Camden Underworld, Christmas Concert - Camden Underworld, London (17 Dec 2003)
Last modified: 17 Dec 2003
Venue: Camden Underworld, London
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 17 Dec 2003
Delirious? opened the first night of their run of five consecutive concerts at the Camden Underworld in London in buoyant fashion. The nature of the tiny venue meant that the 500 fans packed into the room were virtually rubbing shoulders with the band on stage. With nothing but sweaty bodies from the stage to the back wall, the immense atmosphere erupted into euphoria as the five members of Delirious? walked out onto the stage.
The band made their intentions for the night clear from the outset, opening straight away with 'Grace Like A River', the first track from their new album 'World Service'. By the time the next song, 'Rain Down' had started it was clear that this was going to be an evening to showcase the new album. When Martin commented to the fans that "some of you might have heard we've got a new record out" the cheers that greeted him, followed by the full throttle singing, were evidence that he was right.
Clearly not wanting to alienate any fans who, perish the thought, hadn't yet bought the new album, Delirious? brought out a couple of big hitters in the shape of 'Deeper', instantly recognisable by its opening guitar scream, and 'Take Me Away', equally familiar with its simple piano-style start. With pulsating lighting, the band launched into the new rock-epic 'God In Heaven', which was sung by the crowd as if it was the national anthem.
'King Or Cripple', stripped back almost acoustically, came next. The band haven't performed it live for a few years, so it was understandable when in the second verse Martin completely forgot the words. As he fell silent, and the band played on, the fans showed they had excellent memories and helped Martin out by singing the words for him. He soon caught up, and there were smiles all round.
As the opening notes of 'Majesty' began, the stage fell dark, and Christmas lights shone brightly from all over the stage. Lit only by the lights wound around their microphone stands, Martin and Stu sung in perfect unison. The soft lighting continued for 'Its Ok' as a glitter ball filled the room with moving white lights. An unexpected sound joined in during the chorus as Tim pulled out a trumpet from behind his keyboards. The result was very well received.
Next it was time for another run of new songs. Stu introduced 'Everyone Knows', explaining how it started out as a song for Jon and his wife Kristen. The awesome 'Inside Outside' came next, with Stu's guitar ringing out with pure brilliance. No matter how good that song sounds on the new CD, nothing can beat how it sounded live. With Stu's vocal lead, and Martin taking over for the chorus, the song is destined for greatness.
The high powered 'Feel It Comin On' came pelting along next, as the floor resounded with the thumping beat. Keeping the tempo going Delirious? launched into 'Bliss' and the ever-popular 'History Maker'. 'My Glorious' finished off the loudest part of the evening, before Martin took up his seat behind a keyboard to introduce the next song. Explaining how a year ago John Thatcher senior, uncle of Jon and friend of the band, died unexpectedly, Martin gently played the emotion packed 'Mountains High'. The song reached an electric climax as all five members of the band played a tribute to the man they respected so much. Only one song could follow a moment like that, and as 'Investigate' came over the horizon it wound its intricate path across the stage, leaving a hushed pause before the loudest applause of the night.
Delirious? left the stage, returning after a short pause for an encore performance of 'Every Little Thing', with Martin playing the Rhodes piano. The crowd clearly loved hearing so many songs from the new album, and the mix with a few old favourites made this a superb concert. Equally the band appeared to relish the opportunity to try out their new material, and spread their wings a little. Hardly surprising after being cooped up in a studio for most of the year.