We’re looking back at some of the photos we’ve been most proud of in 2010. Starting with M.I.A., photographed in London by Tom Oxley, whose idea it was to give her some flares and capture the atmospheric results.
Vampire Weekend surrounded by fluttering paper – another quality Tom Oxley job.
“Great light. Great location. Great band,” says photographer Pieter M Van Hattem of this Dead Weather shot, taken in Palm Springs, CA. “This image was from a session a few hours before they played a blistering set at the Coachella festival.”
Delphic, by Andy Fallon. “The idea was to create the feel of stress and electricity,” says Fallon. “It was created using old fashioned photography with five police torches strapped to a piece of wood on a long 30-second exposure.”
MGMT, by Pieter M Van Hattem, New York, March 2010. “I found an area in the building that was under construction,” recalls Hattem. “I remember kicking their entourage out of the shoot for a while so I could get the band’s full attention. I think it worked and made a simple image a bit more intense.”
Suede live at the 100 Club, by Emilie Bailey. “I was squished in with them at the front for the duration of the gig as there was no photographer’s pit,” recalls Bailey. “One of the sweatiest and fun gigs I’ve been to.”
Zola Jesus, shot in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, by Pamela Littky.
Wild Beasts, photographed by David Edwards in an overgrown spot in London. “They’d recently moved to the city,” he says, “and were starting to feel its effects. So thought I’d return them to the wild.”
Gallows, Reading Festival, by Danny North. “Capturing ‘that’ moment with Gallows is usually about timing the perfect chaotic split second, but in this shot I wanted to capture the moment between the chaos.”
Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss, photographed in New York by Tom Oxley.
Tom Oxley captured this happy, musical moment while on tour with Mumford And Sons in Amsterdam and Cologne in September 2010.
My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, photographed in west London by Dean Chalkley, who says enigmatically: “I think this image speaks for itself. It’s open ended. It makes you think. It’s like a story.”
Summer Camp, shot in Hackney by Richard Johnson. “The band had a real anonymity before the shoot, so it’s quite exciting to be the first to shoot them and represent them in NME,” says Johnson. “We used my favourite Holga [camera] for a prop so Elizabeth just started snapping away at me.”
Mystery Jets, photographed inside London’s Somerset House by David Edwards, July 2010. “The light and location were great that day, and everything fell into place,” says Edwards. “It turned out the most relaxed shoot I’ve ever done.”
Kele, by Dean Chalkley. “This shoot never ran, so it is an exclusive to you here,” says Dean. “I love the fact that Kele looks so intense. We are really close up and the textures of the shot are running riot.”
Muse, by Andy Willsher. “This was taken at Wembley Stadium at the second of their shows this summer. It was probably the most elaborate stage set-up I’ve ever seen, and not too far from looking like a spaceship.”
MNDR, by Ed Miles. “I really enjoyed this shoot. I found MNDR engaging and full of ideas. I love the softness of this shot, the way the light has caught the shards of glass on the necklace to illustrate that sci-fi psychedelia.”
Nicky Wire, by Andy Willsher. “This was taken backstage at Cambridge Corn Exchange and although this was virtually the last day of the tour, Nicky was in good spirits.” Read the interview we did right before this shoot.
Kings Of Leon’s Nathan Followill, by Dean Chalkley. “This photograph is part of the Kings Of Leon session I shot for NME in New York this summer. I asked Nathan if I could take a picture of his tattooed chest, he kindly agreed. I think it’s really enigmatic. We can’t see Nathan’s face but we know it’s him.”
Interpol. Ph Pieter M Van Hattem. New York, Milk Studios June 2010. Interpol, Montreal August 9th, 2010. I used to work with Interpol quite often so this was a welcome reunion. The guys are always self styled and know how important imagery is.
Goldfrapp at V Staffordshire, by Tom Martin. “I remember Alison coming on in this stunning dress, surrounded by all these fans blowing upwards. It’s easy pickings when a band makes this much effort.”
This image of Laura Marling was taken by Tom Oxley. NME said of the 2010 Cool List topper: “Laura Marling is nu-folk’s 20-year-old godmother, and an anachronism of cool.”
Dean Chalkley snapped this lovely family portrait of Kings Of Leon.
Free Energy at Brixton Windmill, shot for the Radar section by Kristian Yeomans. “I think it captures the energy of the band really well and also makes the singer look like he has a perfect mohawk. Not sure it’s a good look, but it makes for a good shot.”
The Drums, by David Edwards. “This was early one November morning on Primrose hill in the freezing cold. We had to dodge park wardens so hid under the willow tree – only to find the light in there was beautiful.”
“Frank Turner had been signing at the NME signing tent for nearly an hour,” says Ben Canon. “Time had run out and the next band was ready to come on. Not wanting to disappoint the rest of his fans he jumped over the barriers and carried on signing.”
