Some classic On-U Sound portraits, places and scenes from past decades, rambling thoughts before and after.
_________________________________________________________________ Click on the image to enlarge.
Children In Vicky Park 1983 – I took several rolls of photos with Bonjo for his Noah House of Dread album. He gathered some mums, dads and children from his neighbourhood in Clapton. He wanted to make a rasta roots album, which the rest of us at On-U Sound regarded as Bonjo’s pet project and secondary to more exciting and progressive African Head Charge music. Being a disorganized bunch, each musician at On-U had their own ‘band’ and they were forever working on that elusive album. This is one of my all time favourite photos. Each kid is doing their own thing, thinking their own thought. I am proud of having captured this magical and spontaneous moment. I could not have arranged it or told them what to do to achieve this composition.
The Beach 2001 – I borrowed an Olympus camera from my friend Sam, the first digital camera I ever used, to take to Spain in autumn 2001. Mel Stein sent me to watch an international friendly match between Spain and Japan in Cordoba of all places. I was supposed to be scouting footballers but never mind that. What a charming place Cordoba was! Full of history and culture in contrasting styles that miraculously survived. On the way to Malaga I went to Torremolinos in Costa del Sol to pay a quick visit to my old friend Leo Soloman’s brother, who ran a Northern English pub called ‘The Office’ a few minutes’ walk from the beach. The beach at the end of the season was deserted but a bloke was trying to catch the last heat of the sun, oddly, lying flat right next to a rubbish bin.
The Gondoliers 2004 – This is my feeble and shaky attempt to be Henri Cartier-Bresson or capture a scene from an Italian Nouvelle Vague film. It was a bitterly cold afternoon by San Marco and these guys had no desire to go back on water. I spent four days in Venice with my sister, visiting the Doge’s Palace, all the churches, Titian, Murano Island and the famous Ghetto. It was in fact the second time for both of us. My sister had been here on a trip with her fellow members of the Incense Appreciation Society of Kyoto and got on a gondola wearing a kimono. The gondolier was serenading ‘Just one Cornetto, Give it to me’ for the spectacle (the lyrics may have been slightly different), whereas I had been here with the Slits in 1981 as their tour photographer. As to why Ross Kemp was mingling with the gondoliers is an unsolved mystery…….
Mount Vesuvius 2010 – This is one of the photos I took with my new Canon on holiday with Sam and Roddy in Southern Italy last December. The obvious idea was to mimmick a Japanese woodblock print and have Vesuvius instead of Mount Fuji, flat and counter-perspective. Not a bad try, though a tad boring maybe, but think of this; a Basho haiku; Umikurete kamo no koe honokani shiroshi….The sea dark, the call of the teal, dimly white. I don’t think there were any ducks flying around at the time, and this was taken in the morning but hey, what is one if one doesn’t have an imaginative mind? If you can’t get into the groove, a swig of local limoncello may help.