Music retro: Photographer Paul Windsor looks back on his Artists in Lockdown series during the Covid-19 pandemic
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Paul said: “When we knew a lockdown was impending I met a friend for sneaky pint in The Phoenix in Southsea, knowing it might be the last chance for a while. Even Joe Jackson (Portsmouth native of Is She Really Going With With Him? fame) sauntered in quietly behind us, supping his pint and doing a crossword.
“Just like they did with the First World War, we mused that it would all be over by Christmas. Little did we realise that it would be a lot longer. Knowing that live gigs would be off the agenda I didn’t want my camera to be gathering dust in the corner so I thought it would be interesting to document the effect Covid was having on the region’s musicians and artists.
“First up was Portsmouth musician and fellow Liverpool fan Rusty Sheriff. Relaxing in his garden a respectful six-feet apart, as per government instructions, Rusty said he thought he had Covid before it was officially announced – he had spent two weeks being very ill and sometimes hallucinating. Scary stuff.
“My adventures also included a lovely cycle ride to Cowplain to see funk/soul singer and owner of the best quiff in music, Tash Hills. I remember the ride back and witnessing the first of the 'Clap for the NHS' evenings, admiring the public love and generosity, but also being frustrated at the hypocrisy of the government.
“The most humbling visit was to see Ian Parmiter in the amazing garden behind his antique shop in Southsea where we chatted while sitting on the old spiral staircase from Kimbell’s nightclub which now resides in the garden.
“Ian later recalled how Covid was an amazing time for him as he developed his artistic career with his vivid painting on reclaimed wood: 'The energy I have created has pushed me forward in my life and helps my health and well being'. Inspirational.
“One of my favorite photographs is of Megan Linford holding a guitar case outside a deserted Wine Vaults on Albert Road. Looking back Megan said: 'My creativity definitely thrived with all the extra time we had and I wrote so many new songs'.
“It was certainly an extraordinary time – one which I would never want to repeat. I was so glad when we could finally go back to seeing live gigs again. I always remember seeing Sports Team at The Wedgewood Rooms and the joy in young people leaping around again to live music was something else.”