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The Spotify Playlist

No Commercial Value: Al Overdrive's Photography And Spotify Playlist
The Quietus , February 26th, 2010 09:13

Photographer Al Overdrive compiles us a Spotify Playlist of his favourite songs and talks about his passion for picturing tattooed rockers

Click here to listen to the Spotify Playlist, and to see a gallery of Al's photo's, click the image below.

Friend of The Quietus Al Overdrive has lovingly compiled us a Spotify Playlist to accompany the photographs taken from his top notch tome No Commercial Value.

In his own words, he explains how his book came to be and what photography means to him:

"I’ve always been a very curious person and am usually drawn to the ‘fringe’ rather than the ‘mainstream’ when it comes to entertainment. This probably explains a large part of why I ended up documenting so many of the underground and alternative bands that I have seen play in tiny venues across the UK. The accessibility of the people in the bands and the scene meant I quickly went from anonymous hobbyist to someone who’s work was recognised. I ended up becoming good friends with a lot of the people who I shot, even thought several of the bands in the book have since split up and gone their separate ways. The connection between rock n roll and tattooing is one we take for granted. Though these contacts I ended up meeting several people who performed full-body suspensions (where the metal hook pierces the flesh and the person is then hoisted off the ground using ropes attached to the hooks) and was aksed if I’d be willing to shoot some of the events. To watch an person prepare and take part in a suspension really is an incredible thing to see – you can feel the intensity of the tension and the emotion as the build up occurs and they prepare to be lifted off the ground (it is usually done by gradually increasing the tension until eventually the person lifts off the ground). Sometimes the person experience overwhelms the person being suspended and they cry (not tears of pain, but of joy). I feel privileged to have been trusted and allowed to photograph people in such a vulnerable state. There is a sequence in the book showing Alice’s suspension and how at the end she is crying and gives her partner a massive hug and a kiss. It’s a rare intimate moment. The couple are now happily married !

Without realising it I had amassed a collection of images that documented parts of western subculture that I hadn’t seen on general display as these events and bands were not perceived to have enough Commercial Value to be worth subjugating or marketing to the mainstream. This prompted me to put together a collection so that I could get these images out into the public domain, without an agenda to market a product or push a 'new talented star'.

"I think the common thread that pulls all the people in the book together is that they are all doing what they love. Some people are now making a living out of their creativity and others are still enjoying doing it simply because it feels good without any thought to unit sales or press inches."

Click here to listen to the Spotify Playlist, and to see a gallery of Al's photo's, click the image below.

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