It was an utter delight to photograph JMJ last night at Wembley Arena. His music has been a big influence on me since my early teens and including last night’s concert, was the third time I’ve seen him perform live. It was also the first time I’ve been to photograph a gig and stay to watch afterwards. I normally make a hasty exit and head home. This time I didn’t worry about that and edited my shots in the morning. It has been a long standing ambition of mine to photograph this man, since he is such a big pioneer, a huge influence on modern music of all kinds. It also reminded me how electronic music should sound, rich and textured.
Initially we weren’t going to be allowed in the pit which was annoying. However minds were changed and we were allowed in and I chose to go right down on the end rather than grouping together with the guys at the other end. Song 1 was impossible, no light at all, although the laser effects were impressive. Thankfully for songs 2 and 3 he came over towards our end and I got the shots I was hoping for. Working in the pits was a strange moment for me, the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as the first notes were played. I was also wary of the hulking big light next to me which was very hot. In fact a member of staff politely warned me of this, as if I hadn’t worked it out already.
Jarre isn’t an easy one to photograph, as there is so much kit on stage, he was surrounded by an eclectic mix of synths, some I would guess dating back to the earlier days of his career, especially the Theremin (named after Louis Theremin it’s inventor, Google this it’s history is very interesting). Then there were the more modern forms of electronica such as the Nord range of synths and Jarre’s own personal trademark – the Laser Harp!
It is worth pointing out to those of you who may be interested, that auto-focus is no use whatsoever when you have a fairly cluttered stage. So I shot the whole lot manually which I must confess I do more nowadays and it does guarantee that you get sharp eyes, faces and so on rather than instruments or microphones!