Christmas show 2005
Last modified: 23 Dec 2005
The Delirious? Christmas Show in London is becoming, quite simply, legendary. I arrived in London about 6pm, and turned up to an Italian restaurant not far from the Shepherds Bush Empire. The band, crew and a few family members were just finishing their meal, so I joined them for a quick drink before we walked to the venue. Jon had brought his eldest daughter Winona (nearly 5) along and Stu G had brought Mrs G and two very polite G daughters with him. Back inside the venue I decided to have a wander around on my own to see what's happening. Paul Smith is setting up the merchandise stand out the front, Andy Hutch is busying himself with lights and levers, Paul Burton twiddles a few knobs and Dave the roadie strums a guitar. Unusually for a Delirious? show there was not one, not two, but three support acts lined up for tonight's show.
Before long, the doors have opened and immediately a DJ is on stage 'spinning a few CDs' to keep the crowd entertained. I watch for a while from the side of the stage, stood in the position that Trevour the monitors engineer will occupy later in the evening when Delirious? are on stage (see above right). If you haven't been privileged to see backstage at the Shepherds Bush Empire, above left is a photo of the area immediately behind the stage. The door on the right leads onto 'stage left' (where the monitors desk is located) and the door opposite it on the left leads to a stair case that climbs several flights before leading to the band's dressing room and several other rooms. The small corridor that the photo is taken from leads around the back of the stage and is completely plastered with tour posters from all the major bands who have performed in this superb venue over the years. Every available piece of wall is covered with posters from the likes of David Bowie, Queen, Robbie Williams and plenty of other artists I've never heard of. Maybe there will be a Delirious? poster there one day! (I was half tempted to sneak one up there when nobody was looking)
Towards the end of the DJ's set, some Brazilian dancers were limbering up ready to go on stage. As bizarre as it sounds, that very narrow corridor was where they decided to do their stretching exercises. I hastily got out of their way as arms and legs started doing things that looked very painful to me. Once the dancers had finished, I moved out to 'front of house' and stood behind Andy Hutch's lighting desk with former crew member Colin who had turned up for the show (I think he was just there for the after show party to be honest). From there I watched Kendall Payne perform her half hour set before I returned backstage to find Delirious? in their dressing room getting ready to go on stage. Full of confidence they marched out onto the stage and proceeded to rock for the next hour and 45 minutes.
As usual for me, I ran around the venue taking photos from every available position. The sides of the stage, the 'pit' out front and up in the balcony. I had been pre-warned of the planned 'snow storm' during the final Christmas number, and so I duly made my way up to the balcony and stood ready with my camera for the snow to descend. It was then that the batteries on my camera decided to die, so in the darkness I frantically rushed to change them to a fresh set and just about got myself ready as the heavens opened and millions of tiny pieces of paper floated down over everyone (see below).
So another superb Delirious? concert came to an end. Here's to a great 2006. Happy Christmas everyone.