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.


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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