Queens Of The Stone Age @ Phones 4U Arena, Manchester

Queens Of The Stone AgeManchester Arena, Nov 2013

I was delighted to finally get the opportunity to shoot QOTSA, having been declined accredition by their management in the past. This was also the first occasion I was aware of that they had toured without having a really nasty contract for photographers to sign, which was also great news. Not only could I take pictures of QOTSA, I would also keep the copyright to the images, too! On paper, the drive over to Manchester looked very worthwhile.

It turned out not to be the greatest gig to shoot, however. The centre part of the photopit was taped off, and we were asked to shoot from either end of the pit, and stay there. So straight away our shooting opportunities were limited as we only had one angle to shoot from. This wouldn’t have been too bad had the band been quite animated, but sadly this isn’t something that they are renowned for.

The lighting was pretty tough, too. Lots of greens and reds but little to no neutral light meant I was up to the early hours trying and give my shots some variation – albeit artificial – and make them ‘pop’ a bit. (I should probably highlight that I don’t normally condone excessive processing as I think it can undermine photographic skill, but sometimes it’s unavoidable).

On the plus side, “No One Knows” made an appearance in the first three, so I had chance for a good sing along whilst shooting.

Ah well, having had some pretty great gigs to shoot of late, I guess I was due a tough one. Sigh.