Stephen McLeod



“I don’t really do favourites of anything – whether that’s movies or books, and definitely not pictures that I’ve taken. My forté is more portraits on film; I’m not the type that gets excited about shooting just any old band…there needs to be something that sets them apart. Below are shots that could easily have composition, style differences or technical imperfections that can be picked up on, but they’re memories of different and intricate times. That’s what the best photographs are all about.”

Equipment: “All of the shots below were taken with a Canon 5D and 70-200 f28 IS, with the exception of number 5, which was shot with Fuji Neopan 1600 rated at 3200, through a Canon EOS 5 with 24-70 f2.8 lens. Phew, what a mouthful.”

1. Rage Against the Machine – T in the Park 2009
Shot on a Canon 5D with 70-200 f28 IS

“There’s no way this couldn’t be included. I never thought I’d ever be able to see this band, let alone shoot them. As the opening track built up and kicked in and the crowd bounced en masse behind the barrier, you stopped to look round and see every single security guard, medic and photographer in the pit having the same look of awe. Fantastic.”

2. Aim – Live at Loch Lomond 2007
Shot on: as above

“What a crappy festival. This weekend was dogged with disaster from my point of view. Arguments with PR staff, a chaotic campsite and over-zealous security cemented my vow to never return.”

Aim, creator of one of the albums I used to listen to on repeat on long car journeys when I was but a lad, were there – a rare appearance. There’s nothing like a pretty girl with a tamborine and dyed hair to turn your lens towards…even better when the light goes in your favour!”

3. Green Day – Glasgow SECC, 19.10.09

“It doesn’t matter whether you have 5 separate people at a major record label guarantee that you’ll have the appropriate access to a gig, things always go tits up. As a result, after the old first-three-no-flash palaver, we were unceremoniously ejected.”

“It was good fun to work at though – Billie Joe turns the show into more than just a concert; it becomes a theatrical performance. Maybe not the days of smashing up Tower Record shops, but coming out onto a platform into the crowd, I debated grabbing him and giving him a snog. One look at the massive touring pit-boss squashed that idea though.”

4. The Victorian English Gentlemens Club – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow – 05-08-09
Shot on: as above

“Probably the best band in the world. Obscure, off-kilter and touring their sophmore album with two new members, I fell in love with their lovely female guitarist. They had some nice floral decorations and other things onstage as well… attention to detail is something that marks out the greats.”

5. Michael M of We Are The Physics
Shot on: Canon EOS 1 with 24-70 f2.8. Fuji Neopan 1600 rated at 3200.

“Not a live shot, this was taken in Michael’s living room after taking some pictures for their unique single – released on err… floppy disk.”

“I love this because it reminds me of the classic pictures that came from the great touring photographers. They themselves were part of the rock and roll world, not just considered the press. Much more of what I like to do…the most interesting things happen behind the scenes…as long as you don’t take it too seriously.”

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