DE BURGH - Live
Chris High, Chris de Burgh and Helen in Liverpool.
|Last night, I was
a very lucky man. I was in the company of my lovely fiancée, Helen,
AND two of the nicest couples I know, Diane & Andrew Perry, and Claire
& Steve Bennett.
Fed and watered, we dived into 2 taxis and asked to be taken to the Cathedral. Now, bear in mind that I haven't seen ANY advertising about the place for the gig AT ALL. So, when the driver asked us 'where to' and we said the Anglican, he said 'whereabouts?' Well to us it was obvious that we meant TO THE CATHEDRAL, but the cabbies must have been totally unaware of the show, as they had no idea anything was taking place. When we got out, they must have thought us mad going to a locked Cathedral in the dark, in the rain, for no reason.
Anyway, having stepped out of the cabs
into the light drizzle, the doors were still locked at 7pm. Good start
eh??? Perhaps the cabbies knew something we didn't afterall ?????
No it seems not, because at just 7.05
the Cathedral opened and we filed in. This is the building where I graduated
in July this year. So, there were 500 graduans each with two guests.
That makes 1,500 people in total (maths eh? Don't ya just love it?)
and I thought, simply because of the lack of advertising, that there
might be 1 or 2 spare seats.
Steve, Claire Helen & I were 2nd
row, left of stage at the end. Diane & Andrew were third row, pretty
much centre stage. Great views and ideal sound for the support act of
Michelle Lawrence (I think that's right, sorry if not) who had a very
strong, evocative voice and style, with an acoustic guitar accompanist
Now as some of you might know, I like
to write a tale or two based on CdeB's work. Not wishing to break with
tradition, I'd cobbled together 4 tales and went to see Chris Andrews
prior to the show and he asked if I'd like to pass them over afterwards
(WOULD I EVER !!!!!!). So that was really nice of him to offer AND it
was great to be recognised straight away, 2 years after Manchester.
The main thing for me was, however, to say thanks to CdeB personally
for the support he gave to Untrained Melodies in writing the forward.
But more of that later.
Chris Andrews got a call whilst
we were speaking. Chris was at Anfield watching Liverpool play (I use
the term loosely) and was running a bit late(!) and we went back to
the others to tell them the good news.
The moment we were waiting for arrived
at 8:15 when the first strains of When Winter Comes broke out from a
sound system that seemed tailor made for such a fantastic venue and
Chris De Burgh took to the stage in a white shirt, black pants, looking
VERY relaxed and happy (not just because LFC actually managed to scrape
a win either, I'm sure).
The new album has, I admit, taken me
a while to get into. But The Road To Freedom IS one of its, and his,
finest songs in my opinion and it was with this that the show started
When we saw him in Manchester, he was
absolutely full of flu and NOT at his best. Last night, he was on top
form. His voice was strong, the music was superbly played and the lighting
was excellent. So what was wrong?
The ice-breaker - so to speak - for
me, was Living On The Island, when Chris went walk about. He
was absolutely inundated with well wishers and you could see that he
was genuinely moved by the experience. He went left of stage, right
of stage, down the side aisles and 3/4 along the main aisle, singing
a medley of songs ( including Tender Hands) and made a special effort
to include the many disabled members of the audience too, which was
really nice to see.
After that I was in gig mode, because
he then sang Borderline which was followed by a truly beautiful version
of Say Goodbye To It All which might have been written to be played
He introduced his son, Hubie,
to us and was joined in a rendition of McCartney's Blackbird, with Hubie
on guitar. For a lad of 16, then it must have been scary to say the
least. But he handled it REALLY well and the tune was a big hit with
For Lady In Red, the lighting techs
designed it so that the choir stalls were all individually picked out
in a deep red light that looked just beautiful, and with the spots picking
out individual carvings in the masonry (a trumpeter here, an angel there)
the whole place became transformed from all of those things it had been
before, into a building who's 'owner' would surely be only too happy
to have a party like this taking place inside. Five Past Dreams was
finished with a little nod of acknowledgement to Diane, his wife, who
was looking radiant in a red leather jacket and black skirt, away to
my immediate left.
The audience, all 1,500 + of them, were
also doing there bit (come on, you didn't think there was to be too
many spaces in a City where he's been made an honorary scouser, did
When Chris invited us to get
up and dance after The Journey (a truly top song) for Read My Name (Thanks
Astrid for arranging mine & Diane's and Steve's names to be featured
on the screens - such a buzz!!) we needed no second invite.
Too soon though, we were at Don't Pay
The Ferryman & High On Emotion time, quickly followed by Snows Of
New York (amazing, what else can I say !!?) and we thought that was
How many times can I be wrong in one
It was now 11 o'clock. But on he came
again with Hubie and hit us with a medley of Beatles tunes mixed up
with Pretty Woman & American Pie, which culminated with Hey Jude,
I looked over and behind us and, in
the disabled section, I saw two friends - Julie & Pat Rodaway -
from Henshaws Society for Blind People and Helen & I dragged them
up to dance the encore away. They had an absolute ball, they really
did. The encore was so long, that I even had time to describe what the
stage looked like to them both, which was great!!
Sadly though, like all good things,
the show ended after just a little over 3 hours!!!
Us? Well, we went to the side of the
stage and waited. After about 15 minutes (getting in the way of the
stage crew frantically dismantling the stage area, sorry) CdeB was dressed
in a brown jumper, signing autographs and posing with fans for photos.
We had our picture taken and we had
programmes and CD cases signed and he was just so NICE and patient!!!!!!!!
He'd just given a 3 hour concert, for goodness sake!!! Where does he
get his energy ????
Finally, I shook his hand again and
got to say my 'proper' thank you for his involvement, interest and support
in the CD-Rom, to which he responded with 'it's a pleasure, and I hope
to see you published very soon. Keep in touch and keep up with the stories,
I look forward to getting more.'
ECSTATIC !!! This is a bloke who has
had HIS songs - his career babies - taken and mercilessly interpreted
(probably inaccurately) and STILL has the goodwill to back them. It's
a fact for which I shall always be grateful. The Guy's A Star !!!
It was our turn to head off into the night then and we did so after a truly special evening.
|Maybe you have also seen Chris De Burgh Live In Concert and would like to add your comments to this review. Please feel free to leave your FEEDBACK|
Writing gets me away for a while' from this world and into one where I, alone, can make or
break the rules as I see fit. - Chris High 2003.
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