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Updated: Jun 1

The days of camera film loading are now long gone, with no thanks to Smartphones. We live in a world where you can take and see a million photos at once and then choose the best one, delete the background, change your face, remove people, remove objects and anything else that bothers the mind of the beholder, thus leaving the real essence of why you wanted to take a photo to capture the moment in the first place. Put it this way most peoples social profile uploaded images are a projection of what they want you to see and not what is actually being seen in real life. Depressing as this is, it made me revisit my extensive vault of photographs from the years gone by.

The fun thing about a camera with film was waiting for months or longer ( sometimes years ) to see what you actually captured. Camera films held 24 or 36 photographs per roll, so it was limited to what you chose to take a picture of. At gigs, concerts, festivals, raves and nights out, it literally was hold the camera up a split second, press the button and jump back into the pit. Most of the time, half of the developed film would be a successful run of pictures and the other half would be a blurred mess of a band onstage that you could not even see even if you tried, which really was fuckin terrible but great at the same time. To me that was the whole point of a camera, a quick snap frozen in time only to be seen again whenever you bothered to get the film developed. This had the element of surprise in forgotten moments that does not exist nowadays. Also it just wasn't the done thing at the time to stand there and film everything on a smart device and edit the pictures in front of the fucking band! Which is another depressing factor of concert going crowds. Before you go ape shit over that sentence, I am all for capturing a photo or small video, as I still do the same.... but there is the side of me that thinks who gives a fuck, just watch the show!

The 90's were weirdly strange exciting times, no internet, no mobile phones, no social media profiles, people lived in the now and and it really was fuckin awesome and I hate writing that because it makes me sound like a right old cunt. The early 2000's were mental and then the digital new age slowly creeped in leading to the doom that it is now. I was probably blasted, wrecked, drunk and out of it taking most these, but maybe that's what it was all about. I stopped using camera film around 2008.

Hence this particular blog is dedicated to the days before and just after social media. A time to when and where I was sometimes armed with a disposable film camera. I managed to get some pictures from gigs that have never been seen on the internet or any where else. Here's 18 chosen photographs from my personal collection to help take you back to my exact point of view of that moment. Maybe you were even there, Jump back with me on this Bonglizard blog and lets go gig tripping into the past to some photographs that have now made it here, into the future! My head is fried just writing that sentence so before it explodes lets get into it....

1992 - KISS - HMV STORE CARDIFF : Stayed in line for over 6 hours that day at the HMV record store signing before the show at Cardiff Ice rink later in the evening. It was just about to get to my turn and they closed the line, there was hundreds behind me and the place went crazy with fans trying to get over the CD racks as they exited the store. My mate Bas managed to get a Paul Stanley signature during the chaos. This is actually Gene Simmons leaving - Hey Gene if you get to see this can I get an autograph now please?

1993 - METALLICA -MILTON KEYNES BOWL : This is Kirk Hammett shredding the guitar like a savage.

1996 - THE PRODIGY - PHOENIX FESTIVAL U.K : This was their second show over the course of a four day festival. The first was on the main stage and the second was inside a much smaller tent. It was rammed and with the crowd going off on one, Keith jumped down to the crowd and I got this surprise image I didn't know I captured until months later.

1998 - PANTERA - OZZFEST - Seen Pantera many times but never had that many photographs that came out on the film so this is a rare one for me. The crowd was insane and the show was amazing, Pantera killed it.

1998 - OZZY OSBOURNE - OZZFEST : Ozzy water cannons the audience during his mental solo set before the Black sabbath show that followed that night.

1998 - CYPRESS HILL - LONDON ASTORIA : B Real getting some crowd participation from a blazed audience.

1999 - ICE T - READING FESTIVAL : ICE T lyrically doses the crowd elevated by the tent bar next to the stage.

1999 - BLACK SABBATH - BIRMINGHAM NEC : Front row headbanging, going fuckin crazy and ready for a bucket of water from Ozzy as Sabbath bring the doom.

2000 - GWAR - LONDON LA2 : Front row gore soaked show as Oderus slaughters the crowd and everything else as Slymenstra attacks behind with Gwar providing the soundtrack to die too.

2000 - CHEMICAL BROTHERS - BUGGED OUT WEEKENDER - PONTINS PRESTATYN : This really was a lost weekend, Sometime during the late hours The Chemical brothers banged out a slamming DJ set in a smaller part of the complex. In this shot Tom Chemical waves at us. Not much is known about this festival as it has faded into legend over the years.

2000 - BIOHAZARD - BRISTOL HALLOWEEN 31ST SHOW : Super awesome on stage shot of Billy just before I dived back into the crowd.

2000 - NAPALM DEATH - TJ's NEWPORT : This was a mad night in the small but now legendary venue that was TJ's. I'm just about to jump back into the crowd and I got this shot of Napalm Death at full throttle.

2001 - FANTOMAS TJ's NEWPORT : Another picture from inside TJ's with Fantomas playing an extreme lesson in music to the packed venue.

2001 - THE ROLLINS BAND - LONDON KENTISH TOWN FORUM : Henry Rollins searching and destroying the stage to a sold out crowd. This was a super intense show.

2002 - ELECTRIC WIZARD - SWANSEA ESCAPE : For a moment in time stoner doom took hold of Swansea with a series of gigs by many bands that are synonymous with the genre. Here's Jus laying down sonic heavyness to the converted.

2002 - DANZIG - LONDON ASTORIA : Glenn Danzig jumps down to the crowd and the guy behind him has clearly lost his shit! This photo is another great example of not knowing what would be on the film until I had it developed.

2004 - SLAYER - DOWNLOAD FESTIVAL : Even in the daylight all will bow down and worship Slayer, Tom Araya getting ready to rip into the next song and take a few more souls.

2006 - MOTORHEAD - CARDIFF UNIVERSITY : I could not finish without a picture of Motorhead. Staying deaf forever with Lemmy and the wall of Marshall amps.


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