Many of you will know that I spent the best part of 10 years living between the States and Canada in my younger years (I’ve now been home from that jaunt for almost 7 years but it only feels like yesterday that I returned). The last part of my time was spent in Montreal in the province of Quebec and it was here that I really started to develop my photographic career. When I first arrived in the city, I was definitely of the ‘starving artist’ community and needed to work to pay the bills as I was assisting photographers on weekends. So – I washed windows! It was definitely one of the most interesting periods of my life so far and I met some of the most incredible people who i worked with. One of my ‘Vision Brothers’ was the amazingly talented musician Jon Cohen who at that time was involved with a band called Launie Anderssohn - they had the craziest show I had ever seen and I loved photographing them back in the film days with 3200 speed TMax – grain like the size of golf balls!
I didn’t really stay in touch with Jon, but through the power of Facebook, we connected a couple of years back and I was watching his musical progression from afar. When I saw that Jon was bringing his show to Europe and that he would be visiting Manchester I knew I had to hook up with him. I travelled over to Manchester and met Jon about 7pm and he went on at 9.45 at a venue called The Castle Hotel an amazing ‘proper’ pub that’s just been lovingly restored and has a really great concert room.
I wanted to pay homage to the pictures I had made of Jon 10 years ago in Montreal so got my head into a very ‘film based’ mind set and Jon gave me a superb photographic opportunity. His act is basically a one man band for the modern generation, spanning at least 15 different instruments that I saw. His energy was almost overwhelming and his musical abilities uncompromising - this was a show that challenged the audience in a very positive way and I’ll never forget the performance and I hope the images convey a little bit of the magic I winessed. Jon is basically self funding his curent 3 month tour and it is this courage and musical commitment that I so admire in people like Jon. He’s keeping a tour diary as he travels which makes for a great read, it’s archived at www.thejcex.com