Gig Review – Matt Goss, Dorchester Hotel Ballroom, 26 January 2015

Matt Goss, Dorchester Hotel Ballroom, 26 January 2015So often in concert photography, you shoot the first three songs, edit, file the shots and forget all about it. Then every now and again, a special show comes along. Tonight’s show was very special indeed. The lady on the left in the hat, holding hands with Matt Goss,┬áis Amy Watts. She is a 37 year old journalist who has stage four colon cancer. Tonight’s concert was for Amy, to raise much needed funds for life-saving surgery.

Having performed two previous sell out shows over the weekend, Matt was so taken by Amy’s plight that he talked the Dorchester Hotel in to handing over the stunning Dorchester Ballroom for free and ever last penny taken on the door went directly to Amy’s fund.

Crammed on to a tiny stage was Matt’s full Caesar’s Palace band and this surely was one of the smallest, most intimate shows I’ve ever shot with no more than 200 people in the audience. As the official photographer for the show I shot the whole performance and at times had to creep on stage for some shots, although there was barely room for me.

During the last song, Matt left the stage and walked over to Amy’s table to serenade her. He invited the whole audience to join him and I was lucky enough to be able to grab a nearby chair to stand on otherwise I would surely have missed what for me is the absolute defining moment of this show. Technically it was a real challenge to shoot as Matt doesn’t like to have white spotlights shining on him and the Ballroom had no lighting rig, so the poor lighting tech had to make a floor lighting rig work for the whole show. That meant there were no lights on Matt and Amy during this last song. Thankfully with the ridiculous ISOs that the Nikon D4 is capable of, I was able to still get a clear shot, even at ISO 10000!

 

Gig Review – Anastacia, Shepherds Bush Empire, 23 January 2015

Anastacia, Shepherds Bush Empire, 23 January 2015It was either Slipknot or Anastacia tonight. I tried and failed to get a pass for Slipknot so took up the pass for Anastacia. You couldn’t get two more different gigs if you tried! The photos I’d seen online from previous dates on this tour didn’t look too inspiring but actually tonight was quite good fun. She was on fine form, even puckering up for an air kiss with someone in the crowd between songs.

 

Gig Review – Queen and Adam Lambert, O2 Arena, 17 January 2015

Adam Lambert and Brian May, Queen, O2 arena, 17 January 2015What a great way to start the year, shooting one of my favourite artists in my favourite venue. I was one of a handful of only a handful of photographers given access to their Hammersmith shows a couple of years ago so I knew I was in for a treat.

When I arrived I found that no-one at the box office knew where our photo passes were. The band were on at 8pm, it was barely 7pm, so everyone was pretty relaxed…and cold! At 7.56pm the passes arrived. Cue a mad dash to the arena only to find out they were due on at 8.15pm. They finally came on at 8.30pm and I’d only just properly got the feeling back in my hands by then.

They had a fabulous curved runway out in to the crowd which unfortunately remained unused during the first three songs, but it was still a thrilling show from the moment the pre-recorded intro to One Vision started up and Brian May’s opening riff sent the crowd wild.

It was spectacular to watch but on camera it was hard to get much punch out of the shots – the lighting made them look a little sludgy, or maybe I was just rusty because I hadn’t shot a show in a month!

Having missed dinner because the passes were AWOL, Kevin Nixon, Danny Clifford and I headed to Wagamama and Danny entertained us with some incredible stories of his early days shooting gigs.