June/July 2010. My good friend and ace photographer Paula Gillespie contacts me about doing a photo shoot with her at an undisclosed location. We’d talked about a shoot for a couple years really once OKS got under way and had bandied about a few ideas (One of which involved a boa constrictor and yours truly. Mercifully the snake bought it before it ever took place) but had never gotten round to it. She called round to pick me up in her sporty 2-door and I squeezed in with a giant bag of apparel. She drove me blindfolded ( I was wearing the blindfold, not her) to an old farmhouse somewhere near Strabane belonging to friends of hers. Its a beautiful old listed building with a load of land around it and several disused barns containing all sorts of farming related ephemera and props such as ploughs, a scythe, old furniture etc. I had no idea what we were gonna do to be honest. I just gathered up a load of clothes and had fashioned a beard. That was the extent of my preparation. The house was huge and beautifully decorated; it was full of period features with William Morrisesque wallpaper everywhere and old furniture. She took a load of shots inside and I just hung about while she did her thang. Which she did superbly. Later, we had a helluva time connecting together extension cables to get a power supply to the barns outside for the shots with the armchair and all the hay but it was a really bright summer’s day and she worked quickly to make the most of the available light. The armchair in question was clattered with pigeon shit but I’ve sat in worse. I remember there was a dead rat in the barn and I felt sad about it. Anyway, she actually went on to win the NME Best Professional Photographer award later that year using some of the photos from the session. Check out her work here – http://www.paulagillespie.com/. She’s some pup.