Charlotte Gainsbourg is windswept in this photograph by Dean Chalkley.
“This was taken at Reading Festival,” says Andy Willsher of this shot of Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil. “I’d photographed them at nearly all the festivals over the summer and this one was up there with T In The Park. I don’t think anyone was expecting the pink trouser/blonde hair combination though.”
“This was taken right before his first show of his solo tour,” says Pieter M Van Hattem. “It’s the same dressing room that Elvis used when he performed over 58 consecutive shows at the Las Vegas Hilton.”
This photo of Coutney Love was taken by Pamela Littky in Los Angeles in May 2010.
“I felt like the coral were a band that had a very strong sense of how they wanted to be perceived visually,” says Ed Miles. “On direction, they wouldn’t do anything they didn’t want to do. They had chosen three locations on the outskirts of Liverpool. I chose this shot because it has an ambiguous quality. The windmill makes it feel like it could of been taken in Amsterdam…not in Liverpool.”
Guy Eppel took this shot of Die Antwoord’s Yo-Landi Vi$$er, supporting MIA in NYC. “I just had a feeling that on this particular show that Die Antwoord were going to outshine MIA. I was so close I could feel the adrenalin coming off the pair. This was their moment to shine and they grabbed it. Their energy is the best I have seen in a new act for a while.”
Magnetic Man, shot by Andy Fallon. He says, “The kings of the dubstep scene were just emerging and I wanted to give them the presence of Blade Runner androids like Rutger Hauer.”
Richard Johnson took this picture of The Flaming Lips at Glastonbury. “I was wandering back from the Park Stage when I caught the start of their set,” he says. “I just managed to fire off a few frames to show the amazing viewpoint from the crowd.”
Tom Oxley took this photo of the Klaxons in London in July. This one definitely captures the band’s…unique sense of style.
Dean Chalkley says of this Beady Eye photo: “The image is one from the NME Christmas issue, so it is ‘seasonal’. But it transcends that pigeon hole. It’s not just a cheesy Christmas shot of any ol’ band…THIS IS BEADY EYE…AND IT IS…COSMIC.”
Janelle Monae, the runner-up for Number One on NME‘s 2010 Cool List, had her photo snapped by Tom Oxley for the feature. NME said, “She’s a mixture of contradictions that shouldn’t work: an androgynous creative dominatrix who signed to Diddy’s label yet retained total control over her output.”
Paul Weller takes over the hot dog stands of NYC in this photograph snapped by Matt Salacuse.
“This was taken at Sheffield Leadmill in the middle of an on-the-road piece on one of the hottest days of the year,” says photog Andy Willsher of this shot of Marina Diamandis. “There was always a different set of glasses and day-glo lipstick for each gig.”
This shot of The Flats was snapped at Offset Festival over the summer. “The lads came of stage just after there set, first thing was first beer and ciggies,” says photographer Victor Frankowski.
Tom Oxley snapped this photo of Florence Welch of Florence And The Machine at Glastonbury. The act drew one of the biggest crowds of the weekend at the John Peel Stage – and you can see how big the crowd really was in this shot.
Roger Sargent caught Babyshambles’s Pete Doherty and Carl Barat just after they played their reunion set at Reading Festival.
Andy Whitton took this photograph of The Courteeners’ Liam Fray in West London in January 2010. This image is from his NME cover feature photo shoot.
“I got a call from Paul, the band’s tour manager, asking if I wanted to come to Rio for a week,” says Danny North of this Gogol Bordello photograph. “I shot the LP cover and we managed to fit an NME feature in there. It doesn’t get better than that surely?”
Diamond Rings, the most glam-tastic star to grace NME‘s Radar section, had his photo snapped by Jess Baumung in Toronto for his magazine feature.
Here’s what Dan Dennison has to say of his Cancer Bats shot at Reading Fest: “This was a great show – I was side of stage and noticed that there might be some crowd-surfing about to happen. Just as I got to the pit, Liam Cormier was down at the front row running around like a maniac. I got to the other side of him and managed to get a few frames, this was definitely my favourite.”
Here’s a Tom Oxley photograph of Katy B, who came it at No. 49 in this year’s Cool List. NME said: “She’s on her way to becoming the genre’s first true breakout star.”
This photograph of The Maccabees comes from Dean Chalkley. The band helped NME kick off 2010, playing on the NME Awards Tour in February with Bombay Bicycle Club, The Big Pink and The Drums.
This photo of Crystal Castles comes from Jess Baumung, who captured the true essence of Alice Glass on stage (or rather, on a crowd of punters).
This shot of Cerebral Ballzy, who NME called “one of the funnest new hardcore bands on planet earth”, was taken by Roger Sargent at Leeds Festival.