Matt Rakowski
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The Story Behind the Picture: Amy Winehouse

Posted On Tuesday, 23 June 2020

In another fond and emotional memory from my time as a music photographer, I thought I’d share the story behind the picture for Amy Winehouse. The picture itself isn’t of Amy, but of Joss Stone—although the story is all about Amy.

One Thursday night in November 2004, I was at the Birmingham Academy to Photograph Joss Stone. I was excited about the gig because she’s a beautiful girl and I wanted to get some great pictures of her. A lot of the bands I took pictures of were hairy, sweaty men. Unfortunately, I never knew what to expect with female pop stars, sometimes they love the camera, others not.

Events petition scheduled for debate

Posted On Monday, 22 June 2020

The House of Commons Petition Committee have announced that the petition I started in March, calling for economic support for the events industry, due to the disruption caused by Covid-19, will be discussed on Thursday in the House of Commons.

The events industry being debated in the highest democratic chamber in the UK is an opportunity we cannot let pass without ensuring our voices are heard loud and clear. This isn’t a conversation taking place behind closed doors, but one which will be broadcast live, with the elected representative of every UK citizen entitled to have their say. There has never been a greater cause to lobby our MPs to stand and speak on our behalf.

The Story Behind the Picture: Keane 2004

Posted On Sunday, 3 May 2020

When I began the journey of putting together a broad-ranging selection of pictures for the gallery pages, I had no idea how extensive and absorbing the task would be. I sifted through hundreds of folders on external hard drives, USB sticks, old computers and even a couple of CD ROMs. After several days of browsing, I finally found most of the pictures I was looking for. Admittedly, I’m a little agitated not to be able to find some, but I guess that’s a consequence of having such a haphazard filing system. Hopefully I’m not the only one?

Sifting through almost twenty years of work is an emotional experience. I unearthed pictures from unforgettable moments in my life, as well as discovering photos from events I’d long-since hidden away in the far corners of my memory.

With just days to save the economy, how did Rishi respond?

Posted On Thursday, 19 March 2020

Following the chancellor’s press conference on Tuesday, I wanted to take some time to consider what had been announced and canvas opinion, before responding to the government’s measures at how to combat the financial burden of the Coronavirus crisis.

My primary reaction was one of relief and satisfaction. The title of the petition I started called for ‘Government to offer economic assistance to the events industry during COVID-19’. However, we must allow what’s been offered to sink in and look into the finer details.

The future of the UK events industry rests in the hands of our government

Posted On Tuesday, 17 March 2020

To say we’re living through uncertain times is probably the biggest understatement I’ve ever made. It seems like a long time ago now that we were battening down the hatches and protecting ourselves from the storms at the beginning of February. Yet from Ciara to Corona, the world is an altered place and looks to change over the next few months in ways that we could never have foreseen. The global economy is facing an unprecedented threat and we are navigating an uncertain path—where people cannot plan for next week, let alone later in the year or beyond.
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