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Behind the lens: 29 photographs of Manchester audiences and singers by Simon Bowcock

A gig photographer who is as interested in those of us watching as he is in the performers on stage

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Rebecca Hawley, Stealing Sheep

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Mark Lanegan

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Matt Berninger, The National

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James Murphy, LCD Soundsystem

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Gaby Young

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Adam Granduciel, The War on Drugs

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John McClure, Reverend Soundsystem

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Billy Bragg

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Frank Black, Black Francis

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Marius Hagen, Team Me

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Johnny Bramwell, I Am Kloot

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Bernard Sumner, New Order

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Johnny Rogoff, Yuck

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Jeff Tweedy, Wilco

'Wherever people have existed, so has music. For me, it’s the most fascinating aspect of being human. Why do we have music? What is it for? From philosophers to anthropologists, nobody really knows. Perhaps I’m trying to find out with a camera.

I’ve photographed musicians and their audiences all over Europe - from Glastonbury to Roskilde to Benicàssim - but nowhere more than in Manchester. Musicians love to perform in our city, world famous for its music, and for many of them Manchester is the highlight of a world tour.

Wonderful as it is, recorded music is a new-fangled invention which misses something vital. People have evolved to see music performed live - together with other people - and that’s where it comes to life. With my pictures, I think I’m trying to show music as it is, how it feels, what it means.'

www.simonbowcock.com

@simonbowcock

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