Bristol Academy, World Service UK Tour - Bristol Academy (23 Jan 2004)
Last modified: 23 Jan 2004
Venue: Bristol Academy
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 23 Jan 2004
British fans outside of England's capital city have been through a barren spell in terms of Delirious? concerts. In 2003 all of the band's UK gigs were confined to London, so when the Littlehampton five decided to make amends in 2004 and start the year with a UK tour, the fans were ready and waiting.
A near capacity crowd of around 1000 people searched for every vantage point in the Bristol Academy venue. The most eager took up position inches from the stage; others found a raised area near the back; some even crowded onto stairways and balconies, all trying to get a clear view of Delirious?
Stu G's guitar roared into action to signal the opening song, Grace Like A River, as the lights came up to reveal a stage complete with satellite dishes and TV aerials. The communications theme established on the artwork of the band's latest album World Service had made its way into the live show.
Continuing with another track from that latest album, Delirious? moved smoothly into Rain Down. Despite being a relative newcomer to the repertoire, nearly every voice in the room joined in. But the crowd were only just warming up, and as the instantly recognisable opening of Deeper began, lead singer Martin found himself almost jobless. Standing back with a broad smile across his face he left the crowd to sing the first verse, before joining them for the chorus.
With energy levels already pulsating, Delirious? went into overdrive as they launched headlong into Take Me Away. As the song reached fever pitch Stew's arms turned into a blur at the drums, signalling his trademark face of deep concentration for the drum solo. Taking over with a solo of his own, Stu G rocked his way through a stunning piece of guitar magic.
God In Heaven was the next song, and as it ended Martin continued repeating the line "To God in Heaven, be the glory" in a moment of pure passion. When the singing finally lulled, a few seconds of silence spread throughout the crowd, before being shattered by an enormous applause.
As the stage fell dark, a single spotlight illuminated Martin and with a powerful unaccompanied voice he started to sing King Or Cripple. It was Stu G's turn to take over the singing for the next song, as the soothing tone of Inside Outside led into a frenzied cry of "You're all over me" from Martin. Once again the lights dimmed, this time to be replaced by a ribbon of fairy lights stretching from end to end of the stage to make a perfect atmosphere for Majesty.
Delirious? reached deep into their memory as they gave What A Friend I've Found a rare live outing. Tim joined in with his trumpet and 1000 fans sung the hearts out. Extending on for several minutes, the band finally came to an end. "I felt like I was singing that in my lounge" Martin said, "then I opened my eyes and realised there was 1000 people out there!". He went on to apologise that it had been so long since they last toured in the UK and promised that 2004 would be "the English year".
Its Ok came next, with white lights and glitter ball effects. Then it was time for some serious 'moshing' as Bliss erupted like an over excited volcano. Choosing to answer calls from the crowd to sing Happy Song, Delirious? gave their updated hyperactive version, before keeping the momentum going with new song Feel It Comin On. The rocking continued into My Glorious, before quietening down to a worshipful chant of "Glory glory, send your glory" that the crowd refused to give up.
Sat alongside a keyboard, Martin performed the movingly emotion charged, Mountains High, a tribute to a friend recently passed away. If one song more than any other demonstrates a Delirious? performance at its best, then Investigate is surely it. Playing it tonight you could see each of the band battling with their instruments, none more so than Jon whose stunning bass lines threatened to shake the walls to pieces of rubble. Throughout the song glow-in-the-dark images shone brightly in the moody purple lighting.
Leaving the stage for a short pause, Delirious? returned for a two song encore. Firstly it was the piano led Every Little Thing, with lyrics sung from the heart. Ending the evening with the ever pleasing History Maker, Delirious? left the stage smiling and a contented audience made their way home happy to have once again seen their favourite band playing live.