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From U2 to Muse, the stunning photography of Andy Willsher

  • One of NME's top photographers, Andy Willshire is giving a talk on March 31st at the British Music Experience at London's O2. Here he talks us through some of his most iconic shots, starting with: U2. Dublin, May 2009. "It was a pretty quick but amazing to shoot" he remembers.

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Coldplay. Isle Of Wight Festival, June 2006. "I remember them having to build the extra stage to take them close to the crowd and it'll always be dated by that England inflatable football on the stage."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Muse. Reading Festival, 2006. "This was taken literally about five minutes after the band had come off stage from their first headline appearance at the festival. I was really hoping they'd go with this as the cover image but they chose a live shot instead."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Damon Albarn. Hammersmith, February 2010. "For Gorillaz's NME cover this year, the idea was for Jamie Hewlett to illustrate his cartoon characters around Damon. Basically, Jamie shouted out words over my shoulder and Damon pulled some amazing faces."

    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Aphex Twin. Times Square, New York, November 1999. "I'd shot Richard before and he was into having either masks or massive bears in the shots. This time, it was in the middle of Times Square and he had a couple of friends with him wearing masks of Richard's face."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Vampire Weekend. Latitude Festival, July 2010. "The band were headlining the Sunday evening of Latitude and had planned a pyro display for the last song. Due to health and safety, the only place I could stand was directly behind the drummer."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • The Raconteurs. Reading Festival, August 2008. "This was taken in the afternoon at Reading Festival. They had been depicted on the album sleeve in a picture frame and I thought I'd steal that idea."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Florence Welch. Isle Of Wight Festival, June 2010. "This was taken literally two minutes before Florence walked on stage at Isle Of Wight. The sun was setting in The Solent behind her. It definitely suited her dress, too."

    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Bloc Party. Tempelhoff Airport, Berlin, October 2009. "This was taken at the closing party of the legendary Tempelhoff Airport before it closed to all commercial flights, and I thought it'd be good to shoot them in the arrivals hall."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Biffy Clyro. Isle Of Wight Festival, June 2010. "This was actually taken during England's first game at the World Cup and I was a bit worried the crowd wasn't going to be that big. You can see how popular they are."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • The Cure. Dallas, August 2004. "I'd just finished taking some posed shots of Robert in front of a massive 18-wheeler truck and I'd pretty much finished the shoot and then noticed a Harley Davidson bike parked next to it. I thought, 'he's never going to sit on that but I'll ask anyway.' He did decline, but said he'd sit in the golf buggy instead."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • The Libertines. Manchester Academy, tour bus, February 2004. "I was shooting the band for an on-the-road cover story and it was proving tricky getting Pete and Carl together for some shots. I think it was the third day that it finally happened at the back of the tour bus for a very quick five minute shoot."

    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • The View. East London, January 2011. "This was the cover shot of their new album and I think it was Kyle's idea to dress in the red suit and have the face paint. The idea to was depict a post-gig/party scenario, so we hired a pub in the East End."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Bobby Gillespie. Chalk Farm, London, April 2008. "I think the brief of the shoot beforehand was to go for a Clash/Jo Strummer style shot and after we'd done that, I really wanted to go for a David Bailey 60's style. Thankfully, Bobby and the polka-dot shirt made it easy for me."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Dizzee Rascal. King's Cross, London, October 2003. "This was really early on in Dizzee's career, and he was doing a video with Basement Jaxx. He was pretty shy at the time, but I'll never forget that jacket he was wearing."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • The White Stripes. Berkeley, San Fransisco, September 2003. "This was the first gig the band had done after Jack broke his finger and it was so lucky they were playing this amazing ampitheatre where they had these concrete thrones that were almost made for the band."

    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Ian Brown & Noel Gallagher. Shoreditch, London, August 2004. "Noel had played guitar on Ian's single and also appeared in the video that was shot on an estate near Old Street. Ian thought it'd be a great idea to get all the kids together for a group shot."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Thom Yorke. Milton Keynes Bowl, July 1995. "Radiohead were supporting REM at Milton Keynes Bowl and Thom was up for doing some solo shots to kill some time. It being a roasting hot day, I thought the ice cream would make a great prop. I wasn't expecting him to smear it over his face though."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Arctic Monkeys. Sheffield, Snooker Hall, July 2005. "This was for their first press shots just after they'd signed to Domino. They really felt at home at their local snooker hall, so we decided to spend a couple of hours there eating bacon sandwiches."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Super Fury Animals. Old Kent Road, London. "This was for their first feature for NME and for some crazy reason, I thought it'd be a great idea to wrap the band up in tin foil. Even more surprising was that the band were up for it and duly obliged."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Mumford & Sons. Regent's Park, August 2008. "The band had just recorded a radio session on Marylebone High St and I'd suggested meeting in Regent's Park. I was pretty surprised to see they still had all their instruments with them, and I had my ten-week old puppy, who Marcus gladly held onto."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • James Allan, Glasvegas. Cambridge Junction, November 2009. "This was shot for a Christmas feature for NME and I had the idea of using sparklers. But the only place to do the shots was in the dressing room toilet and there was so much smoke coming off them we both nearly suffocated."

    Photo: Andy Willsher/NME

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Elliott Smith. Oxford Street, London. "Elliott was on his first visit to the UK to play at The Borderline and I thought I'd do the shots on Oxford Street just round the corner. He does seem very serene with all the madness going on behind him."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Paul Weller. The Social, West End, August 2010. "This was taken for Uncut and I must admit to feeling quite nervous, as I'd grown up with The Jam. The prospect of directing Paul felt quite daunting. He turned up, had a cup of tee and uttered the words, 'Where do you want me, young man?' What a gent."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011

  • Kasabian. Brixton Academy, London, August 2006. "This was the first gig in a week I spent with Kasabian that summer, and this was right at the very end of 'Club Foot'. You knew from that moment they'd be a massive festival headlining band."

    Photo: Andy Willsher

    Added: 16 Mar 2011