1) So Elspeth, apart from being a wedding photographer, you are a music photographer, If you could photograph any musician dead or alive who would that be?
Pick an easy question first why don’t ya! Errr well this year has been packed with shooting my music idols, Jason Pierce of Spiritualized has been up there in my heart for 20 years, together with Ian McCulloch. If I stood back at the music that made me put down mi pint of cider and black—and run to the dance floor then I’ve photographed the lot this year! Except for Cocteau Twins and Mark Almond… and of course there are reasons my first born is called Dylan. Also in the future I’ve got my fingers and eyes crossed for Jonny Marr, Echo and The Bunnymen. The Human League and The Crocodiles. Can’t wait to shoot Inspiral Carpets and The Paris Angels, hopefully lots more Bop Locals; and if I can ever track him down John Cooper Clarke!
2) From The Inspiral Carpets, Happy Mondays, Lawrence, Paris Angels, John Robb, Ruthless Rap Assassins, The Chameleons, to James, Tim Burgess, Elbow and Peter Hook, you’ve shot some of Manchester’s musical royalty, has there ever been a time when you’re nearly lost your professional cool and gone all wobbly at the knees?
[giggles] wobbly knees? … they know who they are [wink].
3) You’ve recently been involved Music For Cities at Manchester Cathedral, I imagine that was quite an experience, what was the highlight of that evening?
Yes, John Macaulay asked me to photograph the MfC. Highlights that’s easy, hearing Puressence for the first time ever … in a Cathedral!!! Errrr WOW! The amazing version of Atmosphere with the choir and strings made me cry. Then Love Will Tear Us Apart stood with mi pal Pete was a time I’ll be haunted by forever, not in a bad way, in a “hearing it from now on it will always make me think of then”. As Tim (burgess) was doing his sound check and I was stood on my own in the pit, only a scattering of people in the Cathedral I put my camera down, and just lapped up having a personal serenade (if he realised or not). Ahhhh.Being “backstage” watching and listening to all the talented musicians, Jake Evans and the rest, and laughing with them as some local kids just walked in and helped themselves to the rider stuff. Rowetta was breath-taking both in looks, stage presence and voice.
4) Do you have any plans to exhibit your work in the near or not too distant future?
Well there’s something been talked about, but exhibitions are funny old things aren’t they, are they to show off or sell stuff? (I guess somehow I’ve to pay for all the petrol and parking to that there Mcr!) Or simply let people get some arty enjoyment from your work? A mixture I suppose…. Oh sorry, er yes, the answer is yes haha.
5) When you are not busy shooting, what kind of music do you like listening to?
I still listen to a lot of old stuff, my faves still Echo and The Bunnymen, Spiritualized (of course), Nancy and Lee, love a bit of Patsy Cline I could pretend it’s all cool BUT I love Barry Manilow too. I am not a music snob, I love what I love, and stuff that stirred me as a teen still does. Recently I’ve started taking photographs at Bop Local and hearing those songs is like being 19 again, without the worrying about the size of my bee-hind (lost cause now) or who to impress with my laughable dance moves.
6) A little birdie told me that you recently erm got into trouble for looking too “happy” in your car, could you explain what that was about!?
HAHAHAHA! I can’t believe you asked me that… I got pulled over by the police for dancing in my car (I was stopped at lights with my handbrake on your honour) He asked me what I was listening to, I didn’t understand, he asked what music I was listening to, “Happy Mondays” … “well don’t be so happy when you’re driving in future!” … haha utter madness, I’ve always checked my mirror since. But drumming is so much fun on a steering wheel isn’t it!
Well Elspeth, you’ve been an absolute star, I’ve really enjoyed speaking to you. Thanks you very much.