Flanders Trip

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About 12 hours on the bike, about 8 blisters on my feet, 4 museums, 3 cemeteries, 2 pizza’s, 1 Spag Bol and probably over 20 cans of Jupiter! Cool weekend!

On the first picture of the slideshow you can see where the word ‘determined’ was added to the monument, replacing the word ‘barbaric’. This was done after the second world war by the Worcestershire Regiment.

The second picture shows the headstone of a general who died in 1982 and wanted his ashes spread across the same land all his men had died on. The old general was on a trip down the Nile in Egypt when he got talking to a Belgian tourist and told him about where he fought in the Great War and what he wanted to happen to him after he died. The Belgian turned out to live in Zillebeke on the Ypres Salient, exactly where the general had fought and promised him that he would take care of his wishes and look after his headstone. The house where the Belgian man lived is right behind the headstone and the people that live there today still maintain the little graveyard. The General has now been joined by his wife and daughter who are now buried beside him.

Flanders fields Reunion

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My Bike ‘Valhalla’ is ready for my trip to Belgium tomorrow. I’m meeting my cousin Joerg (who’s coming from Germany) in Ypres to tour around the old battlefields and pubs for the weekend to celebrate 50 years on the planet….can’t wait!

NEIL YOUNG RIP

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Beyond gutted.

Phil Nicholls – Photographer

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A long time ago we were at Bath Moles recording our first album and press representative Chris Sharpe from Beggars Banquet came up to the studio with about 7 photographers zipped up portfolios and placed them all on the table for us to peruse and pick a photographer to do our album and press shots. I didn’t even have to open any of them when I saw Phil Nicholls name on the front of one of the folders. I put my hand on the portfolio and said to Chris: “He’s doing it, Phil Nicholls!”

“You haven’t even looked at it?” he said.

I didn’t need to. While I was at college doing my photography degree I had been keeping a scrapbook and collecting and cutting out pictures from the music papers, especially Phils from the Melody Maker. His photographs were different to everyone else’s. They had a unique sense of stillness and pathos and a calm empathy with the subject matter. They were always immaculately printed too, almost bathed in light.

I’m proud to have Phil as a mate since that first time he came up and I’ve lost count how many times he has travelled with us, been at studios and gigs snapping his brilliant pictures. When you meet him, you understand why his pictures have such a quality about them.

Check out his website, it’s more than just music photography.