You have been watching 2011……..

2011 was up and down and all over the place for me a bit like 2010 only much happier for the most part and no heart attacks/cardiac arrests.  Highlight is of course the birth of our daughter and main photography subject for the next many many years Evie Donnelly.  Lows have been disputes over my photography and how and where its used by others.  I had a wonderful holiday from Facebook during which I discovered the delights of Twitter and how to annoy people on there.  Its still my preffered social media.  Facebook has become a neccesary evil again as there are a helluva lot of friends and family I need to keep in touch with especially after Evies arrival.  Usual story – I shall get bored a few paragraphs down and just concentrate on posting photos – dont be too disapointed……..

Photography highlights have been all of Tartan Heart, some of Rockness and many great gig shoots around Inverness and a surprise one at Camden Underworld in London with Mr Jablonski…….which was nice !  Ive met some really nice new friends in various pits who’s links are over there if you care to look >>>>>.  Flares n Seagulls get a special shout out for being mad enough to let me review Vintage Trouble – thanks guys :).  Saw Big Country for the first time in 20 0dd years which was nice albeit very very different without Stuart (rip).  A couple of wee festies up on the Black Isle Brewery grounds went down well with the beer drinking musicians and fans – Jocktoberfest in particular will hopefully become a yearly event with more ideas in the pipeline apparently.

Sad to see the demise of Ceol-Mor on July 31st – much wailing and gnashing on the pages of Facebook but interesting that some of those that shouted loudest about it weren’t actually seen within its walls that often.  It’s beer vouchers going in the till that keeps premises open not clicking ‘attend’ or ‘like’ on Facebook posts.  More power to Mr O’ Connell in his adventures and ventures throughout 2012.  He managed to book some real top notch acts during his time there (as well as some fucking stinkers – no names no pack drill).  Its also the place where I really got into the whole music photography thing as Terry just let me run wild with a camera.  Fingers-crossed this year sees a much needed upgrade to the camera situation – Nikon of course.  Current one is starting to show signs of imminent DEATH – all donations gratefully recieved…..

Summer Showcases at the Ironworks were another load of highlights – I havent done anything about them on here so that might be a project for the next couple of months.  They, of course, featured the awesomely awesome talents of The Whisky River Band, Red Kites, Sara, Iain and a massive host of talent which, as I say, Ill feature in the coming months when I run out of stuff to talk shite about – I think a fair portion of the acts are already present in previous pages  🙂

Looks like Ill be doing another couple of weddings having got my first two under my belt in 2011 – The Newells and Rosses.  The two most stressful shoots Ive done, ever !

I also found out what an eclectic bunch of family, friends and contacts I have on facebook.  I had, just for fun, asked for gigs of the year back at the end of November for no other reason than I wanted something interesting to read during a particularly boring shift at work – if youre reading this boss Im joking for effect.  Heres a selection of what I got back…..

Mr Sangster chose Glastonbury, Lou loved Angels & Airwaves in Glasgow, Lenny Kravitz did it for Ms Bills, Heaven 17 at Rewind Festival jingled Mr McColls chain, Fritz enjoyed Beautiful Days Fest in Devon (what he remembers anyway), Martin Stephenson got Beefy going, Jim Barrie got excited at Ron Sexsmith, quite a few for Vintage Trouble at Inverness Ironworks.  Mrs Houdi cites Homework and Stetsonhead at Bella as her favourites and Ive documented it before that Evie enjoyed Homework from the comfort of Mrs H’s womb !  Primal Screams Screamadelica performance in Glasgow made Ms Kane a happy bunny.  Shaz shouted about Foos and Biffy at Milton Keynes and Cousin Stu rapped about Snoop at Carling Academy. A Galipaygo said watch out for the Black Crowes in Manchester and a Flat Stan clocked Rush at the SECC.  Young Jack Barclays first gig ever was the Script at AECC, Donna went to see Elton & Billy Joel at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon but the favourite shout out for me was from the man, the myth, the leg end – the silveriest fox I know, Mr Duncan de Barclay whos highlight was Shooglenifty playing at Banff Town Hall.  Top gig – top venue !!  You knows it. So a good year for the general gig-goer and a fantastic way to make this post appear much longer and more interesting !!  Tidy !  My favourite I hear you call…….I have no idea – Ill use the old cliche – too many to choose from………….**** (heres a hint though – click the asterixes)

I got involved in a spot of album cover creation this year and designed or contributed to releases by Davy Cowan, Sara Bills & the Hasbeens, Mystic Shoes, Last Summer Effect, Defcon One and Steve Brown Music.  Busy boy !!  My favourite releases of the year were simple to choose.  Each one of them is on heavy ipod rotation and the discs live in the car…….

