Greenbelt Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse (27 Aug 2007)
Last modified: 27 Aug 2007
Venue: Cheltenham Racecourse
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 27 Aug 2007
Greenbelt is easily the longest running and most widely known 'Christian' music festival in the UK. The thousands of people who attend make up an interesting demographic of ages and backgrounds, making the crowd who loyally stayed at the festival until the final evening, a unique mix of old and new, both in terms of age and knowledge of Delirious?
'Mainstage' is located in a field next to the racecourse, with endless other fields of tents stretching into the distance on one side, and a collection of other tented-stages and catering vans on the other. The large mainstage afforded the procession of bands who graced its presence plenty of space to entertain the ever growing crowd. A healthy gaggle of onlookers had arrived by mid-afternoon to watch the ever-entertaining 'Chas & Dave' do their thing, before other acts such as Iain Archer and Duke Special took to the stage as day turned to evening. Gradually the daylight faded and the stage was changed for the umpteenth time, this time preparing the way for the headline act, the final band of the 2007 festival.
Delirious? strolled onto stage to open, rather surprisingly, with a new song. God Is Smiling soon had the fans singing along, with its rock sound and speedy rhythm. Bravely, for an outdoors concert, Delirious? continued with Rain Down. Thankfully the heavens didn't open on this occasion and with the crowd now on more familiar territory the jumping began and the singing commenced.
Stu's classy guitar opening for Solid Rock drew more cheers as the band continued to please the fans with their energetic opening numbers. Martin reached for his trusty bright red megaphone to belt out the rap, sending the hoards of photographers into a frenzy. Then it was time for some quiet reminiscences, as Martin remembered their first performance at Greenbelt some 10 years previously. "I was so nervous" he told the crowd, to some sympathetic "Ahh's". "Well, we did have to share a stage with Cliff" Martin joked.
Now Is The Time came next, with Tim coming to life on the keys. Next Martin decided to teach the crowd another new song, We Give You Praise. Starting out as a quiet, almost balladesque song, but slowly building to a more upbeat tune, it gave the fans another insight to the new album the band are working on.
Just a few days prior to this concert Delirious? had returned from a month spent in Asia, and Martin described to the crowd some of the clearly heart wrenching sights they had seen there. He talked about watching kids climbing over rubbish heaps and amazing events happening in Cambodia. The stories gave even more poignancy to the next song, Miracle Maker, which wowed the whole festival into near silence. With hands raised high in the sky as far as the eye could see, the air of holiness lingered like a layer of mist descending on the crowd. Moving neatly on to History Maker, the excitement and almost boisterous singing returned, before being replaced again with a more reverent air as Martin worked the chorus of God Is Smiling back into the tune.
Some frantic drumming and deeply reverberating bass brought Paint The Town Red to life, with eyes torn between the clever video on the big screen and the show-like performance on the stage. Martin could have stayed in the dressing room for the next song. Majesty sounded like a choir had taken over the singing as what seemed like a million voices from the crowd sung the chorus in word perfect fashion. A few gentle encouragements from the band kept the song going, and with an instrumental link Our God Reigns continued the worshipful end to the set.
Through the pitch blank night sky a guitar once again sprung into action, as Stu brought the band back for an encore of Here I Am Send Me. The crowd sung and clapped louder than ever before. Delirious? brought the Greenbelt Festival to a close, bowing out with waves to the crowd in return for an applause that said that this band had done its job. As the headline band, they certainly delivered a headline performance.