Friday, 30 November 2012

Gamut - Ballad

Track #4 is simply called "Ballad". This track started off life as piano piece that our keyboard player had written for his own amusement and slowly we worked on it and turned into a track that still love to this day. It was a devil to play live on stage because the first half I do nothing at all (or very little) but then the second half goes a tad guitar mental. No heavy guitar lead or anything like that but a lot of pickling ... and it's quite fast.

Gamut were : Pat Gordon - Keyboards, Rick Willis - Bass, Russell Haynes - Drums and (myself) Justin Hill on Guitar.

Distant Shower, Dark Ways & Seaside Stores

"Storm at Sea" :- The awesome power of nature. This is a shot of a storm over the English Channel just a the sun was dying out for the day. The little speck of light on the water is a small boat. You can clearly see the rain lashing down in places beneath the dark cloud bank but the sea remained remarkably calm.

"Bleak Perspective" :- This is Trafalgar Terrace, a tight little alleyway that runs between Gloucester Road and Trafalgar Street in Brighton, England. It's a remnant of Victorian Brighton and at night it still retains a moody and dark Dickensian feel.

"Trinkets and Knicknacks" :- This is a souvenir shop / store down on the King's Road arches on the lower promenade on Brighton seafront , England. The owner had just opened it up and was placing stands and boards outside to attract customers when I approached him and asked if it was ok to take a few photographs, he very kindly said it was. Seashell wind chimes and door hangs, fridge magnets and general seaside goodies lay within.

All Photography © Justin Hill

The Monkees 27th March 1989

Yeah ... I saw The Monkees 'live' in concert. Well...three of them anyway. Michael Nesmith refused to join them on their cash grabbing reunion so it was just Davey Jones, Mickey Dolenz & Peter Tork on stage. To be honest they were better than I thought they'd be and it was a joy to hear some classics that reminded me a lot of my childhood being performed live. Oddly enough a few weeks after seeing this show I got a call and ended up road crewing for them on a date at Crawley Leisure Centre , England.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Dark Eye Range

Fed up of twee, sweet covers for your iPhone? Fret no more & revel in the darkness with these new designs in the Dark Eye collection. Many more designs to be added over the next few days or so. These were created with the bikers, rockers & goths of the world in mind.

Constrictor by Gingerbloke
Shop for another iPhone 4 Cover at

Gamut - Dreamer

Track #3 by my old band Gamut is called "Dreamer". It was a reasonably lengthy guitar based track so there very little time for me to switch of or relax (especially when performing it live).Most of the tracks we played were written the same way. The keyboard player would drive over to my house and we'd then jam around and play about with the guitars and keyboards until something was starting to form, we'd then (over several days) hone it down to a reasonable sounding piece that we'd then play to the bass player and drummer. After several rehearsals (and lots of laughing)  a track would be born and released into the wild. This was one of our earlier pieces...

Gamut were : Pat Gordon - Keyboards, Rick Willis - Bass, Russell Haynes - Drums and (myself) Justin Hill on Guitar.

Daddy Cool

I am currently converting some of my existing images into iphone & ipad mini products and have just done so with my "Daddy Cool" image. It wasn't until I pulled up the page of products that I realised there's 9 with that image on and they all look superb so thought I'd share them with you all here whilst giving myself and my snowmen and extra plug. If you click on the "Daddy Cool" iPhone 4 case pictured below it will take you to the "Daddy Cool" page.

Turquoise Hues, Tree Silhouettes & Little Greenery

"Silent Lucidity" :- There's a large cutting through the cliff face that winds down in a reasonably steep slope to the beach at Telescombe on the south coast of England. if you stop halfway down this is the view that you get. I happened to get there just as the daylight was fading into night and was met by this wonderful sky and scene.

"Three Is a Magic Number" :- At the top of the hill by our house you'll find these trees. I pass them each time I drive into the city , they've been there for as long as I can remember. I photograph them quite often as they change with the seasons and the different light that stretches across the hills and farmland. On this occasion I got there at twilight and they were standing side by side in silhouette. They looked beautiful.

"What a Piece of Work is a Man" :- I have never understood mankind's want to concrete over everything and take with it the beauty of the world. I tiny bit of greenery on the right is all that can be seen in this image, everything else is stone, concrete or metal. Hard edges and hard surfaces batter you visually, very little is pleasing to the eye or offering visual relief.

