One of those nights where, as a photographer, if you didn't laugh you'd probably cry.
I've only caught CATB once on their rise over the past couple of years. Seen by many as one of the strongest of the next wave of british indie-rock bands to make the radio playlists, they've had a fantastic couple of years off the back of their debut album.
The one time I did catch them - at Latitude Festival (I think) - there was one key takeaway from the three song allocation. RED. Everything was bathed in red light. By all accounts, this has been a pretty consistent theme for both their festival appearances and tours. It seems to be very much their 'thing'.
"So what's so bad about red, then?" Good question. For a live show, it's awesome. It's moody. It's sexy. It's dangerous. And it's also a photographers worst nightmare. I don't understand the science behind it, but if you're shooting a gig in red light, you're generally left with few options other than to flip your shots to black and white. I'm being a little bit flippant, but generally that's a fair assessment.
Don't get me wrong, red can be good. Red can be great. Provided it's accompanied by another colour, or a white key light. But solid red is just, well, tough.
So rocking up to the Apollo I was praying for something different. I was praying that, given the size of the venues, and the progression of the band, that the lighting would have perhaps been a little more expansive.
The band were awash in a sea of crimson. There was the odd white light firing out from the back of the stage, but this just created silhouettes. Don't get me wrong, it looked amazing. It just didn't photograph well - at all. Van is a very energetic, animated frontman, and it would have been awesome to document him and the guys playing on such a legendary stage. Alas, it was not meant to be.
Determined not to put out a set of entirely B/W shots, it took a good few hours to get the shots somewhere near where I wanted them to be.
Ah well. If life was easy, it'd be boring. Right?