As NME’s chief photographer for much of the ’80s and ’90s, Kevin Cummins became synonymous with the ‘Madchester’ era. His work is collected in a new book, ‘Manchester: Looking For The Light Through The Pouring Rain’. This photo came from one of his early assignments: shooting Joy Division at Futurama, Queen’s Hall, Leeds, September 8, 1979.
Happy Mondays’ Shaun Ryder on “the biggest E of his life”. Cummins recalls: “We were in Barcelona. We went up to the roof of the hotel and I wanted to shoot Shaun in amongst the ‘hot’ of the ‘hotel’ sign. But then I spotted the letter next to it… It was such a good shot, it didn’t even need a coverline. It captured the zeitgeist perfectly.”
Sly Street, East London, February 21, 1994, two months before the
release of their debut single, ‘Supersonic’. “Shooting Oasis always
involved an element of drama,” recalls Cummins. “The first time I went
away abroad with them for NME the writer, Simon Williams, had to take a
week off to recover. He was shell-shocked.”
Morrissey, Rochdale Canal, Manchester, September 5, 1989. “After The Smiths split, I was working with both Morrissey and Johnny Marr, which led to some awkwardness,” recalls Cummins. “Sometimes Morrissey would get possessive. If he got wind I was going off to work with Johnny, he’d then call me up and commission me for something.”