The Pleasure Principle
The anticipation for this gig had been extremely high from the get go! Several months ago when the fine folk at Red Ant Touring announced the dates, I was already psyched!
Gary Numan was one of the first gigs I got to shoot when I began this venture into this thing known as ‘rock and roll photography’, and I remember just how much of an amazing gig that was. Every so often a gig comes along that just enwraps itself into every synapse of your mushy brain, and that Numan show from 2009 was certainly one of them!
I digress, I was a veritable newbie back in early ’09 but I found myself in the pit and pretty much allowed to shoot the entire gig unabaited – certainly not a luxury that one gets bestowed with too much these days. The usual three songs, no flash rule comes into effect time and time again. I can live with that but tonight – tonight I just felt that little bit rushed and let down as I knew the band’s set would only get better well past those first three songs.
The gorgeous Forum was well-packed by the time I arrived and the obligatory ‘excuse me’ shuffle began in earnest as I tried to make my way to the designated photo-pit. Again, like the last time I saw Gary Numan, the crowd was incredibly diverse which is a living testimony to the variety of genre’s that Numan crosses over and appeals to.
I made it to the photo-pit without spilling too many people’s beers and the first thing I noticed was that the pit was incredibly narrow tonight. I’ve certainly had more room at prior Forum gigs. Fortunately, there were only three other photographers and I tonight – so we had room to move. (Great meeting with the mighty Simon Pollock tonight and sharing the pit with him! You rock it dude!)
Numan would be playing his entire ‘Pleasure Principle’ album tonight so for the majority of the allotted three song shooting limit he was planted behind his keyboard rig. Getting a decent action shot was to prove quite elusive as you pretty much had the same pose, structure and composition for the duration of your shoot.
I was concentrating on getting the focus to lock on his face which proved to be a little tricky as there were all sorts of gadgets, leads and mics in the way. It proved to be a little frustrating and in the end, somewhat disappointing, as trying to fish a decent shot out of that set-up was monumental.
The three songs seemed to whiz by in a flash (pardon the pun) and we were promptly escorted out of the pit and instructed to put the cameras away almost immediately. I know, I know – three songs is a helluva lot better than none – but tonight, I honestly felt I was just warming up for the shoot before it all abruptly ended.
I dunno, I felt so let down tonight as I was just craving to shoot more of the show and without fail, the lighting conditions improved drastically the minute we were all out of the photo-pit.