Friday, 25 November 2016

Lives & Times 2016 Christmas Video


It's time to reveal the updated Lives & Times Christmas 2016 video to promote the book this festive season. A lot has happened during 2016, but of course losing Mum to bowel cancer in August has overshadowed everything else. The video has been updated to reflect this, but at the same time focuses on the book and the fundraising for Beating Bowel Cancer. The book would made a wonderful Christmas present this year, and at the same time all proceeds raised are donated to the charity. So go on over to my www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk website and support the book.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Lives & Times Meets Tom Rosenthal


I made a rather difficult tube trip to Arsenal to meet up with and photograph comedy actor and writer Tom Rosenthal after earlier having met Christopher Biggins in central London back in April 2015. Covent Garden tube station was closed to passengers entering so I had to walk to Leicester Square, and then there was a signal problem on the Piccadilly Line. So a journey that should have taken me about 20 minutes took twice as long, but I got there just about on time to meet up with Tom. We went to the same school, Reading Blue Coat, although I have a few years head start on him!

We are both fans of Arsenal so it made sense to me at the stadium to do the photo. We just missed out on the setting sun which was a shame, but we still managed to get some good photos, and the one in the book features Tom standing by a statue of Arsenal legend Herbert Chapman.

No messing from Tom with the bowel cancer tie, and he was happy to wear it like a tie should be worn. When we met, Tom was working hard on his recent BBC Three comedy series Flat TV. 

It was also interesting to discover that Tom supports a Sepsis charity. This medical condition can be fatal, and sadly my dad died from it after having contacted pneumonia in 2009. It's another illness that needs talking about and have awareness raised about it.

My mum was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012. She had a successful operation to remove a tumour from her bowel. Unfortunately the cancer spread to her lungs and then to her brain. After a brave and courageous 4 year battle she peacefully passed away on August 29th. Please support this fundraising book as every sale counts both in raising money and raising awareness about bowel cancer.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Lives &Times Meets Dave Sharp From The Alarm

Dave Sharp at The Railway Inn, Winchester

I met and photographed Dave Sharp, the original guitarist with The Alarm, at his acoustic gig at The Railway Inn, Winchester in October 2015. I had been on Dave's trail for the book ever since I had photographed Nigel Twist & Eddie Macdonald from the band a year or so before. In fact Eddie had hoped to try and get Dave to be at the meeting with Nigel, which alas didn't happen. Dave proved to be somewhat elusive, and as the publication date drew close I had pretty much given up hope of hearing anything. I was going to his gig in Winchester so I thought it was worth emailing him one final time, and I was delighted when Dave emailed back just a couple of days before the gig and he was very happy to be part of it.

I hadn't seen Dave play live for a few years, and the gig was absolutely brilliant. He is a real master craftsman... It's a great venue and I was lucky enough to see a bit of the soundcheck where Dave went to great lengths to ensure he got the sound absolutely right. This paid dividends for his set as the sound quality was superb. Dave was very enthusiastic about what I was doing and we were able to have a chat in the bar before doing the photo. He was also keen that the photos were as good as we could make them. He certainly has a creative eye and it made my job really easy. The photo I use in the book is a great black and white photo of the man. The above picture shows Dave sporting the Beating Bowel Cancer tie and helping spread awareness about this awful illness.

So I managed to meet and photograph all four original members of The Alarm for the Lives & Times book. Short of getting them together in the same room this was quite an achievement and one I am really pleased about. Bowel cancer remains the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, and yet if caught early it is one of the most treatable cancers. All proceeds raised from sales of the book are donated to Beating Bowel Cancer. My mother was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2012 and over the course of 4 years following her successful bowel operation, also received treatment for cancer on her left lung and cancer on the brain. Both cancers are secondaries from the original bowel cancer. Sadly Mum passed away in August, but the fundraising continues now in her memory.

To see how to order the Lives & Times book click here.





Monday, 21 November 2016

The Perfect Stocking Filler This Christmas Supporting Beating Bowel Cancer


For Christmas 2016 why not treat someone to a copy of the Lives & Times fundraising book in support of the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. The cost of the paperback and hardback have been reduced on my website to £9.99 & £24.99 respectively and with free postage in the UK. ALL proceeds raised from sales are being donated to the charity and it really does make the perfect stocking filler.

