Jun 14 - The 'Game of Thrones' Live Concert Experience

June 14, 2018.

Yesterday I got to see Ramin Djawadi conduct "Game of Thrones Live" at Wembley SSE Arena. I'm a pretty big fan - I was at the premiere of Season 5 outside the Tower of London... and I even own 6/7ths of the soundtracks!

Here's how it went down (commentary pending):

 Feel free to sit on the chair at the back of the stage. It's really REALLY uncomfortable.

Feel free to sit on the chair at the back of the stage. It's really REALLY uncomfortable.

  "I gotta be honest with you - with the screen playing in the background you're going to see a lot of spoilers if you're not fully up to date with the show..."

"I gotta be honest with you - with the screen playing in the background you're going to see a lot of spoilers if you're not fully up to date with the show..."

 I can't quite believe what I'm seeing (my seat is at the far end of the SSE).... but 'Rains of Castamere' is a pretty great tune.

I can't quite believe what I'm seeing (my seat is at the far end of the SSE).... but 'Rains of Castamere' is a pretty great tune.

 Cover your kids' eyes, parents - this isn't Avengers-level violence (though, weirdly, the death toll is considerably smaller than Infinity War....)

Cover your kids' eyes, parents - this isn't Avengers-level violence (though, weirdly, the death toll is considerably smaller than Infinity War....)

 I couldn't quite photograph it properly in the lighting, but this is a circular organ being played by Ramin Djawadi.

I couldn't quite photograph it properly in the lighting, but this is a circular organ being played by Ramin Djawadi.

  "Don't worry, folks. It's all part of the show.... (pssst.....hey Barry.... is this part of the show, right??)"  It coincided with the music for the Battle of Kings Landing, so I'm guessing so...

"Don't worry, folks. It's all part of the show.... (pssst.....hey Barry.... is this part of the show, right??)" It coincided with the music for the Battle of Kings Landing, so I'm guessing so...

  "You're welcome. And thank you for your concern - most of the mist has cleared and I can breathe normally again"

"You're welcome. And thank you for your concern - most of the mist has cleared and I can breathe normally again"

  "Yeah I play circular organs. Who doesn't?"

"Yeah I play circular organs. Who doesn't?"

 Dragons. So hot right now... . .. not as hot as unicorns, mind you, but still hot.

Dragons. So hot right now...
... not as hot as unicorns, mind you, but still hot.

  "I'm not going to paper over it... a lot of people have died in this series so far. But it's still kind of awesome"

"I'm not going to paper over it... a lot of people have died in this series so far. But it's still kind of awesome"

  "Well... good luck outrunning those Ed Sheeran fans, whose concert nextdoor at Wembley Stadium is scheduled to end about the same time as we are..."

"Well... good luck outrunning those Ed Sheeran fans, whose concert nextdoor at Wembley Stadium is scheduled to end about the same time as we are..."

 Fine... I'll stay for the encore. I'll back myself to outrun those fans of Ed Sheeran.

Fine... I'll stay for the encore. I'll back myself to outrun those fans of Ed Sheeran.

 "Catch ya next time - we'll be at the private bar, and you'll be on the way to the tube station trying to get home". It's 10:45pm and I assume I'll be home maybe around 1am....

"Catch ya next time - we'll be at the private bar, and you'll be on the way to the tube station trying to get home". It's 10:45pm and I assume I'll be home maybe around 1am....

After that the concert had kind of a 'closing credits' In Memoriam section of all the dearly (or not-so-dearly) departed characters of the show in the 7 seasons shown so far.... (note : it went on for MANY minutes, and I didn't photograph all of them)

 Two Starks, a Khal... and a stableboy.

Two Starks, a Khal... and a stableboy.

 Alas, poor 'Biter' - he left us far too soon.  (Joffrey got a lot of cheers of good humour... the ones for Oberyn and Ygritte were more muted)

Alas, poor 'Biter' - he left us far too soon.
(Joffrey got a lot of cheers of good humour... the ones for Oberyn and Ygritte were more muted)

 Ah....Ramsey Bolton. That death scene of his could have been half an hour longer and I wouldn't have minded. And...  sniff...  HODOR ....

Ah....Ramsey Bolton. That death scene of his could have been half an hour longer and I wouldn't have minded. And... sniff... HODOR....

 LOL - she killed the whole house. THE WHOLE HOUSE.

LOL - she killed the whole house. THE WHOLE HOUSE.

