Highest Point 2022: Highlights Part 1
Updated: May 20
I'm not sure where to start.
What a tremendous weekend! This gorgeous festival held in our beautiful Williamson Park, was made so much sweeter by the lingering appreciation of what we lost during the pandemic.
It held so many special moments for me personally too.
I was invited to DJ again this year.
This is extra special in itself, because I thought I'd hung up my headphones for good after having my daughter, but nope, it seems not. I am sooooo loving getting back behind the decks. I DJd with the Skiddle crew at The Wickerman Festival in Scotland for a few years around 2011 so it was ace to be asked by them to play at Highest Point. This video hopefully shows how much I (and the crowd thankfully) enjoyed it! I got to follow fellow 'Wickerman mate' Sonny Wharton too which was such a pleasure.
Sonny finishing his set with the might 'Insomnia' by Faithless...
A few snippets from my set...
And thanks to Steven (Dobson) who took a myriad of photos. I apparently pull a LOT of faces when I DJ - here are just a few.
It's a lot down to Steven that I DJ'd at Highest Point. He's helped me so much, inviting me to play at Kanteena in Lancaster, helping me get up to speed with the latest tech and just generally being super supportive and ace! He played no less than three times over the weekend (AND went to watch Richard Ashcroft on the Thursday). I'm impressed.
This year, I also had a press pass which was an amazing opportunity to capture the amazing acts up close, some of whom are friends (which made it even better).
I will share more photos in due course, but here are a few favourites:
The Lowes. I love using prisms to create light effects and managed to reflect Ashton Memorial, onto the stage during The Lowes' performance. So pleased I got to see them live after missing a show due to Covid. They were superb and Evie is a dream to photograph, so expressive! It was ace to catch up with Gosia of Nettlespie Photography (the band's photographer) and can't wait to see her images too.
Clean Bandit. Friday's headliners. I do like their newer stuff, but 'Mozart's House' is still a personal fave.
Gina Breeze. Such a pleasure to see Gina play again. We first met when she invited me to DJ at Bomfest in 2010, and we recently reconnected when I created some promo photos with her last year. I also got to meet Luke and Severino from Horse Meat Disco which was very cool. Luke was asking me questions about the history of Ashton Memorial which I did my best to answer, before being accused of not being a good tour guide and how they assumed they were on an open top bus through the park. The picture of Judge Jules in the wooden DJ booth should help you to understand the joke...
On the Friday, I took half an hour out from taking photos to enjoy Luke Una's superb set at The Waterfall. The last club night I attended before the pandemic was one of Luke's nights at Hidden in Manchester. I remember thinking, 'Yes! This is the sort of grimey atmospheric, run-down venue I can get behind!!' (It sounds like I'm employing sarcasm, but I'm not, I do love derelict clubbing vibes). I must have tempted fate because then lockdown came. So it was a definite 'moment' to return to watch him with friends at Highest Point. Only Luke could mix something dreamy and atmospheric, with driving techno, and make it sound so perfectly brilliant.
I'll finish with The Kaiser Chiefs, for now (I feel a 'Highlights: Part 2' coming on).
My only Kaiser Chiefs anecdote is that I met Ricky Wilson once in Ibiza, only briefly, whilst walking through the fun fair on San An Bay about 10 years ago. The girl I was with knew him a little and stopped for a chat, whilst I tried not to freak out over this unexpected meeting. I just stood there trying to look nonchalant but probably failing miserably.
The performance was brilliant, Ricky of course brought the charisma, I had to try not to dance whilst shooting in the photo pit, and I nearly choked on my cider after it went down the wrong way following a joke Ricky made involving Olly Murs.
Make sure you keep an eye out for Robin Zahler's fabulous official Highest Point photography too, and a shout out to a lovely guy I met filming in the pit who helps create the Sound On Youtube channel.