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Tim & Barry
Tim & Barry

Tim & Barry: "You"

Dazed speaks to grime photographers Tim and Barry on the road as a new show opens

From their early days DJing in Shoreditch – back when it was more of a smudge than a beer-battered mecca on the horizon – to photographing Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s archive on Ruff Squad and directing music videos for Tempz and D Double E, Tim and Barry are as East London as pie and mash. Or, well, grime – the scene the two have documented so superbly.

You, an exhibition at Eternal Youth which launched last week, showcases some of their lesser seen images, their photographs from on the roads. Interestingly, the pictures are all photocopies. “We want the same people we photograph to be able to see and buy the work,” says Barry. “This Vogue picture is of Don P who used to organise a lot of bassline raves in the Midlands. One of the big things in the bassline scene was, well, it wasn’t quite voguing but it was getting there. You had these huge hench guys wearing long chains and they’d place their chain over another guy and dance cheek to cheek. It was very expressive.”

Though now they run online pirate radio station Just Jam and a Youtube channel 17 million views strong, moving to the city to study photography in the late 90s, they made an unlikely pair at garage raves in Bow. This was back before kids in Oceana were bouncing to Wiley or Eton boys were heading to Eskimo Dance, remember. “We’d be on the Roman Road going to see Wolfpack and see a kid rocking a hoodie with a beanie over the top. We’d just ask if we could grab a shot,” says Tim. “We’d go round Jammer’s house and spend a few hours with him and his dad. It’s something you don’t normally see in the media, which is usually with a dog, at night, on an estate. It’s not that we’re trying to fabricate anything, we were just showing our experience of their different sides.” 

Catch You curated by Matt Martin from The Photocopy Club from 15-21st August at Eternal Youth.