Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Leeds by night

I met up with acclaimed Leeds-based music photographer Giloscope last Friday night, to return a lens which he'd kindly loaned to me. Secretive by nature, in case his legions of fans spot him and mob him, Giles insisted that we meet in notorious Triad watering hole Northbar. Giles is seen above, ordering a pint of absinthe and some beer while a riot kicks off around him.

In breaks in our conversation, Giles used his iPhone to exhort the free world to keep on rocking.

Giles is a proper photographer; he's not comfortable or happy unless he has a camera in his hands, taking photos. Quickly downing our drinks, we hastened across town to his 'office' (a shipping container in a hidden corner of a desolate industrial estate), where he picked up his camera and a 50mm lens. Thus armed, we ventured into the night. The challenge was on! Both shooting with the same kit we were about to blaze a path through the seedy underbelly of a northern town's nightlife. Let the gods sort out the rest.

Our first stop was Leeds' traditional German Christmas market. Leeds has a long-standing connection with Germany, and was the site of a V2 factory in the mid 1940's, as well as being where Arminius's ancestors came from, history fans! Anyway, Leeds Christkindelmarkt seems to be a totally authentic experience, from the Malaysian staff at the chocolate nibble stand (above) to the Teutonic dodgems.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were having a bad night. Famine had pissed off to Subway for a Meatball Marinara, and Pestilence had to ride a giant chicken, 'cos his usual horse was being reshoed.

Art, so you can bog off if you don't like it.

This is probably the shot du jour, we didn't really push any boundaries after all. You may as well stop reading now.

A rare shot of Giles. Legendary.

Some leaves. Backlit for your enjoyment.

Big Bite. Food. Fast.

We wound our way down towards the Arches and railway station, the throbbing heart of Leeds nightlife. I reckon there's a heap of documentary photography to be done round this area, and - if you survived - it'd be fine training for a combat photographer.

Gritty, urban Leeds. This is a gay bar, not a strip club.

She'd heard a new club had opened just yards away.

More art. You can buy a limited edition print of this for a thousand bucks.

That night we learned something about what happens if you carry a bunch of SLR around your neck when there are hordes of pissed up people milling around. Instead of smashing a broken beer bottle through your kidneys (as I'd expected), they are more likely to demand that you take their photo, apparently in the misguided belief that you're a photographer for Heat or something. X factor. America's Most Wanted. Whatever the kids are into these days, I don't know. So, we were approached by:

A Welsh woman...

...and her crew.

...er, a cocktail bar (hey I just put these photos up in sequence, take it up with the management if you don't like it)

Someone who demanded chewing gum from Giles, then photos.

..and some others (including a bloke dressed as a whoopee cushion), but the pictures are pretty atrocious, so I won't stick them up here.

So there you go, bra. Leeds by night. Safe.


Vlad The Impaler said...

all those pictures looked like crap. You should try something else. Also the writing wasn't funny in the slightest. You're doing a terrible thing here.

Craig said...

I think my blog was hacked by a determined team of pensioners from Rhyll; with technical expertise and time on their hands they are wreaking havoc on the internet!!

Mikeachim said...

I see him. I SEE HIM. The top photo, in the middle of the picture. I SEE HIM. COME ON EVERYONE!

*hordes descend on the first photo, seeking autographs and life-changing 'Me And Giloscope' photos*

I like how faintly disreputable beards now seem to run in the male members of the family.

Al Sithee said...

love your photos, the dog on the escalator is brilliant. I dont see a link so i can "follow" your blog, id be grateful if you'd let me. alex can vouch for me, s**t that probably wasnt a good reference. keep up the good work.

Craig said...

Cheers Al! Despite my efforts to block him, Alex has cleverly circumvented all attempts by cunningly changing his user name. He may look stupid, but he's wily as a fox. I've added a Following button on the blog, thanks for the request!!

giloscope said...

Mike, you stop with that anti-barbe sass talk right now. My beard is fully reputable, and licensed with all the relevant authorities.

Brilliant photos, Craig. Hooray for drunk Welsh(wo)men!