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Gallery gig for Tony and his top rockers ; AROUND THE WORLDA hardcore music fan who turned his love of punk rock into a dream job is now sharing his...

September 3, 2013

YellowBrix

Gallery gig for Tony and his top rockers ; AROUND THE WORLDA hardcore music fan who turned his love of punk rock into a dream job is now sharing his most treasured photos in a new exhibition. Riah Matthews speaks to him about touring the world with some of the biggest bands

WHEN we speak, Tony Woolliscroft is just about to e-mail the Rolling Stones, as you do, and then he's going to look into going on tour with Jimmy Eat World.

I'll probably hook up with them on tour and I'm also trying desperately to do the Paramore tour and after that, fingers crossed, I've got Queens of the Stone Age, says Tony.

As a massive music fan without much musical talent, in the 1980s Tony decided to pick up a camera and photograph his mates from the Bradford band New Model Army. Since then, he has travelled the world photographing some of the world's most famous artists.

His exhibition, Around the World: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters opens at the Lace Market Gallery, in Stoney Street, Nottingham, tonight at 5pm.

The photographs of the Red Hot Chili Peppers go back to 1990 and those of Foo Fighters range from 1997 to just last year.

The Foos are one of his favourite bands to photograph.

You can't go wrong with them - whether live, documentary or in session - Dave Grohl delivers every time. He works the crowd and he has become the ultimate front man, says Tony.

When I was with them at Reading and Leeds Festival last year, I'd already photographed them so many times and you think: 'How can this be any different?' But they were probably two of the best shows on the entire tour.

One of the pictures in the exhibition, taken at Leeds, was taken when Dave got the whole band into the pit and it was raining and complete chaos, but it shows in the picture.

This year at Leeds and Reading he photographed Manchester band The 1975 and they're his tip.

It's getting pretty big for them now, says Tony.

The photographer, from Stoke-on-Trent, has a fondness for Nottingham as this is where his love of music was cultivated.

Nottingham's one of the first places I used to go to concerts as a kid. In 1982, I'd go to Rock City to see to see Killing Joke and bands like that. I've got real affinity with the city, says Tony, 48.

As a music fan, he tries to keep his professional head on while working but there have been a few people over the years who have set his heart racing.

From the age of 13, when I went to the Victoria Hall to see the Boomtown Rats, in '78 I think it was, I got bitten by the punk bug, says Tony.

I'm professional and I do my work, which I suppose is why I get hired, but when I worked for the Gorillaz, Paul and Mick from the Clash were in the band and the Clash were one of the first bands I went to see when I was a teenager. I must admit even I got goose pimples.

Tony will open the exhibition at 5pm tonight where he'll talk about his experiences.

He says: Hopefully, it will appeal to aspiring photographers, kids who are into their music and general music fans alike. It would be great if people can come along and say hello.

Around the World: Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters opens at New College Nottingham's Lace Market Gallery, in Stoney Street, tonight and will continue until September 29.

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