All Photography © Justin Hll

Scorpions 19th February 1989

Now his was a gig and a half. All the classics plus loads of new stuff. Klaus Meine's voice tearing through the venue whilst Rudolf Schenker and the boys blew the windows out. Superb. Loved every damned minute of it. The best bit was that this gig was before they went all whistly and sang about changing winds. This was the Scorpions of old!!! Bring it on...

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

"Till Death Do Us Part" - A Dark Derek Product.

If you're a Biker, a Goth or are simply just plain fed up with cute covers for everything then this is your poison! No pink fluffy bunnies, no flowers or puppies...just bottled darkness with love from Dark Derek!

Gamut - Sherwood

And so we come to the second track by Gamut. To be honest we could have called the tracks anything we wanted as there were no lyrics but we did take our time pondering over titles and we settled on calling this piece "Sherwood" for some reason. They were all actually quite technical pieces to play and it amazes me that we were all so young at the time. I'd only picked up a guitar at the age of 17 and by the time I was 21 I was touring England with these guys. Mind blowing stuff. Anyway, here's "Sherwood"...

Gamut were : Pat Gordon - Keyboards, Rick Willis - Bass, Russell Haynes - Drums and (myself) Justin Hill on Guitar.

Barred, Farmland & Dark View

"The Round Window" :- Not a porthole on a boat. Not a prion or holding place window either. Believe it or not this is a window to a beach café at Ovingdean Gap in the south coast of England. The metal is corroded by the constant battering of wind, rain and salt water and I guess the bars are there simply to stop the café being broken into over night as there's nobody about at all after dark.

"Fence Posts" :- Gates and fences on the boarder of some Farmland near Patcham on the outskirts of Brighton, England. There's a public bridleway that cuts through and I took a walk up and over it to see what was on the other side and found myself in the middle of a large bull field which was rather full of large bulls. I didn't hang around.

"Yellowing" :- Cold, miserable and wet...and that was just me! Ha ha. Windy and rainy night along Madeira Drive in Brighton. The wind was blowing n from the sea so the rain was also coming in at an angle which meant there was nowhere good to shelter. This moody and grim image was taken near the Volks Tavern underneath the terraced promenade.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Status Quo 4th July 1988

There were certain gigs that you went to just because they were playing in town and not because you had a serious urge to see them live. This Status Quo gig was one of those "they're in town, I'll go along" sort of gigs. It was a "bit of a laugh" and an excuse to "have a few" at the Brighton Centre bar.

Gamut - Minstral

So my solo works are done, posted, listened to and finished. Hope you all enjoyed them. So now we go on a time trip ... right back to the mid to late 80's and the first band I was ever in. Gamut was an instrumental  prog rock band  in which I played guitar (rhythm and lead) and co wrote a lot of the music with the keyboard player. It was the love of my life. I breathed it, ate it and loved it. I am the only one with all the original recordings and recently managed to digitise them from cassette tapes and upload them all for safe keeping. The band lasted from 1985 to 1989 and I was devastated when it came to an end. The members were as follows : Pat Gordon - Keyboards, Rick Willis - Bass, Russell Haynes - Drums and myself  Justin Hill on Guitar. And so we begin with track #1 which is titled "Minstral"

Dappled Tree, Victorian Decay & Boat Race

"Lost" :- The title of this image explains all you need to know. I had indeed been lost and had been trying to find my way out of this large expanse of trees that I'd gone in to explore for some time. This was shot just as I'd finally seen the edge and the way out. Fun and games indeed!

"Please Be Seated" :- This was shot on the terrace that runs along the length of Brighton seafront between Madeira Drive & Marine Parade. It's been left to decay for a long time now and the council really ought to try to restore it all to its former glory especially considering it's original Victorian iron work and seating.

"Silver Sea" :- 10 am on a cold and chilly Saturday morning on Brighton beach (UK). Not many people about at all (just a few stragglers and dog walkers). I'd been grabbing a few shots with the camera trying to kill time before a meeting in the city. There was a small boat race just off shore. A couple of old ladies sat in a booth watching through binoculars and jotting information down on sheets in front of them. I don't know how they knew who was winning or who was where as it was hard to tell from where I was.

