Spotlight on Depression

Posted on April 24, 2016 by Admin under Recent Posts
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Spotlight on Depression

When I started my Highs and Lows of Event Photography blog back in 2010, I excitedly looked forward to having a spare moment to share with you the, well, highs and lows of being an event photographer!
As time went on, the moments to spare became fewer and father between and I struggled to keep up with the content I had originally intended for you.
Writing blog posts was no longer something I didn’t have a spare moment for, it was, as so many other aspects of my life, something I felt completely overwhelmed by.

One of the reasons I was struggling was because I suffer from depression.

"I may be smiley and happy on the outside, but all I really want to do is curl up and cry"

“I may be smiley and happy on the outside, but all I really want to do is curl up and cry”

This week was Depression Awareness Week.

I began the week sharing my Spotlight on Depression series, a collection of photographs highlighting the effects of depression on everyday life.

"Do you know what it feels like to lose control of your own mind?"

“Do you know what it feels like to lose control of your own mind?”

I started to take these self portraits a while back, to help those around me understand what living with depression feels like.

I hadn’t expected it to be as therapeutic as it was. Having the idea, the execution and the sharing.
I felt good to have had an idea and to actually find the motivation to create something and see it through to the end.

"Please don't belittle our achievements. When we share our victories with a sense of triumph, it is because, some days, just getting up feels like we conquered Everest"

“Please don’t belittle our achievements.
When we share our victories with a sense of triumph, it is because, some days, just getting up feels like we conquered Everest”

I felt a weight lift being able to share photographs that expressed the feelings I’d struggled to try to explain with words alone.
When I’d say ‘I am tired’ or ‘I can’t think clearly, my mind is all over the place’ it was always greeted with ‘Oh, we all have days like that’, or,  ‘just snap out of it, others have it plenty worse than you’ etc etc.

"If I could 'just cheer up', or just 'get over it', don't you think I would?"

“If I could ‘just cheer up’, or just ‘get over it’, don’t you think I would?”

Just the fact that the first few photos I took in the series were of me on my couch, the only place I’d go if I did manage to get out of bed at all, was telling. All I really wanted to do was sleep, and my couch was just somewhere else to lie down, curl up and go back to sleep.

"I try so hard to be confident and happy, but all I want to do is sleep. "

“I try so hard to be confident and happy, but all I want to do is sleep. “

However much the taking and sharing of the photos were motivation for me to actually get up and do something, the response on the social media sites was surprising. Several people told me that, although they thought the photos themselves were ‘awesome’ the captions were ‘depressing’ (no joke)

"I feel like I'm screaming, but no one can hear me."

“I feel like I’m screaming, but no one can hear me.”

I felt desperately depressed. I thought I’d further to fall, because It was me who had placed so much hope and ultimately credit on the sharing of these images being the reason I had started to feel better.

I tried to explain, that the purpose was to raise awareness to my friends, family, colleagues and co-workers, of how I feel, and what impact depression is having on my life and so many others who too are battling their own minds each and every day.

But still, the old ‘We all have days like that, it gets better’ comment was thrown back as if I was making a big deal out of just having an ‘off day’

"They tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel. Why can I only see emptiness?"

“They tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel. Why can I only see emptiness?”

But depression doesn’t let you just brush those remarks off, it grabs them and clings hold of them so tightly, and has them on constant repeat in your head.
Depression wants you to feel bad. It wants you to believe that not only is this crippling mental health issue really ‘just having an off day’ but that you are such a weak, pathetic, useless individual, YOU are the ONLY one who is being a drama queen about it. Depression also wants you to believe that not only are you not content with making your ‘off day’ something more than it is, (whilst simultaneously reminding you that you’ve become so hard to please that you’re not content with anything any more) it wants you to feel REALLY bad because you also had to bring EVERYONE  ELSE down with you.

"Depression is tough enough without your own mind fighting against you"

“Depression is tough enough without your own mind fighting against you”

No matter how many ‘likes’ or ‘shares’, public comments or private messages, messages of support or others opening up to share their struggles. The ones who made negative comments were the ones that impacted me the most.

"They tell me I'll get through this, but I can't see a way out."

“They tell me I’ll get through this, but I can’t see a way out.” 

Despite the negativity, the soul crushing negativity, just knowing that my sharing of my struggles, was helping to pave the way for others struggling, to come forward and publicly open up about theirs, was just enough of a springboard to keep me going.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my family and friends, colleagues and clients for their understanding and encouragement each time I uploaded one of these photos on my social media accounts. I wish I could put into words just how much I appreciate your support and just how much strength it gives me to know that you understand.
Thank you.

As for the rest of you, I will keep posting and sharing my thoughts, feelings and emotions, via captions on my photos, for this message is to you, and all those who have yet to learn that feeling depressed and battling depression are two very different things.

