Gig Review – Katie Melua, Theatre Royal Drury Lane, 27 November 2016

The Theatre Royal isn’t used all that often for concerts. In fact I think I’ve only ever shot one other show there before. It’s a beautiful venue, but it’s difficult to find a spot to shoot from that isn’t completely obtrusive to the crowd who, after all, have paid a lot of money to be there.

When confirmation of the pass came through I was told to ‘bring a long lens’ and that sends shivers down my spine because when the PR says that it could mean anything from a 300mm to an 800mm. What was clear though was that we would be shooting from the back and the 300mm I have would simply not be enough. So I asked specifically about being allowed down one side, about half way forward, so that I could shoot over the crowd, out of everyone’s way but much closer to the stage and was told it should be fine.

I arrived early and took up the spot I had asked for which on the 300mm lens was about as good as it could get. I only saw two other photographers but it seems they had been told to shoot from the back corner.

I got the impression I could have stayed there for the whole performance – the stewards were lovely and seemed almost puzzled when I packed up to leave after 3 or 4 songs. But I’d got what I could and although it sounded lovely, I wasn’t going to get better shots by hanging around any longer.

Gig Review – Jack Garratt, Hammersmith Apollo, 24 November 2016

I first shot one of Jack’s shows earlier on this year having seen his performance on TV at the Brits. This time it wasn’t nearly as busy in the pit and while he was set further back than I had hoped, I had deliberately brought my fisheye lens with me to make the most of his fabulous lighting rigs. Those towers aren’t as curved as they look in the photo – that’s the effect of the 15mm fisheye at work. It’s not a lens I can use often in a gig setting – you need something dramatic to make it work, but this seemed the ideal show to dust it off for.

Jack certainly doesn’t disappoint – he’s like an interesting version of Ed Sheeran as far as I can tell. However I’m not sure how often I could photograph his shows and expect to come away with anything new – it’s a great show but once you’ve got close ups and wide shots the job is pretty much done.