Paint The Town UK Tour - The Forum, Bath UK (08 Mar 2006)
Last modified: 08 Mar 2006
Venue: The Forum, Bath UK
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 08 Mar 2006
The first concert of 2006 on English soil and what a night it was. 'The Forum' in Bath is a deeply impressive venue with its magnificent Art Deco architecture. Downstairs saw a large standing area in front of the stage, followed by a seating area for those that choose not to be part of the moshing sweat pit. Upstairs a wide curving balcony gave idyllic views of the scene below.
The band walked on stage and oozed into an extended opening to Here I Am Send Me. With strobe lights flickering around the venue, Delirious? launched the gig in rocking form. Rain Down came next, closely followed by God In Heaven. Martin then took a few minutes out to speak to the crowd, telling them that "God is alive". The pounding drums of Fires Burn broke through the cheers, completing the World Service/Mission Bell sandwich - a theme repeated through much of the night.
A crimson sea of red light was projected onto the stage as Stu and Martin shared the vocals for Solid Rock. White spotlights burned through the darkness as the chorus proclaimed that "On Christ the solid rock we will stand". Those familiar with the album version will have noted that tonight Martin took on the TobyMacRap himself, and came out the winner. As Delirious? prepared for the next song, Martin asked Stu to play something while he "tuned up". "That's beautiful" he declared as Stu's guitar complied. A shout from the crowd for Bicycle Gasoline caught Martin off guard, but he duly took up the challenge, and as he started to sing Stu accompanied him with an impromptu first verse. "We used to get letters about what that song is about", said Martin afterwards. "We don't know ourselves!". Not much hope for the rest of us then!
Inside Outside came next and as it ended Martin started the crowd singing What A Friend I've Found. That intimate moment set the scene for the beautiful Majesty that followed. Before launching into the next song Martin removed his tie and loosened his collar, a sure sign that something energetic was about to happen, and indeed it did. History Maker had the crowd jumping manically and Paint The Town Red kept the momentum going.
The show continued with Now Is The Time and its blistering StuG guitar solo. "Are you enjoying it tonight?" asked Martin, "I'm loving it" he beamed. Picking up his bible, Martin read the story of the man Jesus told to pick up his bed and walk. It was the perfect way to lead into the stunning Miracle Maker. The soothing blue and red lights, together with Jon's pounding bass generated an electrifying atmosphere, leaving Martin on his knees. With the scent of worship in the air, there was only one song to finish the main set with: Take Off My Shoes. It may still be a new song, but hundreds of voices joined in to sing "Hold me, saviour of heaven and earth, King forever." The rapturous applause that Delirious? walked off the stage to was a clear indicator of the crowd's gratitude.
The encore began with a reworked version of Love Falls Down, much heavier than the original Mezzamorphis version. Stew's drums and Jon's bass provided the foundations, whilst Stu and Martin's driving guitars and Tim's bouncing notes continued to build the sound. The crowd clapped and jumped throughout. Delirious? finished the evening with Investigate which was met with a sea of raised arms and an immensely intimate atmosphere. The songs from The Mission Bell have now firmly established their place in the setlist and are the clear stars of the show, but the band still manage to fit in a few timeless old favourites that will never fade. Mission accomplished.