when Albert Square outside the City Hall is transformed into a cosmopolitan continental village for two weeks. On this, the opening weekend, we couldn’t have been luckier with the weather. Mancunians basked in the warm sun, and in the dulcet tones of this choir performing a cappella to the crowd.

Graduale Nobile are a 24 piece choir from Iceland, and they’ve been in Manchester for the last few weeks to support Björk‘s new show, Biophilia. I saw the opening night of Biophilia and truly loved it: an inspirational, ambitious and unpredictable performance with a host of talented performers… including this choir*. With its octagonal set and incredible visuals I would love to have shot a 360° of the Biophilia set…

Incidentally this panorama has already been published on the MIF website, but for the Flash version I’ve taken the liberty of adding some audio of the choir which I’d captured at the time. This hopefully gives a more powerful impression of the sheer impact and joy of their performance on this gorgeous summer’s evening.

*I’ve not been exposed to this much choral music since I was at school (I can still summon up parts of Orff’s Carmina Burana and Handel’s Messiah almost verbatim when prompted!) And if you, like me, are interested in all things Icelandic, you may enjoy some panoramas I shot there in 2008, on a short but perfect autumn break.

HTML5 version

Click the icons above to view a fullscreen 360° view of the scene with Flash (for desktop) or HTML5 (for mobile). You can also view the location in Google Earth. Happy viewing!

Friends of Mine Festival, Cheshire

This is the deserted Bowl Stage at the Friends of Mine festival after the acts had finished on the Friday night. Although I was predominantly on the lookout for good stills at the festival I couldn’t help but stop to grab this panorama. I was taken by the desolate emptiness of the space, and the contrast between the starry sky and the bright lights and litter of the performance area below, with the Elizabethan stately home in the background. It’s rare to catch a space like this so bereft of festival-goers, but a late night, long exposure treatment caught the moment well.

I’d won a pair of tickets to the event, held at the stately Capesthorne Hall in the bucolic, rolling Cheshire countryside, so a mate and I rocked up with a tent and enough food and beer for the weekend. The weather constantly threatened the festival, but largely held off blighting the performances, confined largely to nightime showers and winds.

The festival was a little underattended, but we caught some good acts and managed to get a few nice snaps as well. Spending the weekend in the great outdoors with good beer, good company and a varied soundtrack was the perfect spring tonic… even if the sunshine was somewhat lacking!

HTML5 version

Click the icons above to view a fullscreen 360° view of the scene with Flash (for desktop) or HTML5 (for mobile). You can also view the location in Google Earth. Happy viewing!

English Electric inside his studio

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English Electric sits in his studio, surrounded by gear and memorabilia.
f8, 0.8sec exposure, flash.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash.

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And the same view, this time shot as f8, 3 bracketed exposures, no flash, no recording artist.

Click below for a fullscreen 360° view of the scene in Flash.