Simon Taylor recalls seeing Radiohead for the first time. He also happened to his camera at hand to capture a few images of the band.
Back in the 90s, while studying Graphic Design at Southampton Instituted of Further Education (now Southampton Solent University), I would frequent Southampton’s answer to the Cavern, the Joiners Arms. A small venue that has hosted Oasis, PJ Harvey, and the Arctic Monkeys, to name a few.
The Joiners Arms,
141 St Mary St,
18 February 1993
I lived less than half a mile away in what was called the red-light district. The digs were rundown. I recall the leaky ceilings and having to position my bed diagonally across the room to stay dry. I learnt more about life than Graphic Design due to other issues. However, despite working thirty-two hours a week at the now-defunct Index Catalogue shop, I passed and pursued a career in photography.
My root to the Joiners Arms, situated on St Marys Street, took me past lots of bric-à-brac shops, piled so high with stuff that entering became a Crystal Maze challenge. Between September 1992 to April 1994, I must have visited the Joiners around a dozen times and photographed about half of the gigs I saw. Sadly, most of the negatives are lost due to my endless packing, moving, and then unpacking in the nineties.
The only negs I still have are of Radiohead. The band was touring their debut album, Pablo Honey, which was released four days after the gig, 22 February 1993. Creep, a now renowned Radiohead anthem, was at the time of its first release (September 1992), not a chart success. It was not until the track was re-rerelease later in 1993 that the band cracked the top ten and jumped into the national spotlight.
I was a novice to photography and only ever took one roll of film at any gig. That is what I could justify financially. All the photographs I took at the Joiners Arms were captured, using a little Pen tax ME-Super, which I still have. Nothing flash (excuse the pun), but as it is said, the best camera is the one you have on you.
I was a novice to photography and only ever took one roll of film at any gig. That is what I could justify financially. All the photographs I took at the Joiners Arms were captured, using a little Pen tax ME-Super, which I still have. Nothing flash (excuse the pun), but as it is said, the best camera is the one you have on you. I think the ticket cost me £1.50. So, a bit of rock history, anyone can play guitar.
Words: Simon Taylor SimonTaylorVisualArtist.co.uk @simontaylorimages