Merky in Nottingham

It all starts with me at work about to configure a virtual server for a new application. My phone vibrates on my desk with a message from Stormy asking what i’m doing. Based on experience I already know what this was about. Stormzy knew too, which is probably why he ended the text with ‘LOL’.
If you read the last piece I wrote for Certified UK about my shoot with Stormzy you will remember that it came out of a last minute opportunity which yielded great results. When I received the text, I felt a change sense of dejavu. I’ve been here before. This was my response to Big Mike. He laughed and then asked am I coming to the show. The show he was referring to was the first show on his sold out nationwide headline Live In The Flesh tour. Stormzy and his loyal fanbase sold out his tour quite fast which is impressive. The first stop on the tour was in a place called Rescue Rooms in Nottingham. Meanwhile, I was reading these texts which sitting in East London loading Google Maps to see how far it was (189 miles). I had a decision to make. Do I go home and do the norm or do I make a mad dash to North England? The next thing I knew, i was packing my things and rushing to the tube station to get back home. I entered my house like a tornado. Spin around picking up things to pack into my camera bag. Fortunately this was made easier by the fact that most things were already packed from my trip to BBC 1Xtra Live in Leeds. With my bags packed and my tank filled with petrol I made the 3 hour drive to Nottingham. The drive was painless. No traffic and good music carried me through. I arrived at the venue, collected my pass left at the door and went upstairs to the dressing rooms. I guess Stormzy figured I was coming because when he saw me he was pleasantly surprised. He quickly loaded snapchat and shot my cameo to his followers. Even my younger brother texted me and said he saw me. That was cool.
Everyone in the building was in good spirits. I got there quite late so unfortunately I missed and previous act such as Mo Stack and TE dness. By the time I got my camera sorted it was time to head to the stage. The place was packed! from the front to the back and even the balcony was filled with supporters singing football chants. The moment Stormzy stepped out on stage the crowd was electric. It was so hot. Like, really hot. I swear the AC wasn’t turned on because 10 seconds being on stage I couldn’t see anything through my lens. My lens was fogged up so much I couldn’t focus on Stormzy commanding the stage. He must have trained in high temperatures like a boxer because he showed no sign of slowing down. Running from end to end and jumping with energy. The crowd was giving as much energy as they were receiving. shouting every word to the songs back to the stage. The atmosphere was live! In the middle his set he slowed it down and spoke to the ladies. The guys in the crowd stood still whilst the ladies sang songs like Storm trooper and All That Matters. After a while he bring it right back for the mosh pit crew, who were in full effect making large circles in the middle of the crowd before jumping in like a scene from 300. I found myself getting caught up at time, putting my camera down and jumping to songs like Not The Deep and Wicked Skengman 4. Stormzy ended the show with Know Me From. At this point, he had the crowd in the palm of his hand. DJ Tiiny was mixing in the Grime beats that keep the show lively as Stormzy performed his last song with all of his friends jumping around on stage. The feeling was great. I was able to capture an artist doing what he loves with his people by his side in front of his supporters. Stormzy left everything on the stage that night.
After the last song we left the stage and made our way back upstairs. Everyone was shouting and big smiles was on everyones faces. Everyone was still buzzing from the show, uploading snapchats and tweets to everyone what happened. I managed to get a great picture from my camera, quickly edited it on my phone and sent it to Stormzy. He like it and posted it to his social media and it immediately gained a larger amount of likes. I said my goodbyes and went back to the car. It was at this point I could actually calm down and take in what I just experienced. I immediately got hype again. The same energy helped me get home.
Times like this I remember to make the best from all opportunities. I could’ve been at home watching youtube. Instead I was in another city taking pictures of one of the best artist in the country. Life is for living! Courtney F. Photo

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