Groove Armada Style!
If ever you’ve done an interview/photoshoot with me, you’ll know that I have very strict rules and these tend to be a) let the creative people do their jobs without interfering; b) make nice coffee; c) no other rules. Far too many PR people think it’s their role to get involved in things they really don’t understand (photography; lighting; actually doing the interview instead of the celebrity!) and this almost inevitably ends in fire and fury.
On rare occasions, however, I have had to expand my role to include location hire, set build and props. One such occasion involved dance legends Groove Armada whose 2001 album “Goodbye Country (Hello Nightclub) was accompanied by one of the greatest press releases in the history of modern literature - about which more next year.
Early copies of the album has inspired great excitement within the dance print media - in those days a force to be reckoned with - and one niche magazine had decided it warranted a cover shoot and interview with Tom and Andy. Staffed by enthusiastic but creatively limited young men (mostly), they wanted to do the shoot “in the country!” but had just enough budget for a Ginster’s pie so hiring a rural cottage was not going to fly.
I mentioned that my father lived in rural Sussex and the young men, high on life and drum’n’bass (!) decided that this was the perfect solution. At least I wouldn’t have to make the coffee. So one summer’s day, we all gathered in my dad’s garden to take pictures of two slightly bemused musicians.
“Have you got any musical instruments?” asked the photographer. They didn’t. “Can we get some instruments?” asked the photographer. I began to think the photographer had forgotten his geographical or indeed pharmaceutical position on the planet but I let the thought pass. My father pondered whether “old Ned” up the road might have something suitable as he used to be in music. We drove 3 minutes up the road to old Ned’s.
It turned out that the fellow was a former session musician and still owned a studio full to the rafters with old synths, guitars, drums AND a trombone. Inexplicably and against all the odds, rural Sussex had provided everything we needed for the perfect shoot. Hello Country (Goodbye Nightclub)!