Every January, an intrepid bunch of idiots get together in a meeting room at work and attempt to learn a bunch of songs, which are then performed to a few hundred extremely drunk people at the Assembly, Leamington Spa’s lovely music venue. Said idiots call themselves The Occasionals, and I am proud to count myself amongst their number.
The Occasionals are an 8-piece outfit with no permanent singer - we provide the backing for a kind of extreme karaoke we call Star Factor. There is voting, and at the end of the evening one of our singers for the evening is crowned winner. What I love about it more than anything is that very few of the entrants seem, to me at least, to care one jot about the competition; it’s a chance to be on a real stage, with lights and everything, fronting a band, singing their favourite song to their friends. and colleagues. The chance to be a rock star for one night a year.
When I realised that ‘Bravo’ was going to coincide with Star Factor, it was clear what my subject matter was going to be. I set up my camera with the 11-16mm Ultrawide on the lip of the stage, using a Manfrotto Pocket and plenty of gaffer tape. I then ran a cable release along the stage to where I stood, so I could trigger it at appropriate moments. I switched the lens to manual focus and set it at infinity and, once the lighting chap had set his lights, picked the lowest ISO I could that would give me decent shutter speeds at f2.8. It was then just a case of hitting and hoping.