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Chris High reviews Chris de Burgh 2006 on this page

Chris de Burgh: Review

The Storyman Tour
NEC Arena
Birmingham
November 18th, 2006

Chris de Burgh live in concert 2006

Chris de BurghLive In Concert
Review NEC Arena - Nov 06


After listening to what, it has to be said, is probably the best Chris de Burgh album in a long time and not having attended one of his gigs for over two years, it was with great anticipation that the NEC Arena The Storyman gig was awaited. Chris was back with a band and “promises” of more than a few surprises and his fans old and new couldn’t wait.
 


The strains of The Storyman broke out at 19:50 and quickly gave way to Chris singing the opening lines of Where We Will Be Going off stage, with a haunting quality underlying each word of the lyrics until he walked on to a fantastic reception, dressed in a black leather jacket, waving to the crowd and picking up his guitar in front of two vast net curtains.

What a way to start a gig.


There then followed a selection of songs that fitted perfectly with The Storyman theme, as the curtains parted to reveal the band in full who were all in fine fettle and played superbly well.

Sailing Away, One World, Love Of The Heart Divine, In A Country Churchyard and The Lady In Red which was performed slightly differently, with a slight Tango rhythm to it thanks to Tony Kiley on bongo drums as the group gathered centre stage for an acoustic set, were all performed faultlessly.

In fact the only real mishap came during The Mirror Of The Soul as Chris rose high above the stage in a wooden pulpit, only to forget the words until somebody from the audience prompted him into action. Not that it mattered. The song is brilliant and from then moved on faultlessly.

Another highlight from the album came with the title track. This, to a writer, is the very personification of why we do what we. We live life through the words of a story man, a feeling that is exactly right and summed up brilliantly here.

1986. Into The Light. My favourite CdeB album. A title being fought for by The Storyman, largely on the strength of one trilogy of songs – The Leader.

Behind Chris there is a large movie screen on which a series of films are run to accompany certain songs, such as The Words I Love You, Spanish Train and Living In The World. However, when Chris moved to the far right of the stage and sat down, it was obvious something special was about to happen and it did.

Steve Bennett, Webmaster of www.chrishigh.com and of www.findmeanauthor.com is also – I’m pleased to say – my very great friend and has complied a montage video to take the breath away, as Chris sings all three parts and watches the movie for himself.

The applause that greeted the song was superb and when Chris said a public thank you to Steve for all of his hard work on the visuals, I know he was as pleased as punch and very proud. Rightly so, he’s an extremely talented guy who deserves every bit of success that comes his way.

Kristyna Myles joined Chris on stage to sing a truly powerful and note-perfect version of Raging Storm that was so well received it is difficult to see anything but success for her in the future. Again, the audience response was terrific and also justly deserved.
All too soon it was finale time, with the usual suspects breaking forward. The highlight of which, without doubt, was Don’t Pay The Ferryman, to which the lighting rigs moved and gyrated in time with the music, as lighten bolts split the big screen behind and sent the song into another world of excitement and danger.
Just brilliant.

Living In The World saw a cameraman film the audience dancing away at the front interspersed with photographs of fan club members flashing up behind, whereas The Snows Of New York saw a huge globe appear from nowhere to float over the stage and audience, with Britain and America pinpointed by two black markers.

Oh, and Patricia made a come back – replete with swirling knickers above his head (we know who’s they are but a gentlemanly upbringing prevents us saying).

This was without doubt the most visually entertaining CdeB gig I have been to, which was both highly entertaining and superbly executed. It is clear that Chris de Burgh is back to his best. His voice has never been more powerful and the band – especially Al Vosper on guitar – are as tight knit and note perfect as they ever have been. If there is a downside, it is that there may be a few too many ballads and not enough “rock” but that’s a minor quibble. As is the fact that – after 6 shows now – I still haven’t heard him sing Transmission Ends.

Crusader, Revolution and The Tower would have been perfect too, but at 3 hours in length, I’m not complaining.

It’s also good to see that Chris de Burgh is still willing to experiment with his tours. It would be so easy for him to sit back and trot out the hits, with little or no backing effects. He doesn’t. A CdeB gig is an event and, here, there is little to condemn the show’s entertainment value. This is a show not to be missed should you be humming and ha-ing about attending. I promise, you’ll not regret it.
9/10


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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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