Editors Nightlife Special
Life as a Photo Journalist over the past 20 of clubbing culture…
I've been commissioning and running my own photo recon missions in London, Chelmsford and further afield in places such as Dorset, Gosport and Portsmouth since 1999, and have been at some of the best festivals and nights out that you can imagine, with top DJ's including Carl Cox, Judge Jools, Roger Sanchez, Louie Vega, Simon Dunmore & Hifi Sean, Gilles Peterson, Mr. Scruff, and working away tirelessly and with no financial reward at all paying all of my own expenses out of pocket except maybe some AAA passes, free drinks on the odd occasion, and other hospitality.
I do it because I love to get things right and try and add my own clean angle on things, and you'll never see a photo of someones knickers as they get out of a limousine, or any illicit drugs or violence, and I do it to add to the repertoire of professionalism, and produce images which reflect the happy and social side of the scene as a neutral in the field, and as someone who understands from a personal level of clubbing experiences aside from work about much of the philosophy and ethos which travels the late night scene at large.
Clubbing has taken a bit of a nose dive over the years in some respects, especially locally in Essex, and I believe some of this is to do with peoples lack of desire to celebrate, as the TV is almost daily strewn with horror stories about bombs going off and people being stabbed by chavs in the streets. I think more need's to be done about this, and then there will be more to celebrate, and people will once again spend time together celebrating birthdays, hen nights, weddings and Christenings, and other family occasions at various venues and establishments across the land.
I was hooked on Lounge House the first time I heard it, with tunes such a Chez & Cutler - It's Yours, and the likes of Guitarra G - Banda Sonora, David Byrne - Lazy, Jakatta - American Dream, Bucket Heads - The Bomb, plus some of the more eclectic house tracks such as Lil' Devious - Come Home and Michelle Weeks - The Light, and until recently I'd always had some sort of record collection and a few set's of 1200's or 1210's over the years.
With the recent closure of Evoke Chelmsford and then Legacy Lounge there's still scope for a big venue somewhere in Chelmsford, and it would be nice to see something which could be used by the entire community both during the day and later on into the evening. We're immersed in this fairytale world of enchanted midnight balls, and dance-off shows, and yet there are dance schools across the country which would benefit from more venues which were suitable for hosting dance competitions and other social functions during daylight hours.
These venues would be dynamic and adaptable so that they could switch between functions aimed at accommodating events for children, private social hire events and various "nights" throughout the week night evenings such as live music nights, and those catering for a different and more varied diet and appetite of specific genres of music, including Rock, R&B, Disco, House, all the way up to Country Line Dancing, and Ballroom dancing.
Central, city wide venues like this should bring in a great many cultures to use for their large dance or social events with facilities for professional functions and competitions in a modern arena lighting system, with state of the art sound-system, and the ability to invent a new and exciting flat packed staging system for the various events.
I much prefer the ballad of the mirror ball synced to the turntable, but with a bright white xenon laser cast onto it and phased like a infinitely fast strobe.
With so many dancing shows on regular TV, and with so many people interested in dancing, I think it's important to open more venues which can cater for big county-wide competitions as well as other local events.