Gig Review – Ennio Morricone, O2 Arena, 26 November 2018

Maestro Morricone is simply a legend. He’s 90 years old and tonight was his last ever performance in the UK. So it was a privilege to be there and utterly surprising to be one of only two photographers given accreditation.

We had been told we would be off to the side of the pit or similar so I knew it would be a long lens shoot. When he conducts he actually does so with his back to the audience, facing his orchestra, so clear shots were going to be a challenge. They’d thought it through though, and we were positioned at the far side of the pit with a very restricted line of view, but it was probably the best sightline you could get without being on the stage itself.

I’ve never been timed for my allotted shooting time before. I’ve heard rumours of it for artists like BeyoncĂ© but tonight, Kitty literally had 3.5 minutes counting down on her iPhone. As soon as that time was up, it was time to leave.

For the most part he looked directly ahead, but briefly he turned towards his cellists just enough to be able to see his eyes and his face. This was the shot for me, and The Guardian who commissioned me clearly thought so to as they ran it as the lead arts feature review.