Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Shooting in the Woods

When it comes to locations for band photo shoots Dayglo Fishermen almost always chose somewhere local to where they are recording or performing. There is never a desire to go anywhere even remotely exotic. The band likes to keep things authentic and maintain as close a connection as possible to the music.

During the band's early years, from 1990 to 1994, there was one location in particular that Dayglo Fishermen visited for photo sessions: the woods on a hill to the west of Hexham, Northumberland, just a short walk from what was then the band's only production facility: Artlite Studios.

The first major shoot in those woods was in early 1992 during the recording of the 'Magic Organ' album. The photographer, Mark Chapman, masterfully captured the tension of the music and the mood of the band, with the straight and almost bare trunks of the trees in the background adding a level of bleakness and melancholy to the scene.

The official photo from the first Hexham woods shoot in 1992, taken during the production of the 'Magic Organ' album. From left to right: Peter Fothergill, Sean Wills, Richard Burton and Eamonn Maddick.

Another photo from the 1992 shoot.

An excellent group photo, but missing the dramatic angle of the one finally chosen

The second major shoot was a year later in early 1993. Dayglo Fishermen now consisted of just Peter and Richard, and the shoot was for the cover image of the forthcoming album 'The Dayglo Fishermen'. The photographer, J. Lorne Inglis, needed to create a lighter and more contemplative impression, and he succeeded. The resulting photos, especially the one finally selected for the cover, illustrate the dramatic change of mood in the band from the previous year. It was a perfect complement to the album's music.

The success of the shoot is all the more impressive if the weather is taken into consideration. It was a bitterly cold and grim day, and the lack of any insulating clothing meant that the band suffered considerably, with fears of hypothermia mentioned in the notes. Such torturous conditions are not apparent in the photos, which is a testament to the band's professionalism. Or perhaps the band was simply in a state of cold-induced delirium...

The photo chosen to feature on the cover of the band's 1993 album 'The Dayglo Fishermen'. Peter Fothergill (left) and Richard Burton.

The chosen photo as it appears on the 'The Dayglo Fishermen' album cover. Design by J. Lorne Inglis.

Interesting close-ups, but not quite right for the album

If a print of this photo was found in an attic it could well be mistaken for one that was taken in the late 19th century

Within a couple of years of that 1993 photo shoot the woods were cut down. The landscape became truly desolate, but it may well have appealed to Dayglo Fishermen had they not long since moved south to a slightly warmer climate. The woods, so I'm reliably informed, were soon replanted and have since grown back to their former glory.

If the band becomes nostalgic perhaps they'll be found in those woods again one day.