Grizfolk in the USA by Gregory Nolan

I first met these guys while on the Bastille European tour early this year. I was truly impressed by the way they connected with those crowds—taking their Americana sound and getting the Bastille fans of Italy, Germany, etc. on their feet and dancing.

It was something totally different to see them in their own home turf.

These guys know how to put on a live show. They’re a delight to tour with—we had some fabulous backstage times and the dynamic between Grizfolk and Bastille is really something good. I love getting to photograph the moments of interaction between bands, and it was particularly fun to watch as, night after night, Grizfolk came onstage to sing along with Pompeii. 

In addition to my usual work capturing the live shows and the backstage shenanigans, I also took a couple of opportunities to do more formal shoots with the guys. My favorite work is (and probably always will be) candid and unstaged photography. Despite this, I’m pretty pleased with the shots I got asking the guys to pose, especially in the Masonic Temple in Detroit, which is possibly the craziest building I have ever seen. It’s massive, with a full cathedral on the upper floors, and all these elaborately decorated rooms next to completely falling apart or unfinished sections of the building. As soon as I started walking around the place, I knew I wanted to try for a couple of formal shots, since a chance in a setting like that doesn’t happen every day. 

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It was a pleasure sharing the road with them, and I look forward to seeing what these next months have in store! 

A Moroccan Interlude by Gregory Nolan

One of the reasons I love my job is that it gives me the chance to travel. I love being in the middle of a scene that’s new to me, or a place I’ve never been before. I like being on the move and in between one thing and another. It’s a crazy lifestyle, but one that gets my heart pumping and brings out some of the work I’m most proud of in my many years as a photographer.

But I rarely get out and around in the world in pure vacation mode. (Hence the 'vacation' photos above)

After the craziness of this past year—particularly the Bastille photobook but also all the other crazy projects, from South Africa to the US and with Rag ‘N’ Bone Man and Unmade in Ireland in between—I felt I needed a holiday.

So I booked a flight to Morocco and, because this is how I am, I took my camera along with me (I also took along Bastille Photobook writer/editor/project manager Katie Dwyer).

Landscapes, Cityscapes

Morocco is beautiful, and is like stepping into an alternate reality/time warp. Katie informs me she witnessed a man texting while driving a donkey cart in heavy traffic. That about sums up the nature of the place: cultures, contexts, and life experiences all piled next to each other in a kind of jumble. 

We also saw everything from Marrakech to abandoned kasbahs, from the Moroccan Sahara to the High Atlas Mountains. I am really, really happy with some of the shots I got along the way.

Portraits and People

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As a rule, I usually don’t take pictures of people’s faces without their permission. This is particularly true in places like Morocco, where it is so common for foreigners with nice cameras to wander around, snapping photos of the locals with little regard to their comfort or wishes (it was clear that most people I encountered did not want to be photographed).

So the portraits I took were of people I explicitly asked. And if I caught a few sneaky people photos out the windows of a car or from a restaurant vantage-point… I hope I will be forgiven.

I found the whole of the experience overwhelming, inspiring, and almost numbing in the variety and emotional responses to the place. Even after a few days, I’m still trying to process seeing snake charmers in the streets, standing in the ancient city that was used as the set of Gladiator, and waking up in deafening silence in a nomad tent with the Milky Way clearly visible overhead. The only live music I photographed was Berber drumming/singing around the campfire. It was wonderful to be on a road that included camels. It was nice to take photos that caught my eye, answering to no one’s interest but my own. And I am now back in Dublin, feeling inspired to get back to work on all the various projects that bring so much to my life…including the chance to have such an incredible adventure.

 

 

Bastille: The Bad Blood Tour Photo Book by Gregory Nolan

I am absolutely thrilled to announce the first-ever book of my photography. BASTILLE: The Bad Blood Tour is a compilation of four years of my work with Bastille, and documents the journey the band has been on so far.

It’s hard to describe how I’m feeling at the moment.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to work with the whole Bastille team, and that all of our vision for the project was a truly high-end art book. We worked to create a narrative that mirrors a day on tour: the travelling, the time spent around town, promo, setting up the show, hanging out backstage, and then the live performance.

If you’ve been following my work for a while, you know what an amazing time I have with this band, and what a privilege it is to have had the chance to witness and document their progress from cramped pub shows to 15,000 + audiences, with more than a few adventures (safaris, the Brits, a trip to NASA, a random 7 am rock-climb in the Nevada desert, etc) along the way.

The writer/editor on this project was Unmade in Ireland collaborator Katie Dwyer, and she did her best to wrangle all the artistic perspectives of band, designer, management, and me into something we’re all truly proud of.

I’ll be sharing more about the process over the coming weeks--it’s an enormous effort to get everything exactly right and make sure the timing works out for everything. The book ships in December, but in the past few hours since the pre-order launched we’re already seeing quite a bit of interest, so if you want a copy for yourself I recommend ordering soon.

Guys, thanks so much for all your support and feedback over these years. This is a major event in my career, and it means the world to me that many of you have been following my journey for the whole way.

I don’t really know how to say how I’m feeling at the moment, only that “proud” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

So… Check out the book’s sales page HERE if you’d like to see what this has all been about. I look forward to hearing what you think!

Portrait of A Festival by Gregory Nolan

I’m always struck by the crowds at festivals and shows. Even though I’m there specifically to photograph the musicians, I always love capturing the front rows and fans--there’s something really special in paying attention to the individual faces in a crowd that are at least half of what makes a great show what it is.

So I decided to capture a portrait set of festival-goers as part of my personal mission as a festival photographer for Electric Picnic.

This festival has a broad base and a wide appeal--although for me it feels like primarily a musical event, there are all those people showing up for the comedy stage, the political talks, and the literary events. So you get young people in full festival dress and older folks camping in yurts and everyone in between. As an exercise in portraiture, it was quite an opportunity, and people were very kind in letting me photograph them.

I don’t often talk about the technical details of my photography, but since a few people have asked in the past… I shot these portraits on a 85mm lens on my Nikon D810.