Event photography - Inspiral Carpets crowd at Band on the Wall, Manchester black white

Clint Boon – Band on the Wall, Manchester

Clint Boon – Band on the Wall, Manchester

The Story Behind the Photo – Clint Boon – Band on the Wall, Manchester

This photo of Madchester legend and XFM DJ Clint Boon, taken at Inspiral Carpets‘ homecoming gig at Band on the Wall, Manchester in 2014 was almost a year in the making.

Clint Boon cow paintingThe Inspiral Carpets’ cool as… cow is iconic for anyone who listened to indie music in the late 80s and beyond. I’ll always remember one of my mates in Leeds wearing an Inspirals cow t-shirt regularly 25 years or so ago. In 2013 I bought this awesome Inspirals cow painting by Clint from a charity auction which hangs proudly in my house. At the time I was part of a team called Challenge 13 raising money by carrying out different challenges throughout the year for various charities, so I asked Clint through Twitter if he could possibly commission one for me to auction.

I didn’t get a response from the first request. He’s a busy man and I’m sure he gets lots of similar requests but one night in July / August 2013 I couldn’t sleep and ended up checking through my charity Twitter page when I noticed Clint was posting. I thought that at that time in the morning there wouldn’t be many people on so I might grab his attention. I asked again, told Clint what what we were doing and how much we wanted to raise and at 4am ended up having a very surreal conversation with him. He agreed to paint one for us so I was chuffed to bits.

A couple of months had passed and I’d not heard anything. I asked a couple of times if he was still able to donate the painting and he said yes, but we were getting close to the end of the year when the charity work was due to finish. Unfortunately we didn’t receive it in time so I forgot about it. As I said, I know Clint gets lots of requests and to his immense credit he paints many of these and raises lots of money for charity and he is of course a busy man.

Out of the blue in early 2014 Clint contacted me and said the painting was ready. The charity work was done so I decided I’d auction the painting to Dr Kershaw’s Hospice in Oldham (where Clint was born) and to the incredibly wonderful Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds which took care of my Mum a few years ago, for which I will be eternally grateful.

Clint Boon cow painting (2)In the meantime I had arranged through Band on the Wall that I would photograph the Inspirals gig for them in May.

I met Clint in the XFM studios in Manchester during an ad break in his Drivetime show. We had a great chat for a few minutes and I told him I would be photographing the band. He gave me the painting, posed for a couple of photos and he had to rush back to carry on his show. I listened to him on the way back home and thought how bizarre that few minutes had been.

That painting raised a fabulous £550 for the two charities which I was absolutely over the moon about and I can’t thank him enough for that.

Moving on to the gig… I got there early but not as early as many and almost literally had to fight my way to the front. This was a huge gig for Inspiral Carpets fans as the band had only recently made a comeback from a long lay off and were playing some original and new material. I perched myself next to Clint’s keyboard and waited.

The band came on, Clint sat down, looked over, gave me the thumbs up and said hi and I thanked him again for the painting. I genuinely didn’t think he’d remember or recognise me. I was beaming.

Later on in the gig he gave me the thumbs up, hinted “are you ready?”, I just nodded and he posed for the camera. In truth I wasn’t ready at all. Anyone who shoots gigs knows that the lighting can be very unpredictable at best, simply crap at worst. Band on the Wall is a decent venue in Manchester and their lighting is good, but the atmosphere was manic and the lights were flashing on and off, different colours everywhere and I took a few photos with the settings I had and hoped that they’d come out. I couldn’t ask the guy to hang on a while mid gig whilst I fiddled about with the camera settings. I gave the thumbs up back, mimed thank you and carried on shooting the rest of the gig. It was the maddest gig I’ve been to yet. I’ve never felt a floor literally shake as it did that night. I was a bit dubious as to how the new tracks would sound but I can honestly say they were as good as some of the original stuff.

Those photos of Clint didn’t come out well straight from the camera though. They took quite a bit of editing work but I’m still chuffed to bits with them regardless of the quality. Some of the other photos I was really pleased with. Some of them are in the music section of this website.

Clint helps a lot of charities through his paintings, will always help promote charities through his Twitter page and you can find him in May every year on stage supporting the Manchester 10k run. I think he’s a great guy and so do his fans in the ‘Boon Army’ and I can’t thank him enough. A top, top man indeed.

Clint Boon 'V'

Camera – Canon 6D

Lens – Canon 24-70 f2.8L II

Shutter Speed – 1/200 second

Aperture – f2.8

ISO – 3,200