20) High Fives 2019 – Richard Bolwell’s photos

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Our next guest contributor is Richard Bolwell; we’ll let Allan tell you about him. ‘I first met Richard at a Sound of the Sirens record launch in London and since then we try to meet up for a beer when he’s shooting a gig in town. Since that meeting he’s started up his own website MNPR Magazine packed with news, reviews of live and recorded music from all over the world and, of course, photos. He’s a cracking live music photographer and, in common with most people who have that vocation, is passionate about music. He’s also a bloody good bloke’. We don’t know if it demonstrates in-depth knowledge of their subject or it’s just showing off, but both Allan and Richard managed to shoe-horn Weissenborn guitars into their High Fives pieces.

I have a soft spot for the violin, especially when used in the crossover, upbeat Celtic Punk-rock/folk genre. This image is of Hannah Johns from the Weston-Super-Mare based band ‘The Leylines’ at the beautiful Carnglaze Caverns near Liskeard in Cornwall, a disused slate mine. Many of the images from the gig feature the beautiful surroundings of the ancient cave, but I was pleased to be able isolate Hannah and capture her in all her glory and in ‘the zone’.

My job as a concert photographer (and I am reluctant to call it a job because of the sheer enjoyment I get from it) takes me to many places, and leads me to cover many genres of music. This image of Nashville based country-blues singer-songwriter Austin Jenckes is typical of the style I have developed over the years. There is only so much you can do when the artist is a sitting down with just a guitar and his voice for accompaniment, but I feel this image captures the sheer emotion of the song, and the sheer force of his voice, another example of the artist being in ‘the zone’.

I am a huge supporter of new music, and up and coming talent, so let me introduce Charlie Louise, a young singer-songwriter from Cornwall. Charlie has the voice of an angel, and can silence a crowd with just a piano, or a guitar, and her voice. The nature of my work takes me to many a dive-bar, with less than favourable lighting. Whilst taking this image of Charlie, I was blessed with beautiful lighting, and was able to capture this image of the young songstress. Although there is no instrument present in the image, I feel the simplicity, and the negative space I composed in the framing adds to the overall feel of the shot. Charlie was performing as part of an ‘Introduces…’ series, and this image invokes great memories of a great evening of local talent.

This image is from the same gig as the previous Charlie Louise shot. As previously stated, the lighting was particularly good that night, but this black and white conversion really showcases the mood and atmosphere of the gig. The subject in question is Tom Bushin from Devon based alt-indie rock band The Kaizens who were playing a special gig with the Devon Youth Orchestra. Another reason for my love of the image is that it is reminiscent of the iconic Kurt Cobain from way back when.

Again, this tight headshot and use of negative space is indicative of my photographic style. This image of Wille Edwards was taken during his recent solo tour, raising money for, and awareness of, the homeless crisis sweeping this country. Edwards is the frontman of internationally acclaimed acid-roots rock band Wille and The Bandits and it’s rather rare to see Wille playing solo, let alone doing a full-blown solo tour. I had the pleasure of following Wille on this tour, and there were so many images I could have chosen from, 5 of which will be auctioned to raise money for his chosen charities. Again, as a singer-songwriter, seated during his performances, there are only so many angles and shots one can capture. Edwards has a strong, deep, husky voice, and this shows the emotion and heart he puts into every song and every note on his signature Weissenborn lap slide guitar.