Friday, 4 September 2015

Milk and alcohol

Milk and alcohol - you weren't expecting that, were you?  You came here expecting to see some hedges, or maybe the sea, or even a sheep or two, didn't you?  Well it's Friday and believe it or not once upon a time I was young and took snaps of things other than the sea.  For a few years in my teenage years I went to whatever bands came this way - and sometimes I even had a camera with me. It's surprising the things you come across in Paterson negative sleeves which have been stored away for the last 36 years...

So, just for a change, here are some shots of Dr Feelgood, taken about 1979 in this place.  Now I appreciate Dr Feelgood might not be your thing, but for a 16 year old spotty youth, in a concert hall alongside a few hundred other lads&lasses of similar age, armed with an OM-1 loaded with FP4 and perhaps a 100mm f/2.8 lens I look at these now and think they aren't too bad.

Lee Brilleaux, blasting it out in 1979
Dr Feelgood were a proper band.  If you are of a certain age, you might remember 'Milk and Alcohol' - otherwise you'd better YouTube it and then wonder what happened to the music scene (actually that's a bit harsh - from what I can see there are a lot of talented people still playing real music - it's just the untalented ones that seem to get all the media attention).  Sadly Mr Brilleaux is no longer with us, succumbing to Lymphoma at the age of 41.  Too young, basically.

Lee Brilleaux clearly dressed up for the occasion, whereas Gypie Mayo here looks like he's borrowed his grandad's old gear.  On the plus side though he did know what he was about when it came to pluckn' them strings...

Nice suit, Gypie

Here's what they looked like just before they went on stage (The Brother and I had friends in low places in them days, capice?).

Dr Feelgood, 1979

What a great bunch of lads, eh?  Looks more like a police line-up than a bunch of rhythm and blues artists about to entertain, doesn't it.  The giveaway is the bottle that Mr Mayo is clinging on to, nearly - but not quite - out of shot.

In those days it was easy - I just took a camera out, loaded it with film and snapped away, not knowing any better.  Nowadays, what with the Internet and all, you get to doubt yourself, worry about your 'personal EI' and things like that.  In my youth I just set my ASA to box speed, got out there and took some snaps, came home and asked mum if she didn't mind me developing them in the kitchen - usually about an hour before tea-time on a Saturday evening, if I remember correctly.  Life was simpler then.


  1. Life was very much simpler back then, just like you say. Good thing about it is that it worked very well, as you got a nice bunch of evidence of right here. Great old snaps you got here Michael. I really like the one of Mayo... a proper piece of wood he had as well. Great series mate :)

  2. Thanks Roy. Just looking at old photos brings it all back to me...especially the bands (more of those to come - perhaps every Friday for a while?). It really was all so simple back then - you could get take a camera inside the concert hall with no questions asked. Today you would need to be a professional photographer, be part of an 'agency', pay the right guys, know the right people etc etc. Where did it all go wrong?

    1. Uh... don't even "Start Me Up..."
      It went wrong somewhere, and I could be touching some of it in my latest post for all I know. If we put ourselves on stage and look out over our audience, without being able to see one single face... only iPads, mobile phones and *ig* cams all over the shop... Well, some of my trouble is that ther's just to many photographers these days, as every one of us seem to want to be one, or claim to be one. I think that's where it all went wrong. You know, the fancy new way to snap a snap made it all to simple, and all to common as we do it all the time these days. I think that's where it all went wrong, to be honest. And yes, it's sad.
      Looking very much forward to fridays from now on then Michael! A brilliant start on "Bandfriday" it was for sure!!