So... that was all kinds of excellent. And once we left, and battled out way through the throngs of crowds from not one but TWO concerts, and got on a tube where holding onto rails wasn't necessary as the sheer overcrowding kept people upright... and after I got my train on the World's Worst Train Service <TM>.... I had to admit it was totally worth it.

Can't wait for the next one!

ps. if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals (or, more often, premiere journals) feel free to follow me on facebook at premeiresdotco, or on twitter at berndt2_photo.

2018 - Trooping The Colour

June 9th, 2018.

Just like last year and the year before that, I headed in to London early on a Saturday morning in June to photograph a fairly quintessential British tradition : Trooping The Colour. Two cameras, four roving vantagepoints, and a full 2-step metal ladder of the kind security would probably punch your lights out at a premiere rather than explain why that's not appropriate. But then London has so very few premieres these days.... <insert respectful silence>

Anyway. Trooping the Colour : here's how it went down.

 Position 1 was inside The Park, about halfway up The Mall. You might think taking a small step-ladder to an event is somehow "cheating" but given the abandon with which the crowd holds mobile phones aloft, it's barely all I can do in this particular Arms Race.

Position 1 was inside The Park, about halfway up The Mall. You might think taking a small step-ladder to an event is somehow "cheating" but given the abandon with which the crowd holds mobile phones aloft, it's barely all I can do in this particular Arms Race.

 Looks like I can go home early - I've photographed Her Majesty already!

Looks like I can go home early - I've photographed Her Majesty already!

  "You're saying you want to borrow this costume for the next time your train company has a 'meet the management' event? Probably not a good idea..."  Hey, those guys are apparently legally entitled to rob me, and I'm not allowed to get angry. How is that fair??

"You're saying you want to borrow this costume for the next time your train company has a 'meet the management' event? Probably not a good idea..." Hey, those guys are apparently legally entitled to rob me, and I'm not allowed to get angry. How is that fair??

 I meanwhile, am wearing jeans, and a blue t-shirt under a black hoodie (the hoodie is not over my head because did you see that dude in the prior photo? I'm pretty sure if he has an issue with your hoodie, it's not on the basis of fashion.

I meanwhile, am wearing jeans, and a blue t-shirt under a black hoodie (the hoodie is not over my head because did you see that dude in the prior photo? I'm pretty sure if he has an issue with your hoodie, it's not on the basis of fashion.

  "Excuse me... is this the right place?"  Well, that depends on several things, Sir. But probably not.

"Excuse me... is this the right place?" Well, that depends on several things, Sir. But probably not.

  "Of course, we only truly swear fealty to King Richard, but we understand he's off fighting in the Crusades at the moment...."

"Of course, we only truly swear fealty to King Richard, but we understand he's off fighting in the Crusades at the moment...."

  "Am I really the only one who just realised we're a just round of daiquiris away from a bitchin' conga line? Y'all are squares. Well-armed squares, mind you...."

"Am I really the only one who just realised we're a just round of daiquiris away from a bitchin' conga line? Y'all are squares. Well-armed squares, mind you...."

  "The pen is mightier than the sword, Steve. So what do you think this SA-80 is?" "That depends on whether the safety is on or off...."

"The pen is mightier than the sword, Steve. So what do you think this SA-80 is?"
"That depends on whether the safety is on or off...."

  "Can you take the next corner fast enough that the carriage only goes on two wheels? I just saw a Vin Diesel movie last night, and I'm dying to know.."  Camilla Duchess of Cornwall

"Can you take the next corner fast enough that the carriage only goes on two wheels? I just saw a Vin Diesel movie last night, and I'm dying to know.." Camilla Duchess of Cornwall

 The newly married Harry and Meghan (the Duke and Duchess of Sussex). Between you and me, much of my wealth in retirement depends greatly on whether anyone else also kept their commemorative "When Harry Met Megan" ITSU meal label(s). If you're interested, call me. And bring lots of gold.

The newly married Harry and Meghan (the Duke and Duchess of Sussex). Between you and me, much of my wealth in retirement depends greatly on whether anyone else also kept their commemorative "When Harry Met Megan" ITSU meal label(s). If you're interested, call me. And bring lots of gold.

  "Is this number of people going to show up whenever we buy groceries too?"

"Is this number of people going to show up whenever we buy groceries too?"

  "The Leg Room is even better this year..."  It's the Queen!! Her husband Prince Philip (who turns 97 tomorrow) retired from public appearances last year, so she rode alone in her carriage.

"The Leg Room is even better this year..." It's the Queen!! Her husband Prince Philip (who turns 97 tomorrow) retired from public appearances last year, so she rode alone in her carriage.

