Gig Review – Eric Clapton, Royal Albert Hall, 14 May 2015

Eric Clapton, Royal Albert Hall, 14 May 2015It’s a good few years since I last photographed Eric Clapton. It’s always a challenge as we are relegated to the back of the venue by the mixing desk. But when I arrived tonight, the other photographers who’d already arrived had been told we were to be down at the front off to one side – anywhere else and that would count as the pit. It’s unheard of and I’d have been delighted except for the fact that I’d specifically hired a 400mm lens, and hadn’t brought a standard 70-200mm lens with me – you simply don’t get pit access for Clapton.

Fortunately security had got it wrong, and we were indeed at the back, otherwise I’d have been taking pictures of his right nostril all evening. I knew from previous Clapton shows here that you need to be stage right to avoid having the microphone stand in front of you, and the security lady on our side mysteriously offered me the chance to select a spot about a third of the way forward and off to one side, by the stairs when audience members started complaining as we set up at the back. She shouldn’t have done so, but it meant the 400mm lens was in perfect range and gave me a far better angle than I’d have got from the back which helped make the shoot a success.