christopher canty photography

In Flanders Fields Poppies Grow......

On the 11th November 2011, at 11 o’ Clock, I had my two minutes silence at Blackburn Rovers Football Club, Ewood Park in Blackburn, whilst working on a job.

Meanwhile back home in our garden, thanks to the unseasonable mild autumn, the poppy I was waiting to photograph, decided to show it’s face.

The La's come home

The Lee Mavers inspired band, The La’s returned to the Liverpool stage on Friday night, after many years away. There are many tales about Lee and The La’s and almost everyone who plays an instrument in Liverpool will have a story about “their” experience of working/rehearsing with Lee.

He has almost become Liverpool’s version of Syd Barrett, who left Pink Floyd in the early days, with similar tales of excess, madness and the fact he was seemingly bewitched by wanting to record the 11 songs that form The La’s only real album/CD, his way. In his head he had some kind of mythical recording vision, that is still seemingly unobtainable. Books have been written about it all and facts have been lost in translation, with key players in the bands history giving their version, along with those who also know some of the facts of the history of The La’s, who are yet to tell their story.

There have been so many stories of returns, new songs, Lee’s inability to work with anyone, that the truth is all hard to find. One thing is true, is that all this ensured, that when the announcement came via twitter and the o2 Academy on Wednesday, that Lee and Bass player Gary Murphy, were going to play their home town, as part of the handful of recent “stripped down” gigs, it meant that the capacity of 500 for o2 Academy 2, was quickly sold out and moved to the 1200 person capacity for Academy 1, upstairs, with no surprise that by Friday evening the gig was completeley sold out. Such is the mistique of those 11 songs.

The questions would be, can he perform the songs? Is there any new songs? Why is he playing? Is he getting a band together? Is he together?

Over all these part returns to music and non-shows, I had only seen a couple of songs on TV, in the form of Glastonbury and on YouTube and only heard rumours of returns rather, than in the flesh. But having seen the original 80’s early versions of the band, with my favourite line up being Lee, John, Barry and Chris, what I’ve seen on tv and YouTube didn’t compare and like a number of people, made me think, “what a waste of talent.”

They say everyone has one book in them, perhaps Lee only has one album, The Stone Roses certainly did and you can name any number of bands whose second album, failed to match the first, so maybe Lee has got it right and should just appear every few years with the same set of songs.

The set itself was the same, the first album plus Come In Come out, Calling All, and a typical, Lee type encore, My Generation by The Who, which was totally brilliant, in fact in my opinion, the best I’ve seen The La’s since the heady early days of 87/88. Lee also seemed to be really enjoying it and the crowd sang to every tune. It did remind me of the best time I saw The La’s, which was in Hardman House, the power mysteriously went  all over the House and Lee sang and played acoustic whilst Chris played some skins in the darkness.

I’ve seen a few moans on the internet about the set and lack of musicians and whilst everyone is entitled to their opinion, so is Lee and to me the set was great, he and Gary grew with confidence throughout and the likes of “Feeling”, “Doledrum”, "Way Out", “Timeless” and finishing with “Looking Glass” might have been familiar, but along with the rousing “My Generation”, it was totally brilliant. 

I’ve never forgotten how good The La’s were, they are easily one of the best bands in Liverpool and unlike some bands who keep making albums when they shouldn’t, along with the now popular cover bands, such as the likes of The Australian Pink Floyd, or any other cover band, I’m afraid I don’t see the point. I’d know I'd rather go and see the enigma that is Lee Mavers any day!

The Slits, Pink Military, 110 negative Brady's Liverpool. 1980.

This was probably why I wanted a 35mm camera, these old scans are from a 110 colour negative, but as my scanner doesn’t have a 110 scanning attachment, I was trying to see if I could do it without one, so the quality isn’t very good.

First up is Ari Up of The Slits, one of my favourite bands and then local girl made good, Jane Casey of Pink Industry, as they were called at this point, both photos taken by me at Liverpool club Brady’s. 

I can’t Imagine going to the front of a gig, waiting at the barriers, with a 110 camera now. I now find the thought that I did that, really funny, I now wonder what people thought, but we didn’t have mobile phones! A few years later I’d give up bass playing with Tommy Scott and get a real camera.

The club was Eric’s a few months earlier, until the police raided Pete Whiley and Wah’s gig. It’s now back as the “world famous Erics live venue” and seeing as on my new twitter @ChrisCantyPhoto Twitter page, they are fist to follow, this is for them.

Ps I still haven’t been in the new venue yet, that’s gonna be weird!

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One of the most unique female singers ever and possible my favourite Banshees song, live they were always absolutely amazing!

Space Rehearsal Advent Calendar (6/6 Photos) daily

Space rehearsals, Space the band from Liverpool return to play live, at Liverpool’s o2 Academy on Thursday 22nd December 2011.

This is the Space rehearsal advent calender, a photo a day of the band, relaxing and rehearsing, until the today’s gig.

Last night was the final rehearsal and the guys ran through a blistering set for the last time before the gig today.

For the final page of the calendar, it’s the one and only Tommy Scott, lead singer, main songwriter and guitarist.

Need I say more?

Photo by Chris Canty Photography @ChrisCantyPhoto

Space Rehearsal Advent Calendar (1/6 photos) daily

Space rehearsals, Space the band from Liverpool return to play live, at Liverpool’s o2 Academy on Thursday 22nd December 2011.

This is the Space rehearsal advent calender, a photo a day of the band, relaxing and rehearsing, until the gig on Thursday.

First up is the mighty Allan Jones, Allan plays skins (drums), in Space and he is the first of the three non-original members.

Photo by Chris Canty Photography @ChrisCantyPhoto