Streets of London (and South Wales)

Some of Keith’s earliest work captured the spirit of ordinary – and extraordinary – people in places as diverse as London’s Speakers’ Corner and bleak little Welsh pit villages.

His eye for interesting faces and incongruous juxtapositions lent this early work an air of social reportage which he never really pushed later on in his career, but he combined this with his talent for placing his subjects against a backdrop or within an environment which gave these images an extra, often powerful resonance.

On several occasions he’d stroll down from his Maida Vale flat to Hyde Park Corner on a Sunday morning and photograph the soapbox orators at Speaker’s Corners and he drew other, equally telling results when he covered the Anti-Vietnam War march in 1968 and visited the grimy, forlorn mining communities of the South Wales valleys. In contrast to these essentially people-based exercises, Keith was also fascinated by architecture and shot a series of pictures of the new and arguably brutalist buildings that were emerging in London during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, once again proving how broad were his aesthetic interests.

Indeed Keith often employed his taste for harsh urban landscapes when posing some of his musical clients, such as the Canvey Island All-Stars, Elvis Costello and the Attractions and, in particular the moody, slightly surreal publicity stills he took of Nick Lowe in 1981 halfway down a dank, West London pedestrian underpass.

All images are available for sale as high-quality hand printed editions.