Blur photographed on Beaufort Street, Chelsea on 10 March 1994
Harry Borden recalls the session: “This was a shoot for Select, the colourful Britpop magazine of the 90s.
First I took individual portraits in a studio behind the Bluebird restaurant on the Kings Road in Chelsea. It’s hard to believe now but the plan was to take these individual portraits and in post-production, colour each band member as a different race. I guess they wanted to illustrate the post-modern, multiracial Britain that the band celebrated. Thankfully the ‘black-face’ idea didn’t happen and they used this picture.
After the studio session, I took them for a walk down Beaufort Street towards the river. We strolled into a Victorian tenement block and I found this strange lean-to. ‘Wet paint’ was written in chalk on the floor and there was an inconvenient streetlamp obscuring my view but I think it worked as a location. I used the post to make two photographs in one, dividing the group into its constituent parts. I often don’t know what I’m looking for but intuitively know when I’ve found it.
When we got back to the studio, the mood was celebratory as we were shown the artwork for Parklife, their third studio album with the snarling greyhounds. The headline in the magazine declared them the best British band since the Smiths and 25 years on, maybe that doesn’t seem too hyperbolic.”
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