Now I love going to gigs and photographing live music but Friday and Saturday nights on the job are rarely what I’d describe as chilled or relaxing. My agency gets me into venues on the understanding that I’ll deliver some decent shots and generally I’m fighting time and conditions to get what we need. This week though, was a bit of an exception. I rocked up to the O2 around 8pm, pondering on whether to cover the support or wait for the main event – The Stranglers on their 40th anniversary tour. Pit security was unusually laid back and I soon found out why. “You can stay in for the whole night – that’s a first ‘ey?!” And as I settled down to enjoy the music and tuck into my M&S tea I had to agree. I took a few shots, joined by only one other photographer and then just kept snapping as the Stranglers took to the stage.
The show was a brilliant mix, a rolling programme of all the classics from Heroes to Peaches, Golden Brown and everything in between plus some of the lesser-known album tracks and a bit of chat. I stayed until my flash card was exhausted and I was heading that way too; maybe 10 or 11 songs. But apparently they played for around two hours, so it turned out to be good value all round – great for all the diehard fans crammed into the venue and for once, despite the usual lighting issues, I was able to enjoy the gig. It did make for a bit of a late one, turning the pictures around but even that turned into a bonus as I bumped into a mate near the Adelphi at 11.30. “Are you only just heading home from the studio? I’ll buy you a drink”. Clearly a night of good karma.