When most of your work exist in the ephemeral digital world, it’s particularly exciting when some physical proof of your labour arrives. It’s just done that in the form of the Back to Front book - 60-ish pages of photographs with two films on DVD or Blu-ray and two audio CDs from Peter Gabriel’s shows at London’s O2 last year.
I’ve had a rich variety of jobs on Back to Front, so I can still be found in the digital world - in the interface design, the end credit sequences and in some of the cutaway shots of the audience in Hamish Hamilton’s film. I was able to switch between stills and motion through the magic of Canon’s 1DC - 4K DSLR.
The book was put together by Real World designer Marc Bessant with the teams at Real World Records and Eagle Rock Entertainment. I can’t even claim sole responsibility for filling the pages with photographs as one Peter Gabriel has also been busy with his camera, so it’s good to know it will have a life beyond the sporadic records of The Wayback Machine and that for once I don’t have to worry about the backup - although of course, that’s not entirely true.
I was thinking about this little film I made around the release of Charlie Musselwhite‘s album ‘Sanctuary’ on Real World Records the other day and realised that today would mark ten years since we filmed the concert at Joe’s Pub in New York.
February 25th 2004 was a special night for many reasons, not least that Charlie Musselwhite is always entertaining and had put together a great band, with Charlie Sexton, Jared Nickerson and Michael Jerome. Another reason it stands out is that Hillman Curtis, who I had met when we were both speaking at the GRAFILL edit conference in Geilo, Norway, the year before had agreed to come along and help me out with the filming.
I seem to remember that Hillman had just acquired a new Panasonic camera and was, with hindsight, at the beginning of a journey that would take him on to make some really great films. If you look him up you can see much of what he made. Hillman was a lovely man and something of a serial achiever, but sadly he died a couple of years ago, so that night in New York was the last time I saw him. The blues of Mr Musselwhite are then particularly apposite.
“Be consistent, respect your audience, and remember, God is in the details.” Hillman Curtis
“Some players, they have all their licks memorized. They think about what they’re going to play, but I try to think about what not to play. Tone and phrasing, that’s what’s important - less is more. The feeling, that’s the thing.” Charlie Musselwhite.
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