 

#spotlightondepression

Independent Venue Week

Posted on January 29, 2016 by Admin under Music, Recent Posts
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As the first month of 2016 draws to a close, the music industry, still hurting from the tragic events at the Bataclan in Paris at the end of last year, has had to come to terms with the loss of far too many artists, especially in such a short space of time.

Whilst many columnist are writing of how ‘we’ll never see the likes of them again’ Are they writing off all hope of anything original ever being produced? Do we really believe the best has already passed? Are there no emerging artists waiting in the wings for their chance to shine?
I don’t believe so.

I have been working with the dedicated team at Discovery Talent, who, on the last Thursday of the month, host a showcase at London’s 229 The Venue. Featuring 4 or 5 acts, as yet unsigned. Previous showcases have featured a variety of styles such as; Ska, electro rock , alternative folk, indie punk, funk, blues, and a reggae, opera and hip-hop fusion. For under £10 (at time of typing!) you are witness to tomorrow’s icons and legends. Ed Sheeran, Scouting for Girls and The Guillemots (amongst others), are all Discovery Alumni.

As part of Independent Venue Week, on Thursday 28th January, the first Discovery 2 showcase of 2016, featured live performances by Billy Bibby & The Wry Smiles, Spark The Sail, Anna Pancaldi and Keid.

Anna Pancaldi, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

Anna Pancaldi, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

 

Keid, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

Keid, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

 

Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

Billy Bibby and The Wry Smiles, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

 

Spark the Sail, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

Spark the Sail, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th January 2016

As always, a fantastic atmosphere and a fantastic array of talent.
I am certain, that across the country and around the world, there are small independent venues hosting inspiring nights of live music, featuring may of tomorrows stars, many of these events are under £10 or even free.

I urge you to give it a go one evening, support the music industry from the grass roots. You won’t regret it.

RIP David Bowie

Posted on January 11, 2016 by Admin under Uncategorized
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Deeply shocked and saddened to hear the music world has lost another legend.

I’d been house photographer at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire for a little over a year when I had the opportunity to photography David Bowie performing there.

It was the one and only time I got to photograph him.

Unfortunately, the agency I was submitting to at the time, somehow lost my negatives, so all I have are a few very very low res scans and some very fond memories.

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

David Bowie, performing live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 11th August 1997

New Music for 2016

Posted on January 1, 2016 by Admin under Uncategorized
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Hot on the heels of my last post which highlighted a few of the incredible artists I was fortunate enough to photograph in 2015, I thought you might like a ‘Ones to watch out for’ list.

The Discovery Talent team have a knack of finding the most outstanding emerging talent for their showcases, but even amongst such strong competition, there are some real stand out acts. Artists who not only have incredible talent and beautifully crafted songs, but also a stage presence so often lacking in today’s performers. These artists, in my humble opinion, are destined for greatness in 2016….

Elle Exxe
For an act that have only been in existence for a little over a year, Elle and her Exxterminators are already the complete package. Totally blew me away the first time I photographed her back in February 2015. With a dirty pop sound (A fiery mix of rock and pop, I do believe) and striking 2D pop art look, Elle Exxe has already headlined the legendary Koko venue in London, England and recently released the fabulous ‘Love to Hate You‘ EP.
Most definitely a one to watch!

Elle Exxe, performing Live at Discovery Talent, 229 The Venue, London, 26th February 2015

Elle Exxe, performing Live at Discovery Talent, 229 The Venue, London, 26th February 2015

Elle Exxe, performing Live at Discovery 2/IMC Easter Extravaganza, The Islington, London, 2nd April 2015

Elle Exxe, performing Live at Discovery 2/IMC Easter Extravaganza, The Islington, London, 2nd April 2015

Elle Exxe, performing live at her Lost in LA single launch, The Social, London, 23rd June 2015

Elle Exxe, performing live at her Lost in LA single launch, The Social, London, 23rd June 2015

Elle Exxe, headlining Koko, Camden, 16th October 2015

Elle Exxe, headlining Koko, Camden, 16th October 2015

Alex Hulme
Fantastic singer songwriter, with catchy folk pop tunes and marvellous stage presence Alex Hulme is a joy to watch, photograph and listen to.
Releasing his ‘Back of the Pack‘ EP early in 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Indigo Face
Alternative pop with hauntingly beautiful vocals and wonderful melodic harmonies. Indigo Face recently released their second EP ‘At the Gate‘ and I was delighted when they asked me to photograph the launch.

