I had the pleasure of joining in the celebrations as Kaiser Chiefs celebrated the centenary of their beloved Leeds United at Elland Road, with a stellar undercard including The Vaccines, Gaz Coombes and local lads Marsicans, who kicked things off with a blistering set.
This was a great show to shoot - the crowd were up for a party (we're all Leeds, aren't we?) and the changeable weather didn't take the shine off proceedings. The atmosphere was steadily building throughout the day, and by the time The Vaccines departed the stage having delivered a set laden with their signature catchy hooks, it was *cliché incoming* electric. The sun was setting, shirts were off, shoulders were ridden, plumes of blue smoke billowed from the inevitable flares, Leeds was ready for... Kammy!
Yep. Chris Kamara. Just when you thought we'd reached fever pitch, the legendary journeyman of 90s football, and icon of Sky Sports most hallowed blunders, took to the stage to belt out a couple of numbers, finishing with the Leeds United anthem, "Marching On Together". This really was unbelievable, Jeff.
What better way to introduce Leeds favourite sons? Sure enough, when Ricky and the gang took to the stage, the metaphorical roof was blown from Elland Road.
It was a helluva show to shoot! Ricky Wilson, as charismatic and energetic as ever, was bouncing around and climbing on everything. Our pit allocation fly by, but the evening wasn't over. We'd been given the heads up that Ricky planned to perform two songs from the top of the sound tower (obviously) so I made a b-line for the mixing desk, ready for him to make his way over. This in itself was a very surreal experience: I was directly beneath Ricky but couldn't see him, and was looking out over the crowd who were all looking above me, away from the stage. It was weird, but made for a very unique shot!
As the night progressed we were treated to streamers and confetti which helped make the wide shots of the stage pop, and my evening drew to a close crouched behind Vijay's drum kit as the guys finished with "Oh My God". Confetti rained down, and Ricky added to this with an arsenal of additional hand-held confetti cannons.
I shan't lie - it was probably the funnest birthday party I've ever shot. YOOOOOOOOORKSHIIIIRE!