Gig Review – X Factor Tour, O2 Arena, 25 February 2017

Having studiously avoided watching the X Factor for a good few series, I found myself watching more than a few episodes last year. I photographed Sam Lavery supporting Matt Goss at Christmas, and thought that shooting one of Saara Aalto’s shows would be guaranteed fun.

A lot of it was quite dull if I’m honest. The lighting is great, the production is good too (although nothing like as good as on the TV) but I can’t see many people being able to name more than two or three of the acts a year from now.

Honey G was awful but really got the crowd going and Sam definitely has potential as does Emily. Who knows what will happen to Saara career-wise but she was bonkers good fun to watch.

Matt Terry predictably closed the show and it was all very serious with the high production values saved for his set, perhaps understandably so. We’ll just have to see where they all go from here I suppose.

Gig Review – Green Day, O2 Arena, 8 February 2017

Green Day was one of the first bands I ever photographed professionally, back in 2005 at the Brixton Academy. I had frankly no idea back then how big they were but these days they comfortably fill arenas and stadiums. Their shows are unfailingly good fun to shoot but their popularity inevitably means the pit will be full to the rafters.

Billie Joe uses the runway a lot and those the shots I love – if there’s even half a chance of getting a wide shot with the crowd in too, that’s the shot I want…especially as I missed his jump at the end of the third song.

So even though I can’t syndicate the shots to my agency because of their strict contract, I came away with a set of images I was pretty pleased with. It had been a bit of a nightmare getting the pass at all, but it was worth it in the end.