It all began at a club called Weavers in Braintree in 1978. That is the first time Geoff Lawrence dared carry a camera to a gig but he only shot the support band, ‘Day Release’ as the atmosphere became a little aggressive when the main act, ‘The Lepers’ (later to become Modern English) took to the stage. From then on his camera was as important as his keys and wallet, especially when heading to the Colne Lodge, the Uni dancehall, the Tech in Sheephen Rd or any number of venues to see his favourite local bands.
There are gaps in the 35 years Geoff has been photographing (and playing in) bands. Times when he was far too drunk to allow himself a Nikon in a public place. The late 80’s were a particularly dodgy time for this reason. As were mid 90’s when he was putting everything into his Slugworth, his band at the time and his band again now. Geoff’s daughter was born in 2004 and following this momentus event both photographing and playing the local scene were put on the back burner. But in the last couple of years the old interests have been stirred again and the outcome is an exhibition at Slack Space from Wednesday March 27th until April 13th.
Geoff claims the photographs on display at this exhibition do not represent his finest work as a photographer alhough he’s ‘chuffed’ with a lot of them, but they have been chosen to show the different characters involved in the Colchester music scene over the 35 years, one that has been Geoff’s pleasure to be part of.
Musical Masterpieces: Geoff Lawrence’s Photographic Record of the Colchester Music Scene 1978 – 2013 opens today at Slack Space, Victoria Place.
The exhibition is free and is open from 11am-6pm, Wednesday to Saturday.