Central Hall, Southampton UK (13 Nov 2005)
Last modified: 13 Nov 2005
Venue: Central Hall, Southampton UK
Author: Dave Wood
Date: 13 Nov 2005
In the mid 1990's Delirious? led worship at a series of youth events called 'Cutting Edge'. The events started in Littlehampton and quickly spread to nearby Southampton, at the city's Community Church. A decade later and that same church was celebrating the refurbishment of Central Hall, the venue for those early Cutting Edge worship events. Inviting Delirious? back to lead worship seemed like a fitting way to re-open the building.
And so, with the venue filled to capacity exclusively with people from the church, Billy Kennedy (the church's leader) introduced Delirious? on stage to a warm applause from the audience. This was one of those nights which can only be described as a church service merged with a worship concert because it was neither a Delirious? gig nor a standard 'service'. The band's choice of music reflected this as they opened the evening with the Chris Tomlin worship song 'How Great Is Our God'. It was definitely Delirious? 'leading' worship rather than 'performing' a worship song. Played gently and with plenty of opportunities for the crowd to lead the singing, it set the scene for a moving night.
The band left the stage as some prayers and a short talk were given. Then Delirious? returned to perform some of their own tracks. 'Rain Down' came first and quickly warmed the temperature of the hall as the big screens displayed the lyrics, inviting every person present to join in. 'Did You Feel The Mountains Tremble' was an appropriate choice next, bringing back memories to the Cutting Edge days when the song helped to breathe new life into a previously tired style of worship music. As the song ended, Martin encouraged the crowd to join him in several lines of the popular church song 'Turn your eyes upon Jesus'.
Moving from the old to the new, the band launched into 'Now Is The Time' from their latest album, The Mission Bell. "No compromise" declared a defiant room full of voices. 'Majesty' brought a renewed focus on God with the band quietly leaving the stage as further speakers addressed the crowd. When Delirious? were welcomed back on stage to end the evening with some more songs, Martin told the crowd how one of the band's favourite memories was of playing in this same church one evening back in 1995. On that occasion the hall witnessed a teenage girl get up out of her wheelchair and walk around the room. "If anyone else needs a miracle, this song is for you" announced Martin as the soothing opening of 'Miracle Maker' started to play. With just a simply keyboard melody and Martin's hushed voice, they played the opening verse, gradually building towards the chorus and the inevitable yet stunning guitar solo at the climax. The music poured out over the crowd, leaving tingling spines and hairs standing to attention throughout. When the music faded, a deafening silence fell over the room and it was a good few seconds before an enormous applause broke out.
The rousing opening notes of 'History Maker' rang out next. The song was clearly familiar and those people standing directly in front of the stage bounced and jumped as if their lives depended on it. The very nature of the evening meant that the crowd was made up of a mixture of young and old, and looking around it was clear to see that the song struck a chord with all ages. Whilst the younger people present jumped and shouted, the older faces could be seen to smile and sing along in an equally enthusiastic, if some what more sedate, manner.
Towards the end of the song, Martin held his bible aloft saying "This is a great book!" before reading from Corinthians. Meanwhile the band continued to play, steadily building pace and then launching back into 'History Maker'. The final song of the night came in the form of 'Paint The Town Red'. Martin seemed to use every last drop of energy as he screamed his way through the words. At the end, the chorus was repeated with just the drums playing, and the crowd shouted "oh here we come" at the tops of their voices.
Not your average Delirious? concert, but a superb evening full of passion and worship.