McCoy Wynne Photographs Illustrate New Album by The Magnetic North

The Magnetic North 'Prospect of Skelmersdale' cover. Photo c. McCoy Wynne
The Magnetic North 'Prospect of Skelmersdale' cover. Photo c. McCoy Wynne

“Prospect Of Skelmersdale”

In 1984 Liverpool-born photographer Stephen McCoy undertook a 3-month residency in collaboration with a college in Skelmersdale, taking photographs of the newly-built town and its inhabitants. He archived the photographs and embarked on a successful career as a commercial photographer specializing in architecture and portraiture, forming the partnership ‘McCoy Wynne’ with photographer Stephanie Wynne.

The Skelmersdale photographs of 1984 have gained renewed significance in 2016, in the hands of British musical trio The Magnetic North. Their first album is set in the Orkney Islands, the birthplace of singer Erland Cooper, exploring their landscape, history and people. Their second album follows this narrative thread, this time with Skelmersdale as a backdrop, where guitarist Simon Tong was raised. This album became Prospect of Skelmersdale.

In their search for the right photographer with whom to collaborate on Prospect of Skelmersdale, Cooper came upon an evocative image of a young boy that reminded him of his father, taken in Digmoor shopping parade, Skelmersdale in 1984. It was one of Stephen McCoy’s archived shots. Erland immediately approached McCoy and three days later the band, along with McCoy and Wynne were on location in Skelmersdale shooting a series of press photos.

The resulting art direction for Prospect of Skelmersdale combines the McCoy Wynne shots of the band, with selections from McCoy’s 1984 series. As does the music, the photographs capture a unique and seldom-documented time and place in British history; the finished work is a remarkable achievement.

New Album ‘Prospect Of Skelmersdale’
Out 18/03/2016​ on Full Time Hobby