The Dublin Castle, Camden Town, London UK, 19th April 2007.
I was nearing the end of a long day. I had been given instructions by the Picture Editor to generally photograph the Camden Crawl Festival, as many bands that I could squeeze in, the fun, the faces and most importantly, Amy Winehouse, don’t miss Amy Winehouse. It was a big event, she was at the peak of her career and playing a venue that she could easily fill 50 times over was unmissable. So, after picking my way from venue to venue though out the day, I decided I had better get to the venue early so to beat the growing crowd of punters.
At around 7pm outside the Dublin Castle the crowds were forming and the bands were building up! I got to the front and secured my spot centre stage, as it was a small pub venue there was no photographer pit, it was a free for all. I was the only photographer there at this point and as time went on and the venue filled up, only one other photographer made it to the front, a couple were standing on the benches round the edge of the room. I had a great spot.
The last support act finished on time… Amy’s band was on stage but she was nowhere to be seen and now half an hour late, the over packed venue was beginning to creek and groan almost as loud as the crowd was booing. Then, the atmosphere changed. replacing the boos were cheers and the sound of clapping hands as Amy was ushered through the melee by a few sturdy bodyguards as it’s the only way to the stage. She gets through still holding two half pints of what looked like Coke, what ever else was mixed in I will never know, she sat on the edge of the stage with a wry smile, directly in front of me waiting for a member of her band to give her a hand (as hers are full) up onto the stage… I grab the first shot of the night.
As she straightened herself up, the band kicked off the first song, and although noticeably intoxicated, she smoothly swaggered her way though the night, belting out the entire Back To Black album plus a few others along the way. Four songs in I notice a large man looking at me very angrily shouting at me from across the room. I knew what he was saying by the look on his face and that it was well past the the usual ‘three songs and out’ rule that all photographers abominate. I stared back at him, knowing full well that he was going to have to wade his way through a sea of fans if he was going to persist in following through with the rule tonight. Sharing some choice words across the room I showed him my back and carried on photographing, hoping to not feel my jacket get dragged to the front door. It didn't, and I carried on shooting until the end. That was that one and only time I was able to photograph Amy, an evening to remember.