All Photography © Justin Hill

Judas Priest 13th June 1988

No messing about here. Judas Priest at Hammersmith Odeon , full volume on the *Ram It Down* tour. Man they were awesome. Rob Halford belting out every song like it was his last. The truly were "Metal Gods".

Monday, 26 November 2012

Dark Derek iPhone & iPad Mini Cases

Ooh how good does Dark Derek look on this iPhone 5 case!!! Best bit is he's on the iPhone 4 and mini iPad cases too. More designs on the way soon.

Complete Music From A Darkened Bedroom

So all my solo racks were played one by one and you actually stayed the distance...incredible! A big thank you to all of you who listened to them all, it means a lot to me to know that they got to be heard throughout the world. Before I set us off on our next musical adventure I thought i'd put all my solo tracks together and present them here as a 16 track album. So without further ado here's the complete "Music From A Darkened Bedroom"...

Wet Way, Dark Light & Empty Roads

"Water Water Everywhere Nor Any Drop to Drink" :- This was an afterthought shot. I'd been out in the rain and cold on Brighton seafront and was walking back to the car when I spotted this puddle reflecting the underside of the perfectly Victorian Terrace that runs along the length of Madeira Drive. What really made it for me was the discarded coffee cup laying next to it!

"Wall Light" :- Brighton (England) is famous for it's Victorian trappings, fixtures and seafront. This wall is part of what used to be the Brighton Aquarium (now a Sealife Centre). It's hardly changed in over 100 years and still has a very 1800's look and feel about it. Once night has fallen and the lights are turned on the look takes on a darker Dickensian and more sinister feel.

"Alfriston Road" :- This is the Alfriston Road that runs between Seaford (on the south coast of England) and the ancient Sussex village of Alfriston. I stopped to grab this image here as you can see the point where the road suddenly sweeps over the hill and drops down rapidly. At the same time as you drive over it (making your stomach float slightly) there's an incredible scenic view over the fields and countryside (you can just see it stretching off into the distance).

All Photography © Justin Hill

Alice Cooper 7th April 1988

All hail "The Coop". Now this man knew how to put on a show. Some great retro rock tunes mixed with some serious crunching metal tunes all to a visual schlock horror visual treat. He's a member of the Magic Circle so the illusions on sage are quite dumb founding at times. Guillotining, Hanging, Building Monsters out of nothing that then get up and walk around etc. Alice knows his stuff.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Snowman iPhone & iPad Mini Cases

Ooh I have been battling hard with this one today but I have finally got there. Brand new products with my fun frosty folk. Snowman is now available on iPhone 4 ,iPhone 5 and iPad Mini cases. There will be more produced (Dark Derek phones too) as soon as I can get around to it. Anyway I wanted to share the news with you all as I have been struggling all day getting these done.

Music From A Darkened Bedroom - "Born Stupid"

OK...this is the last and final track of my solo works, there are in fact many more but they are not digitized and available on line (in fact they are still on cassette tape which gives away how long ago they were written and recorded). Anyway, this track is not and I repeat NOT a keyboard composed, performed and recorded by me at track at all as it's a guitar composition that was written, performed and recorded by me. He he. It's also a nice lead into what I have planned for your audible pleasure now the solo works have finished. Anyway, the piece was written for two guitars (I play both in this recording) and there's a very simple bass line that accompanies it (I play that too). The track was called "Born Stupid", I have no idea why I called it that but I did and here it is. So here's the last of my solo works...

Brooding Coast, Livestock & Fancy Entrance

"Winter Sea" :- When I headed off to the beach a few days ago it was with the express intention of grabbing a few sunset shots. It had been a calm and quietly sunny day at the house and the beach was only a 5 minute drive away. So I drove down there, parked, got out and nearly got blown over! Man alive that wind was strong. Down on the coats it was blowing up a storm. It was incredible. So I walked at a 45° angle against the wind down to beach whilst holding onto my woolly hat to stop it from blowing away! Heavy clouds obscured what was to be a lovely sunset so I had to abort that idea but the sea was dark, brooding and rough and was thundering in towards the beach at a rate of knots! This is one of those images from that evening. I think it's a very powerful capture. Having lived by the sea all my life it's one thing that's a constant and is therefore very sacred to me.

