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Behind the lens: 20 photos of musicians in Manchester by Chris Payne

Chris is one of the people you see at the front of gigs, who have just the first few songs to capture the event on camera. Here are some of his favourite shots of the Manchester music scene

Bez from Happy Mondays at The Ritz
Chris Payne
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Bez from Happy Mondays at The Ritz

Darren Partington of 808 State at The Ritz
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Darren Partington of 808 State at The Ritz

Delphic at Parklife
Chris Payne
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Delphic at Parklife

Don Letts at BBC6 Music Festival
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Don Letts at BBC6 Music Festival

Elbow at Manchester Arena
Chris Payne
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Elbow at Manchester Arena

Everything Everything at Parklife
Chris Payne
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Everything Everything at Parklife

Gary Barlow at Manchester Arena
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Gary Barlow at Manchester Arena

Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays at The Ritz
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Shaun Ryder of Happy Mondays at The Ritz

I Am Kloot at Ramsbottom Festival
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I Am Kloot at Ramsbottom Festival

Jake Evans at Ramsbottom Festival
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Jake Evans at Ramsbottom Festival

Jimi Goodwin at Ramsbottom Festival
Chris Payne
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Jimi Goodwin at Ramsbottom Festival

John Cooper Clarke at BBC6 Music Festival
Chris Payne
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John Cooper Clarke at BBC6 Music Festival

John Ellis at Manchester Jazz Festival
Chris Payne
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John Ellis at Manchester Jazz Festival

Johnny Marr at Parklife
Chris Payne
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Johnny Marr at Parklife

Larry Gott of James at Castlefield Bowl
Chris Payne
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Larry Gott of James at Castlefield Bowl

Peter Hook at The Ritz
Chris Payne
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Peter Hook at The Ritz

Ren Harvieu at Spirit of Salford
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Ren Harvieu at Spirit of Salford

Rowetta at The Ritz
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Rowetta at The Ritz

Tim Booth at Castlefield Bowl
Chris Payne
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Tim Booth at Castlefield Bowl

Tim Burgess at Band on the Wall
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Tim Burgess at Band on the Wall

Behind the lens: Chris Payne

'I’m a freelance photographer based in Manchester, and head photographer at Northern Soul. I use a Nikon D610, but most of the shots here were done with my first camera, a D3200. 

I’m a musician, but the saxophones went into the loft when I picked up a DSLR for the first time in 2012. Photographing live music seems to give me the same buzz I get from performance – and my background in theatre and film (I worked at Cornerhouse for eight years up until the birth of my son in 2010) has given me an eye for the theatrical. I love going for something a bit different – an extreme close-up, or a weird framing. Although I try to make sure I get as much done “in the camera” as I can, I really enjoy the editing process, where it’s possible to wrangle the shot into something special. This is often a necessity where gig photography is concerned, as the lighting can be unpredictable, with strobes and the dreaded red or blue floods. In addition, you tend to only get to shoot the first three songs (without flash) so you take what you can get!' 

'Photographing Johnny Marr and James have been real highlights this year – Tim Booth doesn’t hold back on stage, and Johnny is always good for a wee rockstar pose. I suppose the selection here shows the wide range of music still coming out of the UK’s great music city.' 

You can view more of Chris’s work at www.chrispayneimages.co.uk, his articles for Northern Soul here and you can buy some of his work online here.

You can find him on Twitter at @xtofallabout and on Facebook

See more photo galleries of Manchester

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