My Time at iNdigO2 at the o2 - Part One

It's the 12th of August, 2008... I'm nervous, not because I've not photographed a musician of any sort before, but because this is the first time I need a pass to actually be allowed in, I had to email and request and apply and pickup... I didn't just walk across the road to the pub and snap a few shots whilst x, y and z were strumming a minor chord and sipping an over priced pint... Tonight I'd be photographing an old hero, Black Flag ex-front man and tough guy, Henry Rollins..

19:13:09 it all began... 100mm | iso 200 | 1/100th | f/4.5


It was that first gig, the rush of being amongst all the people, having an actual pass... It was tricky, the lighting was low'ish (or so I thought) and I had to stay well back from the stage (It was seated) so I had to use my 100-400 f/4.5-5.7 for a bit of reach.. well, that was my first iNdigO2 gig! I had the bug, and I wanted more... Emma Reynolds was my helper back then, she helped me get started - big thanks to you, Emma!

So, armed with gig number one, a stand up talking gig with not much movement, I went in to gig number two which was 'Brand New Heavies' armed with the same kit and a bit more enthusiasm and courage, but still loads of nerves.. They had support, The A Human, and my photos were utter rubbish... like, not even.. ugh.. just bad... (Sorry Dave)


So, support came and went, and rocked.. at one point, Dave jumped into the pit and was 'hello'ing the fans' and ran by me to go around back onto the stage -- he looked at me and I muttered something like 'you totally rocked it' ...I'm so rock and roll.. Yep, so Brand New Heavies come onto the stage and this is what I end up with, my favourite photo from that night (a couple of which ended up in their live album, of which I still don't have my promised signed copy) is this one...


That was a fun gig, I recall ringing a friend afterward and exclaiming how much I loved photographing music... despite the butchered support images (let's call them 'art')

I popped in to do some promo images of the space, not my bag, but I wanted to help... Nov 11th at 7:45pm | 5sec | f/9.0 | iso100


So, after being told off by the piano tuner for moving the chair you can see on stage, I was out of there.. but back again in 2009, the 13th of Feb to be more precise... this time to photograph ex Hot Chocolate front man, Errol Brown, and still having not learned from any of my previous mistakes, trying to hand hold a 400mm (100-400) lens extended to 235mm at 1/100th of a second... almost sharp, I will learn - soon!


I certainly enjoyed that gig, too, despite my poor attempts at learning! I needed to calm down some and focus (boom boom) on what I wasn't doing right and fix it.. nope, I just got excited and forgot about technique! So, March seven, 2009, about 9pm... and I'm starting to learn...!! Mark King of Level 42, He's in my list of Bass Players to watch for inspiration, and there I am four feet from him and his weapon... and this time, I'm wide open ( f/2.8) and I've got my shutter speed up some.. I wanted to bring out his bass in this shot... (It's a tad arty, but had the desired effect) iso400 | f/2.8 | 1/320th


I have a perspex signed print of this above (thanks, Mark) that looks amazing... 13th March, 2009 and something amazing happens! My Canon 5DMKII arrives and I'm really excited... not just a little bit, a LOT... The guys at are awesome..

What did this mean for me, as a budding music photographer? It meant I could push my ISO a bit more... a lot more... March 16, T-Pain (T-Bag?) is on stage and I'm shooting at ISO 1600 instead of my previous best, about 400... I'm 1/125th at f/4.5 and loving it...


Four days later and I capture my first wardrobe malfunction, Heather Small! With the biggest boobs on the planet, I'm not shocked that her clothes just said 'no, sorry, can't cope.. flop!' and out it came.. well, I did get 'a' shot and no you can't see it... Nice one, Bev... iso 1250 | 1/160th | f/2.8


You see what I mean... Moving swiftly on, from brilliant woman to another, supporting Musiq Soulchild, VulaVox queen of vocals and this girl didn't bust out of her top, but she rocked it... Vula is BV's for BasementJaxx amongst other things and, was seen here belting out a BJ's track...


As I said, Vula supported Musiq SoulChild... errr, yeah, here he is...

I wasn't much into this shoot, for the SoulChild bit.. I had my elbow just touching the stage at one point and his security, standing on stage, came and literally pushed me back into the barrier... haha.. knob-head! What, like I'd want to jump on stage and touch this guy? I was listening to iMogen Heap in my headphones, as it happens... (small Creative EP-630 buds make for great ear protection, and, if the music is really bad, you can listen to something else whilst shooting!)

Onwards... or, rather, backwards to the 1970's with Cameo, and, for this I chose two images, because frankly, I like the B&W of Larry's face, but I had to include a shot of the iconic Cod Piece, right?

...and, the Cod Piece.. is that like, a piece of Cod? or?..

Back the very next night to shoot NDubz (with a few other R&B people supporting) ...started the night with this group of young women, pretty sure they're not together anymore...

Then, there was this guy... (sorry, absolutely no idea who you are, don't be upset... I didn't recognise some famous rapper dude once)

So, I've popped Tinchy (Number One) with NDubz on in my headphones (These, incase you wondered... Beats Studio by Dr. Dre) for the next photo, was the first time I'd heard of this guy and he certainly rocked it.. I mean, it ain't my kind of music, but you can appreciate someone that loves what they're doing and when you can see that passion - well, power to him... Tinchy Stryder

and, N Dubz, They've done OK, too... here's a couple of fun ones from that gig -- N Dubz | iNdigO2

To take it down a notch, pace wise, who remembers 10cc? I do, and that's becuase I worked at Big W in Coffs Harbour and had to listen to "I'm Not in Love" about 25 times a day... yes, really...

The very next night, the very same stage... Boyz II Men, oh yes... we really have (now) come to the end of the road...

It's a couple of days later and here's me, and (it must have been Nathan Pask dot com) in the pit for some Radio Station gig - this bloke is DTP, or, Disturbing Tha Peace... uh huh

...that's me, bottom right... It was taken with my 30D and I'm pretty sure it must have been Nath?...

I went to Spain just after this, to shoot Benicassim for a friend / MTV and came back and, the very next day, shot Acker Bilk... now, that's diversity right there! He was totally cool, too... totally...

Between the gig above and the gig below, I shoot Metallica, NiN, Alice in Chains, Linkin Park, U2 and a few other bands... Alice in Chains said about me "I've never seen a photographer sing ALL the words" ..then, I went to Greece and then.. (and then and then) came back and shot Jet (not at iNdigO2) that was fun... but, it was to be Jeff Beck that got himself stuck in my lens next.. here's Jeff Beck and the Imelda May band..

Imelda first.. regarding me with her one eye..

And, Jeff.. who sadly sounded a lot worse than the guitarist behind him...

oh well, some people like remembering old bands and musicians, and some of us like to go see them 'drag it out of the shed' and play again - which wrecks any good memories you had of that artist in 90% of cases...

Speaking of, I went down a few nights later to shoot this guy, a veritable tower of a man, a mean, lean, straight out of Sesame Street machine... Joe, and supporting or, along side him, Ginuwine...

and his mate, Joe...

....that's the end of part one, part two coming soon!