People from the era tell their stories.
» Seng-gye Tombs Curtis
Seng-gye Tombs Curtis
The early 70's seemed quite dull in music at the time and I was busy with my art career but when things started to get exciting again in late '76, '77 I'd just acquired a new camera and set up a darkroom.
It started for me when I was asked to do some publicity shots for Uncle Po and when a friend dragged me out to a Cortinas gig. I had seen photographers with long lenses and powerful flash-guns stood on seats at the back of gigs but felt that the exciting atmosphere of the new scene needed a more intimate treatment (and anyway the ones at the back were wusses). I had figured I could push 400asa b/w film two stops to 1600asa for sound studio shots without flash so decided to push another stop to 3200asa for gigs.
After my first gig, being bounced against the stage by the pogo crowd in a shower of spit beer and cider, clambering onto the edge of the stage and climbing the speaker stacks to get the best shots, I was completely hooked.
I went to every gig I could in Bristol, Bath, Newport and Swindon and ended up with thousands of shots of dozens of bands, onstage, in the recording studio, and on publicity shoots. I can't remember all of them but for sure they included The Cortinas, Uncle Po, The Pigs, Social Security, The Pop Group, The Vibrators, Generation X - if any reader knows which other bands, please let me know and I'll add them to the list.
I ended up onstage with Esential Bop doing performance art which puzzled the band, mystified the critics but seemed to be enjoyed by the audiences (or at least the ones that told me about it).
In '79 I stopped to write a book and give more concentration to my art career. After this crashed in '83 along with my motorcycle and I ended up convalescing, a student told me she was putting together an archive of the punk years and I rather short-sightedly loaned her all my negs. I never saw or heard from her again so any leads to the missing hoard of '76-'79 band shots would be welcome and provide lots more images for this site.
My photos were used by The Pigs, Social Security, Generation X and at least one ended up on the Pop Group collage so scans of prints I made are beginning to surface - thanks guys!
I'm now living in Breizh (Brittany) and rebuilding my art career. I can be reached through Bristol Archive Records or on Facebook.