 With the Queen's carriage having passed by, I switched to Location 2 - still inside the park, but facing East and across to Horse Guards Palace where the actual "Trooping the Colour" is held.

With the Queen's carriage having passed by, I switched to Location 2 - still inside the park, but facing East and across to Horse Guards Palace where the actual "Trooping the Colour" is held.

  "A full second circuit around the horse guards palace? One assumes you're building up speed for a sick burnout.... otherwise you're just wasting time."

"A full second circuit around the horse guards palace? One assumes you're building up speed for a sick burnout.... otherwise you're just wasting time."

  "You're all doing a great job, whatever it is that it's your job to do, I'm sure. And if my carriage does a third circuit, your new job will be to stop it by any means necessary."

"You're all doing a great job, whatever it is that it's your job to do, I'm sure. And if my carriage does a third circuit, your new job will be to stop it by any means necessary."

  "One can't help but notice that the plate of Doritos one clearly remembers having ordered.... has not yet been delivered...."

"One can't help but notice that the plate of Doritos one clearly remembers having ordered.... has not yet been delivered...."

 Above the Queen's pergola, in what I assume is luxuriously airconditioned splendour. I myself am standing in the shade, but could use a drink. It's been a while since my morning coffee and hastily eaten Sausage'n'Egg McMuffin.

Above the Queen's pergola, in what I assume is luxuriously airconditioned splendour. I myself am standing in the shade, but could use a drink. It's been a while since my morning coffee and hastily eaten Sausage'n'Egg McMuffin.

 There's only so much obscured marching I find compelling, so before they closed down the road to foot traffic (again), I crossed the street to Location 3, facing diagonally south-east. The presence of numerous free-lance photographers (who arrived afterwards) suggested it was fairly well-chosen.

There's only so much obscured marching I find compelling, so before they closed down the road to foot traffic (again), I crossed the street to Location 3, facing diagonally south-east. The presence of numerous free-lance photographers (who arrived afterwards) suggested it was fairly well-chosen.

 I... don't really have anything to add. Maybe I should've erased his mobile phone number from the sign, but I don't answer to alternative corporate sponsors who could object.

I... don't really have anything to add. Maybe I should've erased his mobile phone number from the sign, but I don't answer to alternative corporate sponsors who could object.

 But... why would anyone wake up one day and decide to wear only 1/4 of the Australian flag??

But... why would anyone wake up one day and decide to wear only 1/4 of the Australian flag??

  "I'm looking at a cute blonde standing to the east, wearing a police uniform.... I kinda want to ask her out on a date.... and I probably shouldn't be talking this loudly directly in front of her. Cameron out."

"I'm looking at a cute blonde standing to the east, wearing a police uniform.... I kinda want to ask her out on a date.... and I probably shouldn't be talking this loudly directly in front of her. Cameron out."

 I hear the replacement model is shoulder-mounted...

I hear the replacement model is shoulder-mounted...

  "I saw a dude. Looked just like you on the other side of the Mall just an hour ago. You two should meet up. One of you is probably evil... "

"I saw a dude. Looked just like you on the other side of the Mall just an hour ago. You two should meet up. One of you is probably evil... "

  "And that's when I knew my promising rap career was almost certainly over..."

"And that's when I knew my promising rap career was almost certainly over..."

  "I can still rhyme more things with 'yo' than most emcees can...."

"I can still rhyme more things with 'yo' than most emcees can...."

  "I think they want us to sign that Itsu container they're holding. I don't know why, but feel like I think we should..."

"I think they want us to sign that Itsu container they're holding. I don't know why, but feel like I think we should..."

  "Send it to us "C/o The Queen" and it'll almost certainly get to us, guys!!"

"Send it to us "C/o The Queen" and it'll almost certainly get to us, guys!!"

  "THAT'S your good deed for the day?" "You gotta pay it forward, babe..."

"THAT'S your good deed for the day?"
"You gotta pay it forward, babe..."

 Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, or Beatrice and Eugenie (I don't know which one is which, though they did attend a premiere once, for    "The Young Victoria" back in 2009   )

Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice, or Beatrice and Eugenie (I don't know which one is which, though they did attend a premiere once, for "The Young Victoria" back in 2009)

  "I wanted another horse alongside carrying cymbals... but they said no"

"I wanted another horse alongside carrying cymbals... but they said no"

  "Wait for it... wait for it..... oh, damnit - I waited too long for it"

"Wait for it... wait for it..... oh, damnit - I waited too long for it"

  "I am one with the force... the force is with me... I am one with the force... the force is with me".  (I suspect the force of Disney's lawyers is not with me).

