Create to Inspire

Bit of a shame I haven't been doing a blog on my website for the entirety of my time as a photographer...I'm sure there'd be a wealth of awesome content and brilliant stories here if so. But I'm making up for lost time, and posts like these are going to become a regular thing. 

So I wanted to talk about a band I've felt quite passionately about for the last 4 years - Create to Inspire.

The first time I saw them live was in 2014. I'm not sure how I knew about them prior to this...perhaps I saw one of their earlier music videos online, but when a band pulled out of the lineup on a stage I was managing at Redfest I knew who I wanted on the bill to replace them. So it happened - they came and played, and it was sick, and we hung out, did a spot of drunken silent discoing (was awesome) and from that day pretty much they've been mentioned whenever someone asks me who I'm listening to or who my favourite up and coming UK bands are.

One of the best things about my job is the amount of people that I meet, and as a general rule the majority of those people are pretty awesome - nice people who are genuine, down to earth, passionate and talented. After getting to know them fairly well over the last few years, I can tell you that Sean, Dan, Connor, Luke and Jack are 5 of those people. 

I'd count myself as a fussy music consumer - excellent music  on record needs to be excellent in a live setting too for me to fully buy into any band and get excited about what they're doing. I've probably seen thousands of bands live and I've never been disappointed by CTI. If anything I've fallen in love with them a little bit more each time. 

Something that perhaps people don't know about me is that photography and video aren't the only things I do. I help organise multi stage festivals and music events, tour manage, stage manage, run social media for a number of people, set up and run street teams and I also manage a small number of bands I love. All on a fairly moderate scale in the grand scheme of things, but I hugely enjoy doing all of those things. Back in January this year, after years of jokingly (or not so jokingly) telling them I'd love to work with them, CTI joined the management company myself and my business partner, Mike, run. We have a little wish list of bands we'd like to join DFLM (Down for Life Music) and CTI had been at the top of that list for a while. 

Last night DFLM hosted a show in Southampton that CTI, along with a couple other DFLM bands: High Rise and The Uncharted, as well as LIFETIGHT and Sleepwalker, played. And it was honestly bloody awesome, and I sang my heart out. It sadly was however the penultimate show on CTI's last ever tour. They play their last show tonight as a band, in London.

Now if this blog were older there'd be a number of similar entries here by now. I've seen a few bands I admire and love listening to and going to see live, come to the end of their journey, for whatever reason. Being in an active touring band who are constantly under pressure to produce good music and attention grabbing visual content, whilst building a fan-base and an online presence and try to make money to help aid the entire process and become self sufficient, in the hope that one day it can become a paid career....all whilst juggling normal life commitments, family, work etc, is not an easy thing. It's definitely fair to say that most people don't know or have any reason to wonder what goes on behind the scenes of their favourite bands, or see the amount of hard work and money and time and dedication that enables them to make the music you listen to and love. 

Please don't take it for granted that your favourite band will always be about. Go see them play live, buy their music, visit the merch stand,  tell them how amazing you think they are. It sucks when they're gone.

It's not my place to go into the ins and outs of why the decision was made to wrap up the band, I just wanted to pay homage to 5 talented friends in a band who have given me many MANY hours of excellent driving music, who wrote one of my favourite albums ever ('Sickness') and who I immensely enjoyed seeing live. And say THANK YOU. 

Much love to Create to Inspire, and for whatever comes next for them. It's been an absolute pleasure <3

Bands may come and go but the music and the memories will never die. x

Band portrait photo: Jenny McCord