Capsized Sailors by The Little Mill of Happiness, All that Glitters by Homework and Stanley Odds first offering for 2011, Pure Anti-Hero Material.  Follow the links to sample and purchase the actual tuneage ! (stanley odd image courtesy of


The Little Mill of Happiness

Stanley Odd

The “Absolute Belter Track That Makes Me Smile Without Fail and I Listen to Every Day” Award (ABTTMMSWFaILTED) goes to Stay Awake by the brilliant Aerials Up.

Final gig for me of the year was the Ironworks Winter Showcase – only made one of them and photos of that are here.  Second night was a great success too but as usual with these kind of events and Band of the Year style awards announcements a Facebook meltdown has to be involved. There were a few this year – even I had a couple.  Usually interesting, always stupidly embarrassing this one was no disapointment and as is the way of drunken Facebooking the offending comments and thread are removed the next day.  The mythical beast that is the ‘Invernessmusicscene’ reared its ugly head once more and its state of health was discussed and every other band in and around the town got dragged into it – not always complimentarily.  Oh the wonders of and fun to be had on social media !!

Thank fuck for Billy Morrison and The Market Bar – he doesnt give a hoot about all of this and neither do I anymore.  Most of my musical mates would have given their eyeteeth for an Ironworks, Hoots or a slot at a Bella style gig back when they were working their way up through the ranks – nowadays it would seem to be seen as a right in some camps!!  Earn your stripes first !  There you go – a wee rant from me for everyone to get their teeth into  🙂

Heres an advent photolander – thats calendar and photograph put together to make a word……fucking innovative, me, you know.  Doesnt actually make sense as an advent either cos its Hogmanay.  Och well – you get the idea.  Ive tried to pick a favourite gig shot from each month of 2011 but Ive taken the Festivals out of the  equation as that would just make my job so much harder in picking favourites.  So on with the show – hey Ive gone mental and allowed you to click on the photos to view them a bit bigger.  Seeing as its Xmas etc.  They do have a watermark on them, however, just cos, well just cos its been a year of stolen/borrowed/misappropriated photos.  You know who you are – Im not naming and shaming on here but will be quite happy to bitch about it in the boozer – hehe 🙂 – Cheers – mines a large Balvenie ta !

Please note that this is not a review as such its merely one man with a camera talking bollocks via the medium of laptop keyboard about the bits of the past year he can be arsed to remember and/or write about.  If any of it offends you please feel free to contact me here and we can discuss any issues you may want to raise – thanks !

A huge ‘taverybig’ to everyone who’s ever let me loose in their pub, club, stadium or venue with my camera or had me stand in front of your band at a gig and just annoy the fuck out of you.  To name everyone would be too long and boring.  You can all be sure Ill be hassling you throughout  2012 doing exactly the same – thanks folks – you are all well aware of who you are and thanks for all your help.


“Puppets !! And I thought Id seen everything”     Chris Griffin

“Its nice to be nice”       Frank Burns, M*A*S*H

“You are the 10 most boring people I know”      Trapper John to Frank Burns, M*A*S*H

That is all !!  Dismissed !  Enjoy the photos and always remember……..other opinions are available  🙂

January // Shutter // Ceol-Mor, Inverness

February // Martin Stephenson // Ceol-Mor, Inverness

March // Ash Mackay // Hootananny, Inverness

April // James Mackenzie & the Aquascene // Market Bar, Inverness

May // The Boosts // Ceol-Mor, Inverness

June // Dave Arcari // Ceol-Mor, Inverness

July // Iain McLaughlin & the Outsiders // Ironworks, Inverness

August // Red Kites // Ironworks, Inverness

September // the Little Mill of Happiness // Ig:lu, Inverness

October // Stanley Odd // Madhatters, Inverness

November // Vintage Trouble // Ironworks, Inverness

December // Kassidy // Ironworks, Inverness

All images contained in this post are
© aldonnellyphotography / houdi
unless otherwise stated

Copying, displaying, manipulating or redistribution of these images
without permission from the artist is strictly prohibited !!


2 thoughts on “You have been watching 2011……..

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