Shooting Dr Feelgood and The Stranglers: photographer David Corio recalls the early days of his career
David Corio remembers taking photos of The Stranglers and Dr Feelgood at Malvern Winter Gardens in 1977
My photos of The Stranglers and Dr Feelgood were taken at Malvern Winter Gardens on 6 October 1977 and 20 May 1977 respectively.
I was at college at Gloucester School of Art & Design, doing a diploma course in photography from 1976 to 1978. I was 17 when I took the photos and wasn’t commissioned by anyone. I had an interest in music and had just started taking photos at concerts. I liked the music of the ‘pub rock’ r&b of Dr Feelgood and the early punk sounds of The Stranglers.
Back then there was far less security to deal with and little or no record company involvement. I hadn’t made any prior arrangements at all but simply persuaded whoever was on the back stage door to let me in.
I asked both groups if I could take some photos before they went onstage. Lee Brilleaux of Dr Feelgood was fine about it and posed for a few pictures while the rest of the band weren’t interested and carried on drinking and smoking.
With The Stranglers they were less accommodating. I managed to get one decent shot of bassist Jean-Jacques Burnel reading NME, and then he started getting irritated and the rest of the band ignored me. This was fair enough though, as I hadn’t made any prior arrangement to photograph them and it wasn’t going to help them for publicity at all.
The venue didn’t have any photographers’ area or orchestra pit at the front of the stage so I was in the crowd for both shows. It meant I was limited to one spot, as both shows were probably sold out. But somehow I managed to get backstage to shoot The Stranglers for a short while at least.
The lighting wasn’t very bright, so it made it fairly difficult as to what shots I could get, but both shows taught me a lot about how to deal with difficult lighting conditions – both onstage and back stage – so it was very useful for me for my future career.
Many thanks to David Corio for sharing his memories and photographs.
More of David’s work can be seen on his website: https://davidcorio.com/