Paint The Town UK Tour - Shepherds Bush Empire, London UK (22 Dec 2005)
Last modified: 22 Dec 2005
Venue: Shepherds Bush Empire, London UK
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 22 Dec 2005
The esteemed Shepherds Bush Empire in London is a venue that is renowned for its illustrious reputation as one of the most respected and prestigious music venues in the UK, if not the world. Little wonder then that Delirious? love to play inside the historic walls of 'The Empire'. The band have notched up nine appearances here in the past seven years, and not once has the atmosphere been anything short of electrifying. Perhaps spurred on by that atmosphere, fans and band alike make any gig at The Empire special, but tonight had an added sense of occasion.
The 'Paint The Town' Tour had so far visited six cities around England, but before the year came to an end there was time for one final gig of the tour, and of the year. The 2000 capacity crowd had snapped up all available tickets for this show before the first Christmas card had even been sent. The reason? Delirious? have earned themselves a widely known reputation that their annual 'Christmas Show' is not one to be missed. And so, for the seventh year in succession, Delirious? entertained London with their end of year concert.
As the buzz of excitement bounced from wall to wall, the fans packed in shoulder to shoulder and jostled to get a view of the darkened stage. As the shadowy figures of five men emerged from the wings and took up position, the crowd erupted into what can only be described as an earth trembling roar. With guitars at the ready, Delirious? burst to life with their opening number, Here I Am Send Me, as the pent up adrenaline in the crowd exploded into singing.
Next up was Rain Down, sending the crowd into even more energetic bouncing and shouting. Keeping the frenzied pace going Delirious? moved on into My Glorious with the powerful white stage lights blinking and flashing in time to the hectic rhythm. With the song finished, Martin soon had the crowd singing a repeated chorus of "Glory, Glory" bringing the first mellow moment to the evening. With it's cowboy guitar riff and echoing drum beat, Solid Rock came next. Half way through Martin placed a call to TOBYMAC, holding his phone aloft for everyone to 'hear' the rap. The superb Fires Burn continued the Mission Bell theme, with the line "home is where the heart is" resounding around the room.
The familiar rhythmic pounding on Jon's bass and Stew's dum kit announced the next song, the epic Obsession. The song's intro alone is enough to send goose bumps down your arms and by the time they reached the chorus of "My heart burns for you" a sea of uplifted arms stretched for as far as the eye could see. Recognising the superb sound coming from the bass guitar, Martin finished the song with an invitation for some crowd appreciation: "Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Jon Thatcher", before paying tribute to Jon's "cheese cloth shirt".
Following one epic with another, Miracle Maker arrived next as the band played with astounding ferocity. The next smooth transition saw the band move from singing about 'The' Miracle Maker to 'all' the History Makers present this evening. It's always a song crowds love to sing along to, and tonight was no exception. Martin ventured into the crowd as the band continued to play, before jumping back on stage, only to return to the edge of the crowd during the next song, Paint The Town Red.
Starting with thrashing guitars, With You soon turned more mellow as Martin sung the second half of the song whilst playing the Rhodes piano. The result was simply stunning and the huge applause at the end suggested there were 2000 very appreciative people in the building. Jon's best bass of the night was reserved for the World Service worship song, Majesty. The reverberating sound made the floor vibrate as he tugged at his guitar strings, before the crowd's singing threatened to over power the whole band. The up-tempo Now Is The Time thumped it's way into life next, before Stu G made yet another guitar change as one final song from The Mission Bell made an appearance. Take Off My Shoes brings with it a truck load of emotion in Martin's voice and Tim's haunting keyboard sound helped to create an immense atmosphere, at times falling to near silence. Delirious? applauded their fans and departed the stage, only to return as a thunderous applause demanded an encore.
The rocky new version of Love Falls Down soon had the crowd bouncing again, that is once they'd recognised the completely revamped classic. Being just a few days before Christmas, it was perhaps inevitable that a little festive cheer might creep into the setlist tonight. With the main set finished, Stu G invited support artist Kendall Payne to join him on stage as the two of them dueted on Let It Snow. Finally the rest of the band returned to the stage, complete with Santa hats to perform a cover of the Cliff Richard Christmas hit, Mistletoe & Wine. Halfway through the song a million tiny pieces of shiny paper shimmered down from the ceiling creating the perfect Christmas scene.