"I am one with the force... the force is with me... I am one with the force... the force is with me". (I suspect the force of Disney's lawyers is not with me).

 Everyone else having gotten the f'' out of the way, The Queen makes her return to Buck House

Everyone else having gotten the f'' out of the way, The Queen makes her return to Buck House

  "I just don't like driving in traffic...."

"I just don't like driving in traffic...."

  "16 Across.... C-H-U-M-B-A-W-U-M-B-A...... "

"16 Across.... C-H-U-M-B-A-W-U-M-B-A...... "

 Princess Anne is The Queen's...... I'm gonna say Daughter, but I'm also gonna have to check that on wikipedia because even after all these years I'm still hazy on the royal family.

Princess Anne is The Queen's...... I'm gonna say Daughter, but I'm also gonna have to check that on wikipedia because even after all these years I'm still hazy on the royal family.

  "Are we allowed to be up here? Umm... that depends on whether you're asking just to be polite, or whether the gun you're holding is an important part of the question..."    With everyone from the royals to their numerous guests having passed by us on the Mall, gates are opened and we are allowed to follow. I've got about six minutes to find a spot before the 21-gun salute ends and the RAF fly-bys begin. And I'm carrying a ladder, heavy cameras, and everyone is stopping to take selfies on The Mall... argh...

"Are we allowed to be up here? Umm... that depends on whether you're asking just to be polite, or whether the gun you're holding is an important part of the question..."

With everyone from the royals to their numerous guests having passed by us on the Mall, gates are opened and we are allowed to follow. I've got about six minutes to find a spot before the 21-gun salute ends and the RAF fly-bys begin. And I'm carrying a ladder, heavy cameras, and everyone is stopping to take selfies on The Mall... argh...

 Location 4 is to the 'left' and to the side of the Victoria Monument. It's not hugely crowded (most of the people try to get closer but I kinda want to use my fish-eye lens to capture some of the fly-bys)

Location 4 is to the 'left' and to the side of the Victoria Monument. It's not hugely crowded (most of the people try to get closer but I kinda want to use my fish-eye lens to capture some of the fly-bys)

 Lens envy... deactivated.

Lens envy... deactivated.

  "Why do we have to let the commoners get so close to the palace? We're definitely sure they've showered and aren't like infected with a zombie virus or something? And how do we know?"

"Why do we have to let the commoners get so close to the palace? We're definitely sure they've showered and aren't like infected with a zombie virus or something? And how do we know?"

  "Are they using those new quiet jet engines when they fly past? They don't have to make a lot of noise just to impress me..."

"Are they using those new quiet jet engines when they fly past? They don't have to make a lot of noise just to impress me..."

 I think once again it's worth pointing out that, like last year (and in contrast to what you'd expect of 100% of gatherings even half this size).... not one person on the balcony is using a mobile phone. Except possibly the boy on the left the girl on the right.

I think once again it's worth pointing out that, like last year (and in contrast to what you'd expect of 100% of gatherings even half this size).... not one person on the balcony is using a mobile phone. Except possibly the boy on the left the girl on the right.

  "Every time I fly in one of these, I kinda want to see a Cloverfield monster or Godzilla terrorising this city. Is that wrong?"

"Every time I fly in one of these, I kinda want to see a Cloverfield monster or Godzilla terrorising this city. Is that wrong?"

  "Yes, your grandma owns all of these planes. Or so is my understanding."

"Yes, your grandma owns all of these planes. Or so is my understanding."

  "Dusting crops? Right here and now? How inconvenient... somebody should talk to the Minister for Agriculture..."

"Dusting crops? Right here and now? How inconvenient... somebody should talk to the Minister for Agriculture..."

 My glands are swelling with patriotic mucus as we speak.

My glands are swelling with patriotic mucus as we speak.

  "Wave back! Wave back! Wave back!!!"

"Wave back! Wave back! Wave back!!!"

  "Fine. I'll wave. Now get off my lawn... metaphorically."

"Fine. I'll wave. Now get off my lawn... metaphorically."

So... that was that. An enjoyable diversion, and some much needed photography practice (and/or Vitamin D) in advance of next week where, amazingly, London is scheduled to have a premiere for Oceans 8. I'll believe it when I see it. But it's one for The Archive, and that's not bad.

Until next time!

ps. if you ever want to know when I post one of these journals, feel free to follow me on facebook at premieresdotco, or on twitter at berndt2_photo.

And if you ever need me to photograph your royal wedding, coronation, or private whist tournament or whatever... just let me know!