I first saw The Struts last summer at the Download Festival. They played the main stage on the Saturday when Guns n’ Roses headlined. As I was in the crowd that day I just watched, but I knew instantly this was a band to catch soon before they go stratospheric.
So fast forward 8 months and they’ve sold out the Shepherds Bush Empire. On the one hand it’s a great venue for a band like this because of the small low stage. On the other, that goes out of the window when about 16 photographers are squeezed in to a space that shouldn’t be allowed to hold much more than half that.
Luke is quite the front man, part Jagger, part Mercury, and he’s got a great voice. The minimal follow spots really didn’t keep up with him much so in the end it turned out to be technically a very tricky shoot. With good front lighting he would be a dream singer to photograph.
When I photographed Wilko Johnson’s show at the Koko almost a year ago, I didn’t expect to have another chance to catch one of his shows. Wilko’s defiantly brave fight against cancer is well documented and no-one would thank me for dwelling on that here. That Koko show was magical and this live collaboration with Roger Daltrey is pretty much (apparently) a one-off to promote their album.
Last time we shot the whole show and tonight it was a standard three songs, midway in to Wilko’s set when Roger joined him on stage. Both were in fine form but getting a decent frame of the two of them together was a nightmare. With a microphone stand plonked right in front of us, there weren’t many clear views to be had and I really did think they would have stood together, even if only for a few seconds for the obvious shot that everyone wanted but they didn’t!
Still it was a great show, and one that I imagine will be talked about for a long time to come.