I tried and failed to get accredited for The Pretty Reckless show last night at Brixton Academy so I was really pleased when Hayley, their PR Manager, invited me to this show. To say it was the smallest show I’d ever shot would be an understatement. I’ve seen bigger lounges in peoples’ houses!
The Gibson Lounge occasionally host bands for industry reps and competition winners and this was no exception. Having played to 3500 people last night, tonight they played to less than 100. It was an acoustic set, and it was so quiet that the guitarist asked the 3 or 4 of us photographers to turn our cameras to quiet mode because he couldn’t hear his guitar through his monitor above the clicks of our shutters! That was a first!
With no fanfare they wandered on stage, rattled through three songs, muttered a goodbye and were gone. The whole thing was over from start to finish in less than 10-15 minutes and I was on my way home by 7.30pm!
By all accounts it’s a long time since the Boomtown Rats toured, and whenever Bob Geldof has done a solo show I’ve either missed it or it’s been cancelled. I had really high hopes for this gig, even if, like half of the rest of the world, I can only name one Rats song (“Don’t Like Mondays” obviously!)
Looking up in to the balconies before they came on there were two follow spots, but their lack of use made most of the shoot nearly impossible. The lighting was sludgy and red, a photographer’s nightmare. I got lucky though when Bob and his guitarist had a cuddle at the front of the stage, right in front of me. This was the only time there was any white light used and the timing couldn’t have been better, especially as I was able to frame their logo in the background.
It nearly didn’t happen though. When the pit is busy like it was tonight, we try to give each-other room to work. Well a photographer who I didn’t recognise as a regular made it nigh on impossible to get any clear shots over his camera, even when I tapped him on the shoulder and asked him to move. He’d had all the time in the world to catch the moment but wouldn’t budge so I had to crop his camera lens out of pretty much every shot in this sequence. Grrrrr!