Jill Furmanovsky Shoots 'A Rising New Star'

By Jill Furmanovsky

Musician Johnny Borrell of Razorlight was the first person to tell me about Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine. He was very impressed with her way back in 2007 and they worked on a few demos together. Johnny invited me to attend a rehearsal at John Henry's rehearsal studio in North London where the two, together with a small backing band, were working on an arrangement for what became "Throwing Bricks."

Florence was a charismatic presence even then. She had that huge voice which filled the room, and as she sang she beat the shit out of a snare drum to illustrate the anger and rage of a song about a woman who builds a man brick by brick and then he becomes stronger than her - an extraordinary song.

 The lighting was nasty - florescent tubes with just a glimmer of daylight through a small window. I took my position to the side of Florence to get a plain background and used the highest shutter speed possible. Her hair was flying and her hands a blur.  Over and over again the four musicians worked on this song and recorded it finally on an old Sony tape recorder.

When I came to edit the shoot I went for the image up top of her in full flow, barely sharp. To make it more powerful I cropped out the drums and the microphone which took the image out of context leaving a simpler image - one that reflects the unleashed raw power of a great rock singer giving it her all. 

Some hours later Florence and Johnny left the studio on Johnny's motor bike. Florence sat on the back, one hand hanging on to Johnny, the other clutching the tape player to her head and swaying dangerously as they rode away.  It is entirely just that she has gone on to become a rising new star.

See more of Jill Furmanovsky's images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012. Learn more about Jill on her website, www.rockarchive.com.

Above three images: Florence Welch rehearsing at John Henry's Oct 2007, © Jill Furmanovsky / www.rockarchive.com  - Florence Welch rehearsing at John Henry's Oct 2007

Jill Furmanovsky on Her Photo of Noel Gallagher of Oasis

© Jill Furmanovsky. Noel Gallagher of Oasis, Maine Road, Manchester City football ground, 1996. Part of the film accompanying Who Shot Rock & Roll. Courtesy Rockarchive.com

By Jill Furmanovsky

I took this picture with a Nikon and a wide angle lens on Tri-X film. I was perched on a raised part of the stage where later a four piece string section would sit. I hid there for several minutes waiting for the band to come onstage. A gigantic roar was the signal. When Noel Gallagher walked out and headed for the front of the stage I put the camera over the parapet to take this shot. I thought as I always think at these tense moments, 'Keep calm JF! Don't f--- it up!" I didn't. 

See more of Jill Furmanovsky's images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012. Learn more about Jill on her website, www.rockarchive.com.

Noel Gallagher: 'It Looked Like a Big Front Room'

© Jill Furmanovsky. Noel Gallagher of Oasis, Maine Road, Manchester City football ground, 1996. Part of the film accompanying Who Shot Rock & Roll. Courtesy Rockarchive.com

By Noel Gallagher

Maine Road was where we all used to go as kids. So I was standing there, trying to make sure I never forgot this moment. After the show I was trying to take it all in, watching (out of a dressing-room window that faced the stadium) everybody go, and it was a weird thing because the lights were all on and it was dark outside. It looked like a big front room, except there were 20,000 people in it.

Read what Jill Furmanovsky had to say about the above image, which she shot, in a previous blog post. See more of Jill's images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 21, 2012. Learn more about Jill on her website, www.rockarchive.com.