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Artefact

Melanie Smith
PHOTO: Andrew Twambley

My portrait shows me holding the first self-published annual ‘Mudkiss’ interview book. On the cover is a composite image of Lorraine Reeves and myself, collectively known as Mudkiss. We started a little creative venture back in the summer of 2008 and it was to become the start of my adventures into music photography.

John Robb described the book as “A mascara smeared collection of some of the most cutting edge individuals hacking away at the merciless coal face of pop, written with enthusiasm and sassy sharpness”

Me and Lorraine were cyber friends on myspace, the North and the South blondes. We had similar music tastes and wanted to do something interesting together and pretty soon we were in full swing. We began digging around for people who were part of the punk music scene when we were teenagers.

After a few months I wanted to expand the idea and designed a leopard print themed website called Mudkiss Fanzine - inspired by those old punk fanzines. Mudkiss didn’t just interview musicians; we sought out people who had stories to tell, photographers, poets, writers, characters on the music and art scene and more.

After 6 months Mudkiss had a select team and the site grew in popularity. We went from interviews to reviewing live shows, music books and new releases. We also started championing new band, local artists and we were inundated with press requests. I started to photograph at shows and did photo shoots at interviews, eventually getting more professional equipment and gaining access to the press pits. We soon got a steady stream of keen writers and we kept it going for five years. I also found time to self-published four non-profit interview books, 2008-2011. Lorraine put on a Mudkiss all dayer in Camden, and I organised a Mudkiss Showcase gig in Bolton, with four bands. We even had our own weekly spot on Stockport FM, which ended up as a once weekly Mudkiss show, being run by three of the writers and became quite successful.

As the site became more popular, it also became too big to manage for one person, so I decided to stop working on it and archived the site. I made the decision to concentrate on what I did best - music photography. We had some great adventures and made many like-minded music friends over the years and some of the team joined me when I moved to other sites.

John Robb kindly offered me a place on the Louder Than War team and I progressed to head of photography. John Clarkson at Penny Black Magazine also offered me a place on his long established team.

In 2015 I was invited to be a house photographer for O2 Ritz Manchester.

I particularly love promoting and photographing women in music and visually entertaining live acts.

My work has been featured in print magazines such as Mojo, Louder Than War, Daily Mail on Sunday, Big Issue, Viva Le Rock, Essex Echo, Guitar Bible and Viva! Life.

www.mudkiss.com is still available as a valuable archive.

www.mudkissphotog... is my photography site.

www.mudkiss.com
Artefact added : 13th February 2018
by mdma_volunteers
soulkiss Says –
Could the title Melanie Mudkiss but changed to Melanie Smith ;-)
COMMENT ADDED 24th February 2018
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