Something A Bit Rudie
I’ve done quite a lot of band photography over the years. I was also a music promoter, fanzine contributor and a musician myself. But it’s not often I get the opportunity to photograph my own band.
This happened recently when I was asked to shoot some promo images, and a possible CD cover for Birmingham ska/Mod/soul covers band Rudie & The Revolvers – a band that I played bass for when they first started out until just after their first gig when work commitments meant I had trouble finding the time for rehearsals (I was in another band at the time too). So they’re actually my former band. As usual, I left just at the wrong time as the band have gone on to play at venues and festivals all over the country and have even appeared on the same line-up as some of my musical heroes. Ho hum. At least I get to take the pictures.
So the band rolled up at Fotofilia one Saturday morning along with a lovely white 1960’s Mercedes which they wanted included in the images. My brief was a bit erm… sparse. Sean (saxophonist) had asked for a look not dissimilar to that of the Specials from their first album and/or also possibly the “Ghost Town” video also by the Specials. So I began to wonder how I was going to get all 6 band members in this car, and also how do I make it look like night-time when it’s actually a sunny summer’s day.
One option was to head under one of the nearby rail bridges where the light could be more easily controlled but again, fitting everyone plus satisfactory lighting in this car was going to be a problem. It so happened that Regents Parade, where Fotofilia is situated, was in shade at that time of the day and so we used that as the location for many of the shots – the industrial architecture of the street happened to fit in nicely too. As long as we worked quickly, the shade of the building would limit the range of contrast in the shot.
I got around the “how do you get six musicians in a vintage car” quandary by putting some of the band in the car (arranging them carefully in terms of height/size etc) and the remainder on the pavement on the far side of the car but visible through the open windows. I shot a few more inside the studio – in the corridor, in fact – and around the corner of the street in what has been called “your green doorway”, a setting for more of my shoots than I can recall.
I shot everything in colour but given the “Specials” brief, fully expected to convert everything to black and white. However, I also produced “normal” colour and “cross-processed” colour versions and it was the “cross-processed” effect which best suited the look/feel/era we were trying to create. I shot the main images on my Nikon DSLR but also shot quite a few on my iphone which were the “rushes” that I sent to the band to see what they thought.
Thankfully the band liked the images so much that they were indeed used for their debut CD “Ska’d to the Soul”. They even asked me to do the CD cover layout design which I was happy to do as this is something (along with gig posters) that I’ve been know to do a few of in the past. Anyway, here’s the final covers…
Want one? Contact the band via www.rudieandtherevolvers.co.uk and http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/RUDIE-AND-THE-REVOLVERS/92197738357