World Service UK Tour 2004 - Shepherds Bush Empire London (13 Oct 2004)
Last modified: 13 Oct 2004
Venue: Shepherds Bush Empire London
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 13 Oct 2004
Shepherds Bush Empire in London is a historic venue. The one-time theatre, now one of the city's most popular music venue, boasts stunning architecture and has played host to some of the biggest names in pop and rock music over the past few decades. With it's relatively small floor space and tiered balconies, the Empire always has an incredible atmosphere when crammed full of fans, jostling for elbow space to get as close to the stage as possible.
As the intro video appeared on the large screens at the back of the stage, a loud roar went up from the crowd. The band appeared on stage to the opening strains of Grace Like A River. Moving straight on into Rain Down, the fans took the opportunity to exercise their vocal chords joining in impressively for the chorus. Delirious? rocked their way through Feel It Comin On next, with the ecstatic crowd cheering throughout.
The slightly less fierce Free and With You came next, setting the scene for the most powerful song of the night, Mountains High. Seated at the Rhodes keyboard, Martin explained that the song was written for "big John Thatcher" who was "looking down from up there", gazing heavenwards as he spoke. Behind him, the video screen showed an animated mountain, with an alien figure slowly climbing up the side, finally reaching the summit at the climax of the song when the rest of the band joined in to provide the big ending.
The beautiful Majesty with StuG's perfectly toned guitar sound, continued the theme. Seeming to not want the song to come to an end, Martin continued the song on his own, setting a scene of worship across the room as he repeated the lyrics to Grace Like A River from earlier in the evening. With the stage cloaked in a gentle blue hue, and twinkling red lights breaking through the mist, the mood was divine.
Back to their roaring best, Delirious? led the fans through two classic songs always guaranteed to raise the sound levels: History Maker and My Glorious. Changing pace for a while, the band took up new positions around their acoustic instruments to perform highly memorable versions of Everyone Knows and then Bicycle Gasoline. Before continuing, Martin explained that his Mum was present that evening, and dedicated the next song, All The Way, to her.
Bliss was accompanied by moshing and bouncing, with the floor positively shaking in time to the music. "Credit where credit is due," said Martin, "Stew is having a good night tonight". Next an extended intro from StuG's guitar kept the crowd guessing as to what song the band were about to launch into. As the beat seemed to get faster and faster, Martin pogo'd his way into the double-speed version of Happy Song. Without reaching the end of the song, the band progressed seamlessly into the chorus of Deeper, before some how cutting the speed right down to jump into King Of Fools. At this point Martin's voice gave way, leaving him to ask Stu to help him out. Between them they finished the vocals, before Martin put on his jesters hat and rolled around the stage like a mad man.
Once again Martin sat down to play the Rhodes, this time telling the crowd that it was "phone a friend moment", and encouraging all those present who had a mobile phone to place a call to a friend and let them listen in to Every Little Thing. Those in the audience, and those listening on the other end of countless phones at home were treated to an immaculately sung ballad. A quick few lines of I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever followed, before Martin turned his attention to the next song, God In Heaven, whilst still playing the keyboard. After a few lines, the rest of the band joined in raising the song to rock proportions.
Filling off stage, Delirious? were soon to return for a much demanded encore. Inside Outside, featuring Stu's lead vocals, saw the band at their best. Jon's bass thundered out into the darkness and Stew seemed lost in a whir of clashing cymbals for several minutes. As everything started to calm down, the final song of the night I Was Blind echoed and reverberated over a sweat drenched venue. The twinkling fairy lights that surrounded the stage signalled the end of a superb concert. Without a doubt, the best band ever to come out of Littlehampton.