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The last week…

June 5, 2012

Well, the last week has been really tiring, but really great! It started with a wedding with Eleanor (www.eleanorjane.co.uk) on Saturday for a lovely couple in Cwmbran in absolutely scorching heat. I got up on Sunday and had lost about 5lbs in two days and decided I never wanted to carry my camera bag around ever again. The problem with my bag is that because it’s so big I can fit a lot in there. Because I can fit a lot in there, I put a lot in there, just in case. I think I need to stop doing it as it means I’m always swapping lenses! 

Anyway, on Sunday I went and photographed my friend Polly. We’d half mentioned the idea before but never got round to it, but as I hadn’t seen her for a while and she’d recently had her hair cut, (which is totally relevant!) it seemed as good a time as any. No prizes for guessing where the influence came from, and thanks again to Polly for being a willing subject. Any time I can return the favour give me a shout (she’s also an amazing photographer, by the way).

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This week also saw me photographing a drama workshop held by the Sherman Theatre at Moorland Road Primary School in Cardiff. Photographing kids is a challenge! It’s hard enough taking photos of them when they’re in a formal setting but when they’re in part of a drama class it’s nearly impossible. It was a fun afternoon though, and something I’ve never really done before, and I’m always willing to try new things photographically speaking. I think.

Saturday saw the arrival of Gary Numan at the Coal Exchange in Cardiff Bay. I bought a couple of tickets a month or so ago as I knew my brother would want to see him but wouldn’t go if he had nobody to go with. He ended up stood on his own throughout the gig anyway as I’d managed to get myself a photo pass, so by the time I got out of the pit after 3 songs I had no idea where he was.

I’ve been to some sweaty gigs in my time, but this was definitely up there! It wasn’t quite sold out I believe, but the crowd was in good form, as was Gary Numan himself. Officers were great support, but having their monitors in the photo pit meant I only got a couple of okay photos. Polly managed to squeeze through to the centre, but as my thigh is probably bigger than her there was no way I was getting through. Luckily they removed most of the monitors/ tables after their set, with just one table left near the middle.

This was the fourth time I’d seen Gary Numan in one way or another, first in 1996 when I probably only knew “Cars” and “Are Friends Electric” at V96, then he came on and did “Metal” and “Cars” with Nine Inch Nails at the O2 a couple of years ago which was amazing (look at Rob Sheridan’s amazing on stage video here! http://vimeo.com/6859938). A few years ago (maybe 2009) I went to see him with my friend Emma and accidentally got so shamefully drunk I don’t remember a thing- not one of my finest moments. So, finally I got the chance to photograph him AND enjoy the gig.

Opening with Berserker, Metal and the Fall, he was an absolute joy to photograph. We could have done with nicer lighting in some instances but in terms of the shapes he throws, he’s up there with the best of people I’ve had the luck to photograph. We got out of the pit fairly drenched but it was all worthwhile. We watched the rest of the gig from the side before moving a bit further back and I have to say, as someone who only vaguely knows some of his songs, I really enjoyed it. I knew it would be great, but was expecting as I don’t know a massive amount of his work that I might get a bit bored not knowing everything, which wasn’t the case. I also had that increasingly rare feeling of not feeling really old at a gig. Or I did, until Polly got that Sugababes song stuck in her head… but she had a point when she said that Are Friends Electric has one of the best synth lines in the history of music (or something like that).

Brilliant gig from start to finish.

Now I’ve got that Sugababes song in my head. Sorry if you do too.

 You can also view more at www.flickr.com/photos/simonayre/

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