Content Creation

Nothing Rivals being backstage

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Last night I was reminded about the richness of my life.

As a PR who represents a client working in the heady world of rock ‘n’ roll and as a photo-journalist writing for music publications, I find myself often in the very privileged position of gaining access to areas of the music industry where angels may fear to tread.

Over the last decade, I’ve rubbed shoulders with famous musicians, interviewed dozens of artists and photographed and enjoyed hundreds of live performances. So, when I went along to Norwich’s UEA to cover the first night of an international tour for rockers Black Stone Cherry and Rival Sons, it was business as usual.

My client, one of the world’s most renowned rock photographers, Nick Elliott, was working with the hot American band Rival Sons, so my services backstage were called upon further. Documenting the guys’ experience, Nick was photographing them sound-checking, throughout their performance and also backstage, so access all areas was granted.

It was great that a friend of mine, a big Black Stone Cherry fan, had booked her ticket for the event and we eagerly arranged to meet up, not having seen each other for a while. It became apparent, however, that was not as easy as it we thought.

Arriving early at the venue Nick and I met up with Rival Sons and their PR representative and proceeded to chat about the music business and photograph them preparing for the gig. By the time the band were due on stage, my friend had fought her way through the queuing gig-goers and staked her claim front-stage in the sold-out venue.

She was then inaccessible.

Backstage access had now presented a new challenge – spending an evening with a friend not permitted to join me where I was standing side-stage enjoying the performance.

I was there to do a job, though, and proceeded to discuss things with Rival Sons’s PR team and photograph Nick conducting his own performance shooting the band from every angle possible.

Where would we be without technology? It provided a great solution to my personal problem and resorted to having a text by text commentary with my friend on how the other’s evening was going.

So I got the best of every world. How could I not enjoy the backstage world of intimate access to the bands, the freedom to view the performance from a vantage point that only a few experience and still retain some sense of reality by enjoying the evening with a friend?

Feeling a twinge of guilt, I expressed this in my last text and my friend replied: “Don’t be daft – I’m basking in the glory of having a mate with such good connections! You’re a lucky lady.”

Indeed I am.


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