"Been a long time"
To quote the words of Mr Robert Plant, whom I had the enormous pleasure of seeing last weekend. An amazingly Zeppelin filled set BTW... Dazed & Confused, The Rain Song, Trampled Underfoot, Black Dog, The Lemon Song, Whole Lotta Love, amongst many other gems from his other work, never thought I'd hear him do half of those again!
My rocket fuel strength pre-mixed/guessed G&T ( no glass no cans "no...umbrellas"..WTF?!) combined with the aforementioned set list made this boy one very happy, if somewhat tipsy camper.
But, I digress...
I have been re visiting some of my concert shots as I realised when you shoot up to 1500 images at a gig, you tend to miss some of the better ones whilst trying to favourite so many shots. I also experimented with cropping into some of the wide shots to bring the band members a little closer. See The shots of Chvrches below and more to come on the Facebook photography page.
I also went through my archive of the day I spent shooting The R&B legend that is Usher.
For those whose don't know, whilst filming him at his shows at The O2 a few years ago, I was asked by my good friend and all round video legend Mr Dick Carruthers, if I would be up for sitting in with Usher while he went around London on his day off.
yeah... go on then :-)
I expected his security guard to be sat in the back of the limo with us, but no. Just me and him for the first hour or two. We talked about our kids and what they listened to. His kids naturally listen to a lot of their Dad, but my boy tends to hear a lot of the stuff his Dad plays around the home. At that time my son ( who was 5) had been watching The Aerosmith video for Dude Looked Like A Lady... a lot! also things like Zeppelin's Black Dog and Rock & Roll, mainly because he's an inquisitive kid and we end up on long music history chats that even I can't recall the origin of after an hour.
After relaying Jamie's music video choices to Usher he pronounced.. " Man you've got yourself a ROCK kid there!! accompanied by a big grin. Judging by how many times Jamie's made me play The Foo Fighter's The Pretender video at home and their Greatest Hits CD in the car, not to mention my current Fav's The brilliant Wolf Alice lately, I'd say he was right.
Usher was a pleasure to be with. He was totally exhausted after three nights giving it his all at The O2 and even apologized for keeping me waiting in the Lobby while he slept in for a few hours. He gamely let me interview him for the upcoming DVD and chatted about all things UK including about Selfridges which it turns out is his favourite store. Gifting me the line:
" Man I would shop in that place all day, in fact forget it, If they gave me a bed I would eat there and sleep there and shop there all over again the next day and the day after that"
Safe to say he's a fan then?..!!!
We also had the extraordinary experience of springing a surprise visit to the kids academy in Fulham that he runs. I had a brief insight into what it might have been like to be with one of the Beatles in their heyday, when the class went completely nuts as he walked through the door. Stunned faces followed by screams of disbelief giving way to sheer joy.
Memorable and then some...
Later we shot across town to a studio in North London to shoot a promo video for his single MonStar, the Thames Embankment providing an quintessentially English backdrop to the view from the famous American's window, before we finally rounded the day off with a visit to The Gagosian Gallery. His take on the work he was shown was amusing to say the least but.. modesty forbids and all that.
We parted company back where it all started at his Hotel and I headed back to home to Bath musing on what a bizarre day it had been.
Actually that wasn't quite the end, I was asked by a good friend earlier in the week if there was any chance of an autograph for her daughter who adores Usher. I initially replied that there was no chance, as at that point he was surrounded by a huge entourage of managers and security and was never alone for a minute and even filming him was hard work. However our day tripping/Selfridge's admiring/ kids bonding experience made for a considerably easier opportunity and I walked away with one for Jaz and one for " The Rock Kid"...