Andy Willsher is responsible for some of the most iconic rock and indie photographs of the last two decades. Since he started working for the NME in 1993, he’s shot artists including Blur, Oasis, Amy Winehouse,U2, Paul Weller, Morrissey, Arcade Fire, The Prodigy and The Libertines.
After he’d built a portfolio with images of late 80′s goth bands that played his hometown Bedford, Willsher moved to London. He worked in a bank to pay for a new camera then took it on tour with a band called The Hollow Men. It was then he knew he had to be a rock photographer so once he’d returned Willsher began sending his photos to music magazines, hoping they’d use them. Eventually the NME got in touch. Now he’s one of their top photographers.
Willsher is known for his eye-popping images that represent a history of big acts that have graced the UK. From early Blur to U2′s 360 tour promo shots, Oasis on the pitch before they played Wembley and Pete Doherty sharing a mic with Carl Barat.
Willsher’s recent work in monochrome holds the same status in music photography history, with a photo of Pete Doherty in a flat with ‘Libertines forever’ scrawled on the wall, Mumford & Sons playing their instruments in a boat and that shot of Bono jumping in the air. This is his best collection yet. Why? Because everyone looks better in black and white. Even rock stars.
Go and see The Black and White Collection. It’s at The Book Club on Leonard St, Shoreditch until 31 December.