Gig Review – Kylie Minogue, O2 Arena, 29 September 2014

Kylie Minogue, O2 arena, 29 September 2014Photographing from the mixing desk is generally a chore, especially somewhere as big as the O2 Arena. I had done my homework though and I knew Kylie would use a runway out in to the crowd for a minute or so during the second song. What I hadn’t banked on was that we wouldn’t be allowed to use our stools, meaning we were only about a foot higher than the audience. Given Ms Minogue is shorter than some grasshoppers it meant that when she did come closer, clear shots were pretty hard to et among the waving arms and iPhones.

She opened the show on the main stage, reclined on this enormous lip shaped sofa. It was vivid red, which didn’t really work for me once the shots were edited, but I was really pleased with the way in which the black and white shots like this one worked out.

Somehow this was my first O2 show since JLS back in December, but it was worth the trip over to North Greenwich, even though the farcicle contract we had to sign meant I’ll probably never get to have any of the shots published.

Gig Review – Iggy Azalea, Shepherds Bush Empire, 17 September 2014

Iggy Azalea, Shepherds Bush Empire, 17 September 2014After Iggy Azalea’s amazing show at the Supperclub this time last year, I shouldn’t have been surprised to have come away a bit deflated by tonight’s show.

Rewind a year and I was the only photographer in the pit at a tiny club show where Iggy pretty much played to my camera for 3 songs in great light. Tonight, even though Shepherds Bush Empire is a relatively small venue, it just didn’t come together. The lighting was okay, although the follow spots weren’t big enough to light her whole body as in the shot here which was a shame. And because there were plenty of us in the pit, it was harder to shoot but the main problem was that we got about 4 minutes’ worth of shooting in before we were bundled out of the pit. 2 songs apparently, but it sounded like 1 to us. Just not enough time – you’re just getting in to your creative stride when you’re booted out!

We knew that Rita Ora would be performing Black Widow as part of the show and had hoped in vain she might appear in the first 3 songs that we were supposed to have but no luck. Still, I did get coverage from this show in the reviews of three national newspapers so it wasn’t all bad!!

Gig Review – Robert Plant, BBC One Show Music Festival, 5 September 2014

Robert Plant, BBC One Show Music Festival, 5 September 2014After a two month break from shooting gigs, this was a great way to get back in the swing of things. As part of the BBC One Show series of gigs, Robert Plant performed on the show as part of an outside broadcast. There were only three photographers and we were predictably (this is Robert Plant afterall!) at the very back, but that meant that whilst they were filming the interview section we were within 15 feet of him and could shoot to our hearts’ content.

When he took to the stage, they cleared the outside broadcast area away, meaning we were left in our pen a good 30-40 feet back from the back of the very small crowd. None of us fancied having to shoot from that far back so we all discreetly made our way forward into the edge of the crowd and the 300mm was just right for tight shots. In fact at one point I was actually inside Caffe Nero whilst still shooting, an experience I’m sure I’ll never repeat! He performed about six songs in all and we were able to shoot the lot, which is pretty privileged access for his shows. I don’t expect to ever get that close again.