Indigo Face, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th, May, 2015

Indigo Face, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th, May, 2015

Indigo Face, performing Live at the launch of their new EP 'At the Gate', The Good Ship, London, 24th November 2015

Indigo Face, performing Live at the launch of their new EP ‘At the Gate’, The Good Ship, London, 24th November 2015

Indigo Face, performing Live at the launch of their new EP 'At the Gate', The Good Ship, London, 24th November 2015

Indigo Face, performing Live at the launch of their new EP ‘At the Gate’, The Good Ship, London, 24th November 2015

That was the year that was….2015

Posted on December 31, 2015 by Admin under Uncategorized
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And so, as 2015 draws to a close, and we reflect back on the year that was and ponder what the new year will bring, I realise that, in terms of The Highs and Lows of event photography, the Lows in my personal life have held me back from posting the Highs of my professional life.

Rather than frantically searching my archives for the best bits, I have decided to end 2015 with a sneak peek into 2016.

For the past couple of years, I have had the great pleasure of photographing the monthly showcase of emerging talent presented by the wonderful team at Discovery Talent. The last Thursday of the month, four to five artists and acts, predominately home grown British talent, grace 229 The Venue stage in the heart of London, UK and I am privileged to hear exceptional talent and photograph their often breathtaking performances.

Too many to add here tonight, but here are a small selection.

Fragile Souls, performing Live at Discovery Talent, 229 The Venue, London, 26th February 2015

Fragile Souls, performing Live at Discovery Talent, 229 The Venue, London, 26th February 2015

Fjokra, performing Live at Discovery Talent, 229 The Venue, London, 26th February 2015

Fjokra, performing Live at Discovery Talent, 229 The Venue, London, 26th February 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Alex Hulme, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th March 2015

Elle Exxe, performing Live at Discovery 2/IMC Easter Extravaganza, The Islington, London, 2nd April 2015

Elle Exxe, performing Live at Discovery 2/IMC Easter Extravaganza, The Islington, London, 2nd April 2015

Nakisha Esnard, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 30th April 2015

Nakisha Esnard, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 30th April 2015

The Undivided, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 30th April 2015

The Undivided, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 30th April 2015

Chase The Ace, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 30th April 2015

Chase The Ace, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 30th April 2015

My Baby, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, UK, 12th May 2015, Shamanaid Album Launch.

My Baby, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, UK, 12th May 2015, Shamanaid Album Launch.

Indigo Face, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th, May, 2015

Indigo Face, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th, May, 2015

The Harlots, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th May, 2015

The Harlots, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 28th May, 2015

Mo Michael, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 25th June, 2015

Mo Michael, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 25th June, 2015

Ded Rabbit, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 25th June 2015

Ded Rabbit, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 25th June 2015

Fudge & the Frequency, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 3rd September 2015

Fudge & the Frequency, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 3rd September 2015

Lisa Marini, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 24th September 2015

Lisa Marini, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 24th September 2015

Adventures Of, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 24th September 2015

Adventures Of, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 24th September 2015

Bakers Eddy, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 24th September 2015

Bakers Eddy, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 24th September 2015

Tommy and Mary, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 29th October 2015

Tommy and Mary, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 29th October 2015

Shelly Ravid, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th November 2015

Shelly Ravid, performing Live at Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 26th November 2015

Antigoni, performing Live at Fintage/ Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 3rd December 2015

Antigoni, performing Live at Fintage/ Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 3rd December 2015

Gizmo Varillas, performing Live at Fintage/ Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 3rd December 2015

Gizmo Varillas, performing Live at Fintage/ Discovery 2, 229 The Venue, London, 3rd December 2015

RIP Lemmy

Posted on December 29, 2015 by Admin under Uncategorized
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Woke this morning to hear of the sudden passing of rock legend Lemmy.

I am shocked and saddend to hear this news today. I have fond memories of sharing a bottle of JD backstage on one of many occasions where I was fortunate enough to photograph Motörhead and their charismatic front man.

RIP Lemmy.

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 19th November 2005

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 19th November 2005

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 27th November 2010

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 27th November 2010

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 27th November 2010

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 27th November 2010

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 27th November 2010

Motörhead, performing live at Brixton Academy, 27th November 2010

Motorhead, performing live at SSE Arena, Wembley, 8th November 2014

Motörhead, performing live at Wembley Arena, 8th November 2014

Motorhead, performing live at SSE Arena, Wembley, 8th November 2014

Motörhead, performing live at Wembley Arena, 8th November 2014

Motorhead, performing live at SSE Arena, Wembley, 8th November 2014

Motörhead, performing live at Wembley Arena, 8th November 2014

Motorhead, performing live at SSE Arena, Wembley, 8th November 2014

Motörhead, performing live at Wembley Arena, 8th November 2014

Motorhead, performing live at SSE Arena, Wembley, 8th November 2014

Motörhead, performing live at Wembley Arena, 8th November 2014

 

 

RIP Scott Weiland

Posted on December 5, 2015 by Admin under Uncategorized
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Remembering Scott Weiland. Shocked and saddened to hear of the sad passing of the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver front man.

