Amy Winehouse, Pete Doherty and Frank Turner feature in photographer Gregory Nolan's new exhibition and book 'This Was Our Scene'
Remember the mid-2000s? Well photographer Gregory Nolan certainly does. His new book and exhibition – This Was Our Scene – features pics taken at London’s finest sticky floored indie discos, when Babyshambles and pints of snakebite reigned supreme. If the names Frog, Nambucca, KOKO and The Rhythm Factory mean anything to you, then get yourselves down to 2 Newburgh Street, London to pour over candid shots and try and spot yourselves in the crowd. Here are some the best pics from the collection, with Greg telling us all about them.
Greg: “I love telling this story, because it is an example of me being a little cluelss. Usually when I was in a crowd at a show, people pretty much just let me wander and take photos or kind of blend into the background. But this night at KOKO there was a buzz in the crowd and a bunch of people kept asking me to take their pictures. It wasn’t until I’d taken four or five that I realized I was photographing Amy Winehouse.”
Greg: “For me the backstage can be as much a part of the show as the gig itself. The image of the performer who’s given every part of themselves is truly something to behold. Pete Doherty and Babyshambles brought everything to Frog that night.”
Greg: “It was at a Killers show that I first realized that I desperately wanted to be a music photographer – to be right down in the front of the crowd and a part of the scene around me. I took this photo at a strange afterparty following their show, back in a time when just anyone could come along to hang out with them.”
Greg: “Anyone who knows Frank Turner now sees this photo and immediately remarks on the lack of tattoos – you can add a lot of ink in 13 years. This photo was taken at his house in Finsbury Park.”
Greg: “White Heat was one of the core nights of the scene and this photo truly captures the essence of this entire collection. The carefree energy of the time is visible in every character, and it brings back a lot of fond memories of the time.”
Greg: “Tom Frog was one of the main players in the scene at the time, and this photo represents just a small amount of the madness that went down that evening. The Kooks were playing as part of an insane line-up in Covent Garden, one that could rival the best festivals of the time. Patrick Wolf, Jamie T, Larrikin Love and Kid Harpoon were some of the other bands on the bill for what proved to be an unforgettable show.”
Greg: “This shot of The Pigeon Detectives at Brixton is the final snapshot of a longer story. I had first met the guys after they filled in for a last minute drop out for a club night I was running back in 2005. They ended up sleeping on the floor in my flat that night and over the course of the next few years we crossed paths many times while they made their fame. This photo is a prime example of what could happen in the scene.”
Greg: “Sometimes a photoshoot that feels awkward at the time ends up being a gem later on. The Holloways were not feeling this shoot–they had been put into clothes they would never wear, and there was makeup and (if I remember right) glitter involved as well. This photo was taken in a grotty hallway outside the ladies’ bathroom, and we agreed the shoot was never going anywhere. Once ten years have passed… maybe the makeup wasn’t so bad after all.”
Greg: “I am a firm believer that the people in the crowd are just as much part of a great show as the people on stage.”