Proud Galleries, in Camden’s notorious Stables Market (famous north London celebrity *ahem* hangout), is renowned for being an underground drinking pool with stimulating visuals; a home to arty creatives looking for a dark, cagey corner to be inconspicuously spotted. Maybe the galleries’ reputation has been strengthened by the fact that they have housed secret gigs by Liam Gallagher, and performances by Amy Winehouse and Supergrass?
So it is here that I find myself – on one of the coldest weeks I can remember – gazing with a chilled beer in hand at the impressive black and white images of AC/DC adorning the walls of this remarkable (warm!) venue.
Proud Camden is currently exhibiting the early work of the highly acclaimed and amazingly gifted Australian rock photographer Philip Morris, and he has captured the essence of this highly prolific Australian band perfectly. Anyone with an appreciation for loud, heated music will know that AC/DC have been around since the early ’70s and are still going to this day, hence the timing of this exhibition to coincide with the UK culmination of their arena tour.
As I stroll from one image to the next the soundtrack of their greatest triumphs plays out loudly and with a little help from the uplifting buzz emitting from fellow fans of the rock ‘n’ roll band, I find myself humming along to Highway to Hell with everyone else in the room.
Morris’ pictures are large and inspiring. He is skilled in his ability to catch the band unawares and in their most natural moments: rocking out on stage in Victoria Park; practising riffs in the studio. All are captivating. There are images of scuppered professional photographs, you know, someone tripping up as the shot is being taken which results in a blooper-style shot, or someone in full accidently peering round the door; these all reflect the parallel similarities to the acute madness of the band itself.
To see pictures of Bon Scott alive and well is quite moving, as are photos of Bob Marley in the adjoining room where more Philip Morris pictures and other photographer’s works including Bruce Springsteen, The Arctic Monkeys and Oasis are exhibited. There are also memorabilia-like T-shirts, posters and postcards available to purchase, as well as the opportunity to buy any of the images .
This exciting exhibition is a must for all AC/DC fans new and old, but it is also a wonderful visual experience for anyone seeking a little light relief from the bitter cold, rain and snow.
AC/DC: Let There Be Rock is open from 11am – 5.30pm daily, until May 31. Free admission.
The Horse Hospital
The Stables Market
Chalk Farm Road