I was fortunate enough to photograph both acts during my 15 years as resident photographer at Brixton Academy, London.

Stone Temple Pilots, performing ive at Brixton Academy, 16th June 2010

Stone Temple Pilots, performing Live at Brixton Academy, 16th June 2010

Stone Temple Pilots, performing Live at Brixton Academy, 16th June 2010

Stone Temple Pilots, performing Live at Brixton Academy, 16th June 2010

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy 21st January 2005

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy
21st January 2005

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy 21st January 2005

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy
21st January 2005

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy 21st January 2005

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy
21st January 2005

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy 21st January 2005

Velvet Revolver, performing Live at Brixton Academy
21st January 2005

Stone Temple Pilots, performing Live at Brixton Academy, 16th June 2010

Stone Temple Pilots, performing Live at Brixton Academy, 16th June 2010

RIP Errol Brown

Posted on May 11, 2015 by Admin under Uncategorized
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Remembering Errol Brown, another sad loss for the music industry

One of the first major artists I photographed in my early days as a Music Photographer.
Performing at Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

 

Errol Brown, performing live  at Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

Errol Brown, Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

Errol Brown, performing live  at Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

Errol Brown, Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

Errol Brown, performing live  at Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

Errol Brown, Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

Errol Brown, performing live  at Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

Errol Brown, Shepherds Bush Empire, 30th May 1998

NME Award Winners 2015

Posted on February 23, 2015 by Admin under Uncategorized
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Congratulations to this years NME Awards winners.

 

Godlike Genius Award – Suede

Suede, performing live at O2 Brixton Academy, 19th May 2011

Suede, performing live at O2 Brixton Academy, 19th May 2011

Rock‘n’Roll Soul Award – Jimmy Page
Best British Band supported by Marshall Amplification – Kasabian, Best Album (‘48:13’)

Kasabian, performing live  at Brixton Academy 15th December 2004

Kasabian, performing live at Brixton Academy
15th December 2004

Best International Band supported by Austin, Texas – The Live Music Capital Of The World® – Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters, V2007, Chelmsford, 18th August 2007

Foo Fighters, V2007, Chelmsford, 18th August 2007

Outstanding Contribution to Music – Teenage Cancer Trust

The Vamps, performing live at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, 7th April 2014

The Vamps, performing live at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust, 7th April 2014

Best Solo Artist supported by Pilot Frixion – Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg, performing live at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, 27th February 2013

Jake Bugg, performing live at O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, 27th February 2013

Best Video and Best Track supported by Tito’s Handmade Vodka  – Jamie T (‘Zombie’), Music Moment Of The Year – Jamie T’s comeback

Jamie T, Shepherds Bush Empire, 3rd May 2007

Jamie T, Shepherds Bush Empire, 3rd May 2007

Best Music Film – Pulp: A Film About Life, Death And Supermarkets

Pulp, performing live at O2 Academy Brixton, 31st August 2011

Pulp, performing live at O2 Academy Brixton, 31st August 2011

Reissue Of The Year  – Manic Street Preachers  (‘The Holy Bible’)

Manic Street Preachers, Brixton Academy, 11th December 2007

Manic Street Preachers, Brixton Academy, 11th December 2007

Hero Of The Year  – Alex Turner

Arctic Monkeys, live at Brixton Academy, 26th August 2009

Arctic Monkeys, live at Brixton Academy, 26th August 2009

Best Fan Community – Muse

Muse, performing live at Brixton Academy, 29th May 2001

Muse, performing live at Brixton Academy, 29th May 2001

Happy Birthday Mr Dave Grohl

Posted on January 14, 2015 by Admin under Uncategorized
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I have been fortunate enough to photograph Dave Grohl  performing live with Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures over several years, always a great showman and a delight to photograph. Happy Birthday Dave.

 

Foo Fighters, V2007, Chelmsford, 18th August 2007

Foo Fighters, V2007, Chelmsford, 18th August 2007

Foo Fighters, V2007, Chelmsford, 18th August 2007

Foo Fighters, V2007, Chelmsford, 18th August 2007

Brian May plays with Dave Grohl as special guest (with Roger Taylor) at the Foo Fighters gig, Brixton Academy, 25th November 1999

Special guest Brian May plays with Dave Grohl at the Foo Fighters gig, Brixton Academy, 25th November 1999

Foo Fighters with Special Guests, Roger Taylor and Brian May, Brixton Academy, 25th November 1999

Foo Fighters with Special Guests, Roger Taylor and Brian May, Brixton Academy, 25th November 1999

Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010

Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010

Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010

Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010

Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010

Them Crooked Vultures, performing live at Brixton Academy, 5th July 2010

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