Friday, 8 February 2013

Tikaram, Lewis and the Robin

Mrs B and I found ourselves once again at Cadogan Hall (it seems to be our venue of choice at the moment.) – This time to see Tanita Tikaram. I had been attempting to broker a photo pass but while I had tacit agreement*, I had not actually received final confirmation. I was not feeling confident. Still, I took The Beast (Nikon D700) along, more in hope than expectation.
* In that I had been given the info about the standard etiquette of first three songs only, no flash etc and that my details had been passed on to the person responsible for press and photo requests.

Picking up the tickets at the box office I asked if a photo pass had been left for me… I was told the list hadn’t come through yet and to try again later. This was cruel… but hey my hopes were still alive… We trudged around the corner to Sloane Square and found a nice little bistro for supper.
We returned via the box office. Yes the list had come through….

No I wasn’t on it…

My head dropped….but I have never been one to give up easily…

I had a couple of names and I was going to use them.

I tried the first name which drew a blank, so it was time to go all in….

My final throw of the dice….

I chucked them, they spun around, catching the light as they fell slowly through the air…

The second name was on the list for a guest pass but not a photo pass….

The helpful lady behind the desk said “Can you hang on a moment?” and vanished into the depth of the building....

The dice continued to tumble

I then heard a voice say “I’m sorry sir”

My heart sank, I was about to mutter “Thanks for trying…”

“There was a bit of a mix up” She handed me the nirvana of concert photographers’ dreams, the much esteemed concert pass….

Whoo-hoo - Photo Pass no. 3 – OK so all my passes so far have been for stars who started out in the 80’s….baby steps, next one is to aim for the 90’s

We entered the auditorium and found our seats in the 6th row – just to the right of centre stage, not a bad position. The support came on – Al Lewis – I had not heard of him and my expectations were not high –

He turned out to be a pleasant surprise – a great voice and I really liked the music – on vocals he was accompanied by Sarah Howells from Paper Aeroplanes and their voices really complimented each other.

Al was quite chatty between songs and at one point plugged his and Sarah’s records, which were for sale in the foyer after the set… I decided to make my play

Me - “Al, if you are up for a deal, I’ve been lucky enough to get a photo pass for Tanika – If I buy your album during the interval will you allow me to take some photos?”

AL - “First time I’ve negotiated on stage – Hmmm, Sounds fair though – What do you think Audience?…. ”

General murmur of approval – no need to go 50/50 or phone a friend

Al – “Yep I’ll go for that.”

Me - “Thanks I’ll see you at the break”

The Beast – "Bshk, Bshk, Bshk"

As far as I was concerned it was a great deal for me - a total win, win - I’m not sure of the etiquette of taking photos of the support act if you have a pass for the main act. Plus, Mrs B gets a little fed up with the size of my CD collection** and for once she could not argue with my need to make a purchase…after all a deal’s a deal.

** Much of it has now been transferred to a digital format, so that it can squeeze onto my Ipods (2 x 160GB classics, a 64GB Iphone and a 32GB Ipod Touch – What can I say? It’s a big collection and even then not all of it fits on the Ipod fleet***). Mrs B says I should sell or give away the CDs although I have a moral dilemma with that as I feel it would take away my ownership rights. They currently reside in the loft acting as a fairly effective insulation …

*** In my defence I used to take a suitcase full of CDs with me when I went on holiday****, I remember the first time I visited New York and came across Madison Avenue – I had an overwhelming urge to listen to – Kirsty Maccoll’s “Walking Down Madison” which was, of course, at home…. The moment was gone, just like Kirsty…Life’s short and then you get whacked by a speedboat…

**** With the strict weight restrictions that go with air travel these days this is no longer practical, especially as The Beast likes to travel with a number of changes of lens and other accessories – leaving me, if I’m lucky, with a toothbrush and a clean set of underwear….

I was a bit disappointed at first – Tanita opened up with “Good Tradition” her big break-through song… along with the next few numbers it was hurried and she seemed nervous – Perhaps she thought someone was taking shots at her…. Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk….. Then she hit her stride, started talking to the audience in-between songs and settled down. She had some great musicians supporting her on guitar, double bass, sax, clarinet and flute and piano. I love her deep voice - taking the songs to wonderful depths, with the occasional tones of a young Annie Lennox (particularly on the songs on her recent album "Can't Go Back")... Towards the end there were a few requests being shouted out – I decided to get my tuppence worth in…

Me - “Poor Cow! By the way that is a song request not a social comment!”

Tanita - “It’s not one of my better songs.”

Me – “I’ve always liked it.”