"Counting Sheep" :- This image was captured within the Cuckemere Estuary on the South coast of England. It's a beautiful and very picturesque area with vast expanses of land and rolling scenery. Much of it is still farmland so you do come across the odd sheep heard from time to time.

"Museum Doors" :- These are the entrance doors to +Royal Pavilion & Brighton Museums . The museum complex is part of what was once the royal riding stables of the Prince Regent who was later to become King George IV. The Museum and Dome are unique n that they have two separate grade I listings. One is for the outside which was 1800's and one for the interior which is 1930's and very art deco. Living n Brighton we take them for granted but when you actually stop, think and see them for what they are the buildings and structures are truly magnificent.

All Photography © Justin Hill

AC/DC 12th March 1988

Now we're talking. AC/DC at Wembley Arena. Now this was a superb concert. Cannons on stage, giant bells and of course the oldest Schoolboy on the planet...the man machine Angus Young!!! High voltage, high octane and ear numbingly good. This was a gig and a half!!!!

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Signs of the Snowdiac

Well it's certainly different , I'll grant you that! Here's some Festive Astrological Snowmen cards! The way my mind works scares me fact it chills me to the bone! He he he.

Music From A Darkened Bedroom - "Dharma"

Time for track #15 of my solo works and it's the last of the keyboard composed tracks. I'm not quite sure what my thinking was behind this track, it certainly wasn't written for any film or company. I like the intense dreamy feel to it and for me it also conveys heat & humidity. I do remember that once I had come up with the concept the track seemed to write itself as I let it dictate to me which direction it was going in. I am sure that it's nothing like the music that comes out of India but it certainly evokes thoughts and mages from that part of the world. Tomorrow is the last track of my solo works and I have something a little different lined up for you all. Until then here's "Dharma" ...

Square Lights, Black Landmark & Ghost Lines

"The Dolphin Fountain" :- This is "Brighton Square" which is situated within Brighton's famous "Lanes". The fairy lights have recently been put in place and switched on as we are nearing the festive season, I think they make the square look magical. The fountain in the center is "The Dolphin Fountain" and it was sculpted by James Osborne, dedicated to The Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children and put in place in 1991/92. It's formal description on the public sculptures of sussex website is as follows :- "A sculptural fountain depicting two dolphins, leaping almost vertically, one above the other, with a child sat astride each animal. This sits on a tiled circular plinth that in turn sits in a large tiled, fountain basin. The whole structure is sited in the center of a circular brick paved area where tables and chairs are placed from the surrounding restaurants."

"Dark Mill" :- "Beacon Mill" can be found just by the historic village of Rottingdean on the south coast of England. It sits staring out in a South Westerly direction over the English Channel. It's a subject that I return to time and time and time again (along with the piers and the Royal Pavilion). This was shot yesterday at 17:20 pm as I'd felt the urge to get out for a while so went for a walk and some fresh air up over the hills and down to the sea.

"Scarred" :- There's a reason this image is called "scarred", it's quite obvious once it's pointed out and even more intriguing once the story's been told. What at first appears to be random rock pools and seawater is not at all but salt water gathering in indents and scars left by mankind ... Victorian mankind to be exact. Here's a brief history lesson:- The Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway was a unique coastline railway in Brighton, England that ran through the shallow waters of the English Channel between 1896 and 1901. The tracks were laid on concrete sleepers mortised into the bedrock. The single car used on the railway was a 45 by 22 ft (13.7 by 6.7 m) pier-like building which stood on four 23 ft (7.0 m)-long legs and was driven by electric motor. It was officially named "Pioneer", but many called it "Daddy Long-Legs". Due to regulations then in place, a qualified sea captain was on board at all times, and the car was provided with lifeboats and other safety measures. Here's a link to a very early photograph of "Pioneer" so you can see just how beautiful she looked (and how mad the Victorian's really were) : Daddy Long-Legs . So what you are seeing here is a parallel "ghost" tram line groove that's been left behind from the footings of "Pioneer". Further down he beach towards the city of Brighton there are still some large concrete blocks in place and some old rotting wooden stumps that were once electricity pylons used to power the ride.

Photography © Justin Hill