KEITH RICHARDS, THE DIRTY STRANGERS: ALAN CLAYTON’S 60TH BIRTHDAY BASH

keefLast  night I’m back at the excitingly-grungy nether-world Acklam Village Bar 58 under the Westway Flyover in rainy Portobello. I have had a few (mis)adventures shooting here (see this previous post) But tonight I am here to photograph a band and their friends, celebrating their lead singers’ 60th Birthday. The Dirty Strangers – are a garage pub-rock band in the best of British tradition and happen to be good friends with ‘Keef’ Richards and Ronnie Wood. We were later treated to a video message from Keef himself, congratulating his schoolmate on reaching a ripe young age. The evening struck off with an appearance by Brian James of The Damned and the list of musical mates was duly ticked off throughout the evening – including the aforementioned video message from Keith Richards – face looming large and wrinkly on the concrete walls of the space. With songs titled ‘She’s a Real Botticelli’ and ‘Shepherds Bush City Limits’ you just know the type of noise The Dirty Strangers make. Tonight the amount of telecasters appearing made the stage look like a guitar shop showroom. The family atmosphere was reinforced when Alans’ 82 year old Dad got up on stage to sing ‘One More for the Road’, Alan’s son (also doing a good job with the singing and producing  a frighteningly good impersonation of his Dad’s vocal style) then got rather emotional – shouting proudly to the crowd: ‘Thats my Grandad that is!!’ All in all a fun, good energy evening, in a fantastic space. Happy Birthday Alan Clayton, and may The Dirty Strangers and their filthy friends keep on doing their thing for many years to come.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. irenahalder says:

    Sounds like a jolly good time was had by all! Your photos capture the atmosphere so well. The Dirty Strangers are fine musicians; have seen them live a couple of times – they are confident (but with egos kept in check), seasoned, professionals, who clearly love what they do and audiences love that also. I had my 60th recently and a big party, a Bed In for Peace in fact; like Al’s there were 3 generations attending which felt just brilliant, a positive aspect of greater longevity, when so often we oldies are portrayed as an expensive burden on the welfare state.

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