Brian Lawton, a former local postman from Fartown, Huddersfield, was a self-taught photographer who had wide-ranging musical tastes and interests. He documented local music events for decades and built up a huge collection of prints and negatives. Talking with musicians on their northern tours brought him into contact with many of the famous names associated with jazz, blues, rock, pop and folk music.
Brian’s friendly approach led to many informal views of musicians – back stage, as they visited clubs, arrived and left local towns, and met with their fans. His photographs record how famous musicians and groups toured local venues, during their rise to recognition and early years of acclaim providing opportunities for young people to encounter live performances in West Yorkshire. Brian’s collection includes many signed photographs and programmes that grew from his friendship with musicians and other well-known performers over many years.