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Review: Books, Theatre, Movies, Albums & Gigs.

Chris de Burgh

The Storyman, 2007

The Bridgewater Hall
Manchester
November 14, 2007

Image: Chris de Burgh at the piano


Chris de burgh is, lets face it, something of master showman and with this outing, on a return leg of his successful European tour that made only one appearance in the UK in 2006, he showed that none of his enthusiasm, energy and skill has diminished during what was a near faultless set.

 

 

 

With a back catalogue as extensive as his, the strains of The Storyman theme faded as de Burgh took the stage, guitar in hand, to sing the opening phrases of The Storyman song before interrupting it halfway through with the classic In A Country Churchyard. From there, he never really looked back as the hits rolled out, interspersed with newer offerings, with most notable being the sumptuous Spirit, and when Kristyna Myles joined de Burgh on stage to give a sublime rendition of Raging Storm, easily the strongest tracks on the latest album.

As a request, Chris de Burgh treated the gathered to the opening verse of The Lord’s My Sheppard unaccompanied, which was truly haunting and demonstrating in just what fine Image link: click to expand. Opens in a new browser window.fettle his voice is in.

Lady In Red, these days, is sang a little less seriously but is nonetheless enthusiastically received. Here, Chris de Burgh donned a wireless microphone and sauntered into the crowd with his guitar to dance, embrace and – at one point – sit with his admirers. One lady in red of a certain advanced age will never forget the way he looked tonight, as de Burgh gathered her to him to trip the light fantastic for a while, whilst another much younger lady in the circle was almost prepared to jump twenty feet or so to join them.

The sound inside the hall designed for The Halle Orchestra to perform in is exceptional, and the multi-layered tiering of seats give the appearance of the show taking place in some sort of cavern where everybody is treated to a spectacular view.

The use of a backing screen, too, and an outstanding light show, helped give the gig a feel of spectacle usually foreign to Chris de Burgh concerts and never more was this the case than when The Leader trilogy was played – complete with its astonishingly brilliant film, as recorded by Steve Bennett – which rocked the audience to its feet in appreciation.

And so, as the band – who were on fine form all evening – cranked up the pace, so did the rockier numbers make an appearance. Bal Masque, One World and The Words I Love You all did the job of warming the atmosphere, but it is always the signature tunes of Don’t Pay The Ferryman, Say Goodbye To It All and High On Emotion that set these gigs on fire – as do Spanish Train and Borderline, in their own unique way – and tonight was no exception.

All too soon, Snows Of New York began – with a radio controlled globe making its way around the theatre – and marked the completion of what was a truly sensational gig that is sure to live long in the memory of all who saw it.



Image: Chris High, Helen Ryan and Chris de Burgh Manchester 2007

 

Image: Kristyna Myles and Steve Bennett - Manchester 2007
Chris High, Helen Ryan and Chris de Burgh backstage after the Bridgewater Hall Concert 2007   Kristyna Myles and chrishigh.com webmaster, Steve Bennett backstage after the show in Manchester.

 


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“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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