05 May 2009 – Tonight I photographed Therapy? performing live at Islington Academy and it was really different to what I was expecting. Not in a bad way but they performed a lot of their B songs and the crowd was definitely older than I am used to. Not always a bad thing though.
As is always the case with the lighting at this venue, it is shocking from a photography point of view although I did see it start to get better towards the end of their set. For some reason the light tech guys seem to save the lights for when the photographers are done doing what they traveled miles for to do. It actually amazes me. I arrived, after bad planning on my behalf, during the first song and this forced me to have to push my way through the crowd which always seems to be a lot bigger and stronger than me so it really takes me a while and I feel extremely guilty every single time. As I finally got to the front I noticed that the other two photographers were shooting with flash so decided to give it a bash too. It is always a delicate thing at live shows especially with big bands because the norm is that you aren’t allowed to use flash but then every now and then it is necessary to make a good shot so I give it a try and normally end up getting crapped on by the biggest bouncer in the history of bouncers. I almost felt bad shooting with my flash on and was awaiting my awkward act of stupidness when the bouncers come tell me “NO FLASH” but the moment never came which was a relief.
What can I say about the rest of the show? I always believe that the quality of the show is best judged by the reaction of the crowd so then this show was a really good one. The crowd was there to watch and sing along and I am sure that the band made a sales record because the entire crowd seemed to be sporting a shirt from the merch stand. Like I said there were a lot of B songs being played but it seemed that I was the only one unfamiliar with some of them. My highlight though was definitely at the end when they played Sreamager and for some reason this song is the one that immediately pops into my head when I think of these guys. the crowd went crazy and I saw a good bunch of older men rush passed me to go and show what they thought the purpose of the pit is for. I always enjoy watching a band do what they do and enjoy it and I also really enjoy when a band reacts with the crowd and feeds off the vibe to make sure everyone there has a good experience.
One thing I found really funny was that there was some idiot in the crowd who kept shouting “You fat bastard” over and over and I was getting irritated but thought I was the only one until the front man, Andy Cairns, yelled out that if anyone says that again he is going to jump off stage and have his fat belly button rub in the idiots face. I burst out laughing but then he said “So what if I am a fat bastard, I am a happy fat bastard and I am happy with myself. If you want to watch someone thin the go watch Pop Idols you cunt” and I nearly pissed in my pants.
UPDATE – My photographs have been used in a review of the Therapy? show and you can check it out HERE