World Service UK Tour 2004 - Portsmouth Guildhall (05 Oct 2004)
Last modified: 05 Oct 2004
Venue: Portsmouth Guildhall
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 05 Oct 2004
The Portsmouth Guildhall was the venue for the very first night of the 2004 World Service UK Tour. It had been two years since Delirious? last put on a full UK Tour and three years since they lasted visited this south-coast city. The local fans clearly haven't forgotten about Delirious?, turning up in force to give the opening night of the tour a full-to-the-rafters adrenaline-rush vibe.
As five smartly dressed men emerged from the darkness on to the stage, the opening notes of Grace Like A River could barely be heard over the deafening applause. The stunning stage set featured large pillars of lights at each corner, whilst a huge LED video screen split into three sections hung from the ceiling. 'Matrix' styled coloured strands of rippling symbols appeared on the video screen as the band launched into their second song, Rain Down.
With his tussled hair and energetic movements, Martin Smith launched into the voice-straining Feel It Comin On, whilst the perfectly synchronised video showed Jon Thatcher dressed in a bright orange jump suit jogging along an otherwise black and white Littlehampton seafront. Keeping the 'World Service' theme going, Free came next with a stage bathed in pink light and a blue explosion of light on the video screens.
Two stunning songs filled with the most amazing sense of emotion followed: With You and the piano-led Mountains High. With the mood now more hushed, the worshipful Majesty provided even more tingles down the spines of the awe-filled crowd. Eight songs into the show, Delirious? decided to take a short break from World Service and entertain the crowd with some of their most well known trademark songs in the form of first History Maker and then My Glorious. The crowd responded in true d:fan style, jumping in time and screaming the lyrics back at the top of their voices.
With a more quiet ending, Martin kept the crowd singing 'My Glorious' as a sea of raised hands stretched from the stage to the very back. Meanwhile, the rest of the band had taken up new positions in a small huddle at the center of the stage. Tim sat behind the small Rhodes keyboard, Jon and Stu perched on stools with their guitars, and Stew sat in between them with a much reduced drum kit. As Martin joined them, Stu explained that it was time for their acoustic part of the night. What followed were three stripped down songs led by acoustic guitars. The style suited Everyone Knows perfectly. Then it was time for Stu to take over the lead vocals for the soothing Bicycle Gasoline, before the acoustic set ended with old favourite All The Way.
In complete contrast, Bliss rocked it's way to a frenzied climax with the band appearing in front of a green cyclone on the video screen. Next Delirious? tried something different, launching into a medley of songs from their early years. A welcome live return to Louder Than The Radio was first, with Revival Town jumping in half-way through, seamlessly merged with Deeper and then King of Fools, accompanied by Martin's jester hat.
With the old songs taken care of, Delirious? next found time to perform the remaining World Service tracks, starting with Every Little Thing. Martin sat down to play the Rhodes, with the rest of the band joining in as the song moved into full flow. A monochrome kaleidoscope beating in time to the music was the background video for God In Heaven, and as it ended the band left the stage only to return for a much demanded encore.
Stu once again took control of the microphone for Inside Outside, as shots of the band driving through the rain at night showed on the video screen. If anyone in the crowd had been paying careful attention, they would have realised that only one song from the World Service CD was left: I Was Blind. The powerful ballad provided the perfect finale, with mood lighting adding to the atmosphere as the band were illuminated from the darkness by a string of fairy lights all around them.
Band and crowd shared mutual appreciation as Delirious? left the stage, with the fans making their gratitude known and the Littlehampton five acknowledging the immense support. With the first night under their belts, Delirious? once again set the standard for an incredible UK tour that will confirm their reputation as one of the best live bands in Christian music.