Our photographer, Michael Robert Williams, shares one of his fantastic archive images with us, together with the story of the shoot.

<<R.E.M. London, 2008.

Another lockdown archive share; As I said before, I don’t shoot shows very often, preferring to enjoy the event. I find that if I’m shooting at a show, I’m not experiencing it in the same way.

However, this is one of my favourite show photos - for two reasons; i) I love R.E.M. and ii), I really like this photograph of Michael Stipe.

R.E.M. had been on my wish list of artists to shoot since before I was doing this for a living, but during those years their publicity photos were often handled by the legendary Dutch photographer, Anton Corbijn.  He and Stipe were friends too, so outside of certain circumstances, my best opportunity was to cover a show for now and keep hoping a portrait session could happen one day. Sadly R.E.M. disbanded before my hopes could be realised.  I guess they felt that they had run their course and achieved all they could in that form, Stipe saying 'All things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way.’

So, my show photos are my only images of one of my all-time favourite groups - for now at least.

This is R.E.M. (and my photo pass) >>