The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

Top Hat and Shades

I've bought the top hat, now I need a pair of sunglasses. Round ones.

Yellowy-gold ones? Not bad.

Silvery mirror ones? Nah.

Black ones? Bit too demonic undertaker.

What about these with the little covers on the side? A bit steampunk. Is that a bad thing?

Blue... ah yes. Blue feels good. I like blue. A touch of Gary Oldman in Dracula. Even if his top hat was grey, not black like mine.

They are a bit small for my head though. The gold ones fit better.

But they don't look quite as good as the blue.

I have to be backstage in 4 minutes and it's a 5 minute walk from the trade stalls. I don't have any more time to agonise.

I hand a fiver to the stall holder and head back up the hill with the blue ones on my nose.

It's only our 5th gig as The Cracked Man, but we've managed to secure a slot on the Acoustic Main Stage at The Wickerman Festival.

I've decided I need a "look".

Of course music is about the sound, but a live gig is also a performance - a bit of theatre - otherwise you might as well just stick on the record. And a little touch of costume or accessory can add to that sense of show-time.

We don't need to be matching. I think there's a sense with The Cracked Man that somehow we need to be different from each other. How different, I don't know yet. It's early days and we're still working on it. In fact, Marcus has just decided to throw on a summery shirt and shorts because, hey, we're at a festival in summer. He's no idea I'm about to turn up wearing a top hat and round blue glasses.

Fortunately he approves and on we go.

Technical problems at the start of our slot (lots of buzzing and sound cutting out) means we lose about 10 minutes of our set getting it sorted out. However, what we do perform goes down really well. I even wonder if wearing the hat helps me get into character a bit more.

I'm not just me up there, I'm one half of The Cracked Man. And while there's obvious overlap, it's not exactly the same thing...

Here are a few photos of us, courtesy of Pete from PR Imaging -

And this one, taken shortly after the gig by Lee Medd of me with radio presenter and magazine editor, Andrea Thompson, wearing feather earrings that match my glasses

Many thanks to Lee for also shooting a video of me & Marcus using Andrea's Playbook. Sound quality is a bit patchy, but it gives you an idea...


maurcheen said...

I have the same specs (for my OZZY look) and the top hat, but not half the talent! :)


Kim Ayres said...

Maurcheen - you are the master of theatre & performance - I bow down to you :)

Ponita in Real Life said...

Great bluesy sound, Kim! Love the look!!

Kim Ayres said...

Thanks Ponita :)

maurcheen said...

I like to act the eejit!;-)

Kim Ayres said...

Maurcheen - but you've learned how to make a career out of it, and that's seriously impressive :)

Anonymous said...

The "look" is perfect! Now I know I had sunglasses like that wayback.

hope said...

Too cool. :) And I'm glad we got that last shot to see your own feathers.

You and maurcheen awe me...I'm too happy behind the scenes to want to be out front. But as Will Rogers said, "We can't all be heroes. Someone has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by."

So you entertain and I'll keep clapping.

maurcheen said...

I've been lucky.... I think I've picked up the art of REacting. ;)

Kim Ayres said...

Allen - I just need to find ones that are slightly bigger :)

Hope - we feed off applause :)

Maurcheen - :)

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Yeahhh, I was thinking blue would be the perfect colour for your round shades, and no, you don't need bigger shades, dem's the perfect fit.

Your music makes me want to be on a river in a small boat, under bright blue sky.

Kim Ayres said...

Guyana-Gyal - it's not bigger lenses I need, but a wider frame - I do have quite a large head - not just metaphorically...

Meanwhile, if you'd like to be our Guyana agent, we're happy to travel :)

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