RADIUS 2011 at The Peel Centenary Centre

Marcus Bonfanti (Adrian Cowin)

A concert to raise awareness of depressive illness and to help eliminate stigma about the condition, and other mental illnesses. Organised by John Gregory in association with TalisMann Promotions.

Featuring The McLeans, Truman Falls, Catherine Crowe and Matt Creer, Will Creener, Blue John and Papa Cass and Friends, and Marcus Bonfanti.

Click here to see the full gallery.

The evening started with a few short videos produced by the Time to Change anti-stigma campaign, which raises awareness of mental health issues and the problems caused by the stigma associated with the illness.

The first band on stage were The McLeans, featuring father and daughter Dave and Alanna McLean. They played some really good songs. Alanna’s beautiful voice was accompanied by piano, upright bass and a trumpet.

Dave McLean - The McLeans (Adrian Cowin)

Stephen Kerrison - The McLeans (Adrian Cowin)

Alanna McLean - The McLeans (Adrian Cowin)

John Greggory organiser and compare for the evening.

John Greggory (Adrian Cowin)

Next to take to the stage were Truman Falls, despite being a man down due to illness, they performed a great set of their own songs. Some from their old album and some of their new ones. 

Dave Armstrong - Truman Falls (Adrian Cowin)

Simon Rea - Truman Falls (Adrian Cowin)

Christy DeHaven - Truman Falls (Adrian Cowin)

Anna Goldsmith - Truman Falls (Adrian Cowin)

The next act was really a surprise for me. I’m used to singers being accompanied by a guitarist, and that was what I was expecting. But I was wrong. Matt Creer wasn’t just accompanying Catherine Crowe on guitar, he also sang and they even did one of his songs. I really liked the finger picking guitar and their voices blended perfectly.

 Katherine Crowe (Adrian Cowin)

Matt Creer (Adrian Cowin)

Katherine and Matt (Adrian Cowin)

After the break harmonica player extraordinaire Captain Bliss aka Will Greener showed us how versatile a harmonica can be. He also sings and had the audience stomping, clapping and humming along.

Will Greener (Adrian Cowin)

Will Greener (Adrian Cowin)

Will Greener (Adrian Cowin)

Will Greener (Adrian Cowin)

 The event organiser Blue John and Papa Cass gave us a taste of blues, and were joined on stage with a conveyer belt of guests including Tony Knowles, Pete Woodman, Peter Christian, Mark Armstrong, Dick Best and Jonno Gollow.

Tim Cass - Blue John and Papa  Cass and Friends (Adrian Cowin) 

Blue John and Papa Cass and Friends (Adrian Cowin)

Pete Woodman - Blue John and Papa Cass and Friends (Adrian Cowin)

Mark Armstrong - Blue John and Papa Cass and Friends (Adrian Cowin)

Dick Best - Blue John and Papa Cass and Friends (Adrian Cowin)

Jonno Gollow - Blue John and Papa Cass and Friends (Adrian Cowin)

- Blue John and Papa John Greggory - Cass and Friends (Adrian Cowin)

The headline act was Marcus Bonfanti, he played a great set of acoustic blues. He has a great booming voice and great energy on stage. I really enjoyed his songs, and the stories that went with them.

Marcus Bonfanti (Adrian Cowin)

Marcus Bonfanti (Adrian Cowin)

Marcus Bonfanti (Adrian Cowin)

Marcus Bonfanti (Adrian Cowin)

Will joined Marcus for an impromptu jam.

Marcus and Will (Adrian Cowin)

Then everyone was invited back on stage to join in with the last song.

Marcus Bonfanti and Friends (Adrian Cowin)

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Photographers Notes:
I’m not sure what was different about the lighting this time but it seemed to be putting a dark shadow of the microphone on the singers chin, so I tried to take pictures when the singer was further back which is hard as I normally focus on them when they are at the microphone, so if they move back they won’t be in focus. Trying to get focus while they are moving was a challenge. The lighting was really nice on the people under the spotlights but people at the edge of the stage were very dark. Because of the shadow on the face issue I took most of the shots from the steps as the shadow wasn’t visable on straight on shots.

The bright spotlights can cause over exposed hightlights on peoples faces and white clothing so I made sure I slightly under exposed so these highlights weren’t burnt out. It’s better to make a dark image lighter than to make a light image darker, as the detail is lost if it is burnt out. 

I usually use a custom colour balance at the Centenary Center as I find the lights too warm, but this time I decided not to. The lights and colours were constantly changing and I thought it would be better to sort the tones out in my RAW processing software. I had to convert a few to black and white as I liked the shots but not the colours and burnt out hightlights.

End Notes:
I thought the couple of artists who spoke about their own mental health issues were very courageous and to be commended. The more people who talk about it, the more people will understand, helping break down the barriers and reduce the stigma.

John did a fantastic job putting together such a great night of music and raising awareness. Over £1500 was raised which will be split between Manx mental health charity the Service Users’ Network (SUN) and UK charity the Mental Health Foundation.

http://www.serviceusersnetwork.com (I must get around to finishing their site)

Questions or comments?
Leave a comment below, and let me know what you thought of this post.

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