The book is a heartwarming and uplifting read inspired by my own mother's battle with bowel cancer. Sadly Mum lost her brave and courageous 4 year battle with cancer at the end of August. As well as raising funds for the charity the book is helping to raise awareness about this awful disease. Bowel cancer is the 2nd highest cancer killer in the UK, but is one of the most treatable if detected early with a 90% survival rate. If one person gets checked out and successfully treated as a result of reading the book then it will have more than done its job.

Lives & Times features photographs of celebrities who came together to help beat bowel cancer. Each photo is accompanied by the anecdotal story behind the meeting. It was not just celebrities who supported the project and the book also features chapters on some amazing and fascinating everyday people. Everyone gave up their free time to take in the book. It took 18 months to complete and contains over 100 photos and 44,000 words. To date the book and other items on the website have raised over £3100.


The book is available in hardback, paperback and eBook formats and can be purchased from www.bowelcancerfundraising.co.uk and AMAZON. To see all the ways to buy the book click here.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Vapors Back On Stage in 2016


So here's something I never thought I would get to see. Dave Fenton back on stage performing with The Vapors. Last night I went to the Wolverhampton gig of their 2016 tour. It meant a round trip of over 200 miles, but there was no way I was going to miss going to see them on this tour. They were on superb form. Dave alongside original members Ed Bazalgette and Steve Smith with new drummer Michael Bowes played everything you could have wished for. From a personal point of view I was looking forward to hearing News at Ten and Letter From Hiro and they were indeed the high points of a fantastic evening for me. I am looking forward to seeing them play live again in 2017.




About 18 months ago I went up to London to meet and photograph Dave for the book. It's interesting just how much things can change in that period of time. Back then he was working as the in-house lawyer at the |Musician's Union and said he rarely played the guitar at all. Since then he has retired and life has changed a great deal allowing him the opportunity to perform with the band again, Ed is now a highly successful director so I'm thinking he could be on my hit list for me new book. Of course 18 months has seen big change for me too. In August my Mum lost her 4 year brave and courageous battle with bowel cancer. The cancer had spread to her brain and she passed away a week after her 80th birthday. The new fundraising book is being done in her memory. When we met Dave's brother was beginning treatment for lung cancer, but sadly by the time I published the book he had passed away. Another example of just how awful cancer is. 

I decided to try and track Dave down for the book after I had spoken with Mike Read about Jimmie Jones, which was a minor hit for the band. We met up outside Westminster tube station and Dave was extremely helpful and happy to let me choose the location. There could only be one place for me to take the photo, and that was with Big Ben in the background. So the photo in thee book is a belter! The Vapors best single in my opinion was News At Ten, and the picture sleeve of the single was the classic ITV image of Big Ben striking 10 o'clock for their news programme.

We were able to chat about not just the band and some of the difficulties they had at the time with record companies, but life after the band finished and his life working at the Musician's Union and the problems the bands of today face. All in all it was a fascinating experience, and a great chapter to get for the book.

David sent me a photo of himself with his copy of the book, so it's fascinating looking at these contrasting photos seeing Dave at work and now of course back on stage. 

Lives & Times has now raised over £2600 for the Beating Bowel Cancer charity. To see how you can order the book, which is available as an eBook, paperback and hardback, click here.


Friday, 4 November 2016

Alan Davies Features in the Lives & Times Bowel Cancer Fundraising Book


Alan Davies was a great addition to the Lives & Times book. I got to meet up with at Reading Hexagon when he was on his Little Victories tour in 2014. It was fascinating turning up to the venue and getting to talk to and photograph him with not another soul in the house. Alan was another one of the celebrities who I had made contact with on Twitter, and had immediately said yes to my request. He only really found out the fundraising I was doing for Beating Bowel Cancer when we met, so he was a top man for taking a chance on meeting this unknown person on Twitter...

When I met Alan my mother was in remission from bowel cancer. She had successful surgery for bowel cancer in 2012, and then on her lungs in early 2013. It was towards the end of 2014, a few weeks after meeting Alan, that the cancer returned. Mum fought bravely and hard, but in spite of having a couple more lung operations the cancer kept coming back. In November 2015 the cancer spread to her brain and ultimately this proved to be a battle that she couldn't win, and she peacefully passed away a couple of months ago on August 29th. 

The book, along with the silk screen prints, has done amazingly well thanks to the generosity of everybody. It has raised over £2650 for the charity so far. Please continue to support it as it would be fantastic to push on towards to £3000. All proceeds raised from sales are donated to the charity. I am in the early stages of putting together a new book scheduled for 2018...