Paul Broome is both a photographer and a musician, but primarily a photographer of musicians. He is based in the Staffordshire countryside, slap bang in the middle of England. While gigs and band shoots form the bulk of his work, he fills in the gaps with the odd commercial and wedding assignment. He is also photo editor and reviewer for the UK-based Midlands Rocks website.
More information at: www.broomephoto.com and www.midlandsrocks.co.uk
Paul on ‘The Head and the Heart’:
It’s always a real pleasure when you’re surprised by a quality band showing up unexpectedly in a support slot. I discovered The Head and the Heart in that very way when I showed up to photograph My Morning Jacket at the gig you’re looking at now (HMV Institute, Birmingham, UK – 3rd November 2011). As a gig photographer on assignment it can be difficult to switch your head out of shooting mode and into listening mode – you only have those first three songs to capture the “money shot”, so generally speaking switching out of shooting mode isn’t a luxury you can afford! But as soon as The Head and the Heart took to the stage, and launched into that powerful opening couplet of ‘Cats and Dogs’ and ‘Coeur D’Alene’, I was captivated. It’s generally a good sign that I’m enjoying a band if I have to remind myself to stop bouncing along in order to compose my shots, and I was doing a lot of that on this night.
Once those opening three songs were done and dusted, I retired to the audience and started enjoying the performance properly. ‘Rivers and Roads’ was a particularly emotive moment of the gig for me, when that final climactic section kicked in I knew this was a band that I needed to get to know really well.
The album has been on constant rotation on my turntable since the gig, I’m ramming my appreciation of The Head and the Heart down the earholes of every person I speak to, and I’m hoping that we’ll get another chance to appreciate their talents in the UK very soon. I feel pretty dumb for not catching onto the band sooner, but – hey – I’m here now, and I’ll be following them all the way.