Someone from behind - “Keep it real”*****

Tanita - “well, let’s see if you like this one instead.“

And indeed I did….

***** I thought that was a bit rude, after all that’s just my opinion……I realised later that “Keep it real” is one of Tanita’s songs ….Doh!

The Problem with The Beast While The Beast is great for shooting in low light he sure likes to make a noise about it. Both Al and Tanita are on the quiet side, with intimate sets which means you have to work hard not to be intrusive on the listening pleasure of the people in the immediate vicinity.

I had spoken to the people sitting around me and explained I had a photo-pass and it might be a little noisy for the first three songs but The Beast would go away after that…. Everyone was fine about it, although the photography became a bit more challenging with Mrs B constantly digging me in the ribs and making shooshing noises…I can just imagine what it sounded like to those around us

Tanita – “There is a good tradition of love and hate stayin' by the fireside”

The Beast – Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk ……. Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk,Chk

Thwack – the sound of Mrs B’s Elbow against my ribs

Me – “Ouch”

Mrs B - “Shoosh”

Tanita – “An' though the rain may fall, your father's calling you”

The Beast – Bshk….. Bshk….. Bshk

I took The Beast of Machine Gun mode and settled for individual shots

Thwack – the sound of Mrs B’s Elbow against my ribs

Me – “Ouch”

Mrs B – “Can’t you turn the sound down or off ….”

Me – “No, it’s an SLR. The noise it makes is the camera mechanism doing its stuff. I’ve only got three songs ”

Tanita – “Well, there's a good tradition of love and hate stayin' by the fireside”

Writing this down reminds me why I woke up with that mysterious bruising down my right hand side…

So that’s another X-file case solved.

Hope to see you  next time  - I'll leave you in the capable hands of The Beast....

Photo Finish

Tanita Tikaram - 2nd February - Cadogan Hall - London
My third photo pass

"Good Tradition" from 1988s "Ancient Heart"
"Twist In My Sobriety" from 1988s "Ancient Heart"
"Sunface" from "Everybody's Angel"
"Harm In Your Hands" from  1990s "The Sweet Keeper"

Rock and Roll - From 2012's "Can't Go Back"

I've always felt there is not enough double base in R and R
"Poor Cow" from 1988s "Ancient Heart"
Please note it was a song request not a
social comment....
Al Lewis
Sort of fourth, if unofficial photo pass - more of a photo agreement

Al Lewis
Blackbird and the Magpie - 2012 B side
Al Lewis & Sarah Howells

"There with You" from 2013s "Battle" 
"Fall from Grace"

From the Pete Townshend school of Guitar playing
As a break from all that concert footage I have been stalking a Robin around the garden....Or has he been stalking us? - I opened the front door the other day to find him cavorting in the front hedge

I waited for ages but still no Batman
just his little sidekick....

The local drug problem is really getting out of hand

That line can't be just for personal use....

Branching out....


  1. Jeez Mr B, the robin photos are absolutely fab. Well done.

    1. Thanks Teach - not quite the hawk you had in your garden, but probably just as feisty...

  2. Look at you going all Diva on us. Next time you'll be using the imortal line "do you know who I am…?". Try it out when you don't have a gig ticket though - that'll be the true test!

    Good pics :)

    1. I'm not sure it would be that hard - When I had the photo pass for Adam Ant I had a ticket for a seat upstairs. The phot pass got me in downstairs to the pit. After 3 songs I exited the pit and could have stayed downstairs for the rest of the gig but I had left my friend upstairs so made my way back o my seat.....

      I must admit it's nice to be able to name drop acts that I have had photo passes for when trying to get new ones. I'm seeing Paloma Faith next week and have sent a request to her management team but I don't think I have got much of a chance....I'm guessing they only give out passes to none press when no other photographers apply...still no harm in asking

  3. Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it

      Sadly it pretty much happened as written – including getting to use my favourite phrase “Social comment” to Miss Tikaram, to get me out of any trouble with my “Poor Cow” request. One day my big mouth will get me into trouble….

  4. When you said you saw Al Lewis, I thought you meant the guy who played Grandpa Munster. Even though he's clearly a talent, it'd be a neat trick. because he's dead.
    On the other hand, Grandpa Muster WAS a vampire.

    1. Did I forget to mention that it was at a séance and when Al appeared he wasn’t showing in any of the mirrors dotted around the room…

  5. Did you ever see Dawn French taking off Tanita? A sketch to behold!
    Great shots, Mr Logs.

    1. I managed to find a copy on line, thanks.... - I always thought that French and Saunders should have been funnier than they were....

      Thanks Scarlet always nice when Photo's are appreciated...


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