15 March 2016

Photographing Afro Celt Sound System

I've been a fan of Afro Celt Sound System for at least 15 years, so when I found out they were doing a gig in London, I got in touch to see if they might be kind enough to give me a photo pass.  Normally with more popular musicians you have to go through their management or promoter, but as I had band founder Simon Emmerson on my Facebook friends list I decided to go direct.

On the night I found out that I was the only photographer, so no pressure then...  With a little bit of help from the bands PR person, I was able to get the "okay" from Simon to shoot the whole gig and not just the first three songs as would normally be the case.

For those who aren't familiar with their music, they play a fusion of Irish and Western African music.  The band originally came to my attention because of their collaboration with my favourite artist, Peter Gabriel who sang on their song "When You're Falling". 

This was the first time I'd seen them in concert and I had the best damn seat in house!

As always I'll let others more qualified talk about the music, but for me it was a fantastic performance, with so much energy on stage, that I hope my photos capture at least a tiny fraction of.

Sadly I wasn't able to meet any of the band, as I had to rush off after the gig to catch a train back to Southampton.  I've since befriended most of them on Facebook, and from what I can tell from band and fans alike, the reception to my images as been rather good.

Picking just 13 favourites for this blog out of the 100+ of keepers from the evening was a challenge.

I'm very much hoping this is the first of many times I'll be able to work with ACSS.

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