Paint The Town UK Tour - Carling Academy, Bristol UK (14 Dec 2005)
Last modified: 14 Dec 2005
Venue: Carling Academy, Bristol UK
Author: The Clare Martin
Date: 14 Dec 2005
It is the third night of the Paint The Town Tour at Bristol Carling Academy and there is a tangible air of excitement among the gathered crowd.
Support act Kendall Payne is very warmly received, particularly when she plays the ever-popular 'Supermodels' and gets a resounding cheer of agreement from every girl in the place. She finishes her set with a beautiful rendition of 'Silent Night' and tells us to enjoy Delirious.
After lightning-quick changes by the trusty crew, the band finally emerge amid smoke and deafening screams. Martin begins singing the chorus of 'Here I am Send Me' and looks very pleasantly surprised at the hundreds of voices singing along with him. Despite 'The Mission Bell' being only a few weeks old, the fans prove they're very much enjoying it already.
Next up are 'World Service' favourites 'Rain Down' and 'God In Heaven' followed by another newbie - the effortlessly cool 'Solid Rock.' It is obvious by this point that the band are taking great pleasure in showcasing the new album; Tim can't keep the grin from his face and Martin dances around the stage and wields his microphone stand at every opportunity.
The crowd quietens down as Martin explains the story behind 'Miracle Maker' before singing it. The total silence at the end of the song, eventually broken by demure applause proves just how powerful this song is live. Martin then leads the crowd in the chorus from 'Lord You Have My Heart' before the set picks up again with the haunting tones of 'Fires Burn' and set favourite 'History Maker'. "Are you still making history?" Martin asks; the response is definitely affirmative.
Martin ventures into the crowd and fearlessly bounces up and down during 'Paint The Town Red' leaving a very worried-looking Mr. Cattle behind him. They carry on seamlessly into 'Bliss' and the fantastic, pounding 'With You', finishing the set with 'Majesty' and 'Now Is The Time'. They leave the stage to a number of chants for 'The Happy Song', but not surprisingly, don't return and play it. Instead we are treated to an unexpected 'Love Falls Down' - in which Martin breaks a string but carries on, unfazed - and the atmospheric 'Take Off My Shoes' in which Martin actually does, revealing striped Dennis the Menace socks. Rock and Roll.
Outside as the roadies load up the truck and the band wander out, a young girl tells Martin "You help me to be a better Christian, thank you." It seems these five guys from Littlehampton still have an awful lot to say to the next generation.