Gig Review – Katie Melua, Central Hall, 8 December 2018

Tonight I found myself in the exquisitely sophisticated and refined setting of Central Hall in Westminster for the London show on Katie Melua’s Winter Tour with the Gori Women’s Choir.

I was invited to the show by Katie’s manager and once I’d done a recce of the venue before showtime I really wasn’t surprised there were no other photographers there as options that didn’t involve blocking the audience’s view were very limited.

It meant that I shot from the back and the balcony, but it’s a relatively small place and the 300mm was just right, if a little tight at times.

I needed the monopod though as I was shooting at 1/200th of a second to get enough light in – it all looked beautiful and fortunately it worked out as Katie doesn’t move around much while she is performing.

In fact, it was one of the most serene performances I’ve been to in a long time, and you could pretty much hear a pin drop half the time, so a load of photographers going in to overdrive would really have spoilt the atmosphere.

The choir was magnificent and the hour and a half performance seemed to race by. This may well turn out to have been my last gig of 2018. What a treat if it was.

Gig Review – The Wildhearts, Koko, 2 December 2018

Tonight was an absolute treat and shooting the gig was a bonus. Unbelievably it’s 25 years since The Wildhearts released what for me was their best album, Earth vs The Wildhearts. Indeed, 23 years and 1 month ago to the day I shot my first ever show on a photo pass, which was when they were touring the same album and played Southampton Guildhall. Bizarrely though I hadn’t seen them in over a decade and tonight they played the album in its entirety.

This is the classic line up for me, and for once they played in really good light from the off. Ginger bounces around all over the place but the appeal of tonight was less about shooting, more about winding the clock back 25 years and enjoying hearing this album played live.

And they delivered! The shot at the top is just a snap from up on the balcony mid-set – I was really pleased with the shots I got during the first 3 from the pit like this jump shot but watching them crank through the set from up there while the crowd went crazy down in the mosh pit took me back to the days when I’d have been on that front row…in fact I’m in the Suckerpunch video, filmed live at a concert back in 1994. Only for about 3 seconds, but it’s definitely me…there’s the evidence below!