Delirious? Live At Abundant Life Centre, Bradford

Thursday 22nd December 2005

Abundant Life Centre, Friday 9th December 2005 concert review by Mike Rimmer.

Delirious? Live At Abundant Life Centre, Bradford

Delirious? chose to kick off their short British tour at The Abundant Life Centre in Bradford. In reality, it's the perfect place to start as the church's young and excitable congregation are already singing songs from the new album during their Sunday worship. Standing in the foyer of the church as hundreds of young people stream past into the main auditorium, it seems incredible that most of these people are too young to remember the band putting "Deeper" into the charts or the days when Cutting Edge worship was really revolutionising the Church. This is born out by the fact that the band omit their most famous songs from that period choosing to concentrate on material from 'The Mission Bell' and 'World Service'.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves! Backstage before the gig the band and support artist American Kendal Payne occupy one of the most sumptuous rooms I have ever seen. The upstairs private lounge in Abundant Life Centre is all soft lights, opulent fittings, comfy sofas and amazing d├ęcor. I want to live here! Payne is friendly and bright and not at all phased by having to face a crowd of 2500 Delirious? fans. After all, she's done this before. A little older and wiser, the singer/songwriter relishes the challenge of winning over audiences. You'd have thought with the bright lights shining in her face that even with a distracted audience, Kendall wouldn't be able to see anything. But you'd be wrong! Apparently the worst thing that can happen is seeing people chatting away in the front row and ignoring her singing. She's learnt not to be too bratty about it these days and anyway I inadvertently sabotage her set but more of that later!

The D:Boys arrive and I'm greeted with hugs and Martin Smith declares, "Mike Rimmer! The only interviewer to ever make me cry," as his greeting, referring to a recent conversation that we had. The guys are buoyant and excited about playing new material and can't wait for me to witness their new set. But who is going to be doing TobyMac's rap in the middle of "Solid Rock"? I'm told that it'll be a surprise! Hmmmm...

Out in the venue, the huge crowd are packed in and ready to go. Kendal steps into the spotlight and starts her set. Armed only with an acoustic guitar, some great songs and her strident passionate voice, she immediately has the crowd in the palm of her hand, chatting amiably and keeping the pace steady. It only slows when she plays the song I'd cheekily requested backstage. Kendal dedicates "Scratch" to me but the crowd is restless during this quieter reflective song. Shame! And then she's off!

The band burst onto stage but it's awhile before Martin actually talks to the crowd, preferring to let the band's music make its impact. These songs have already won the hearts of this church crowd with "Rain Down" prompting mass singing and leaping up and down. The band play seven songs from 'The Mission Bell' including "Solid Rock" where Martin chooses not to do the rap in the middle in a London style but pretends to phone up TobyMac and hold his mobile up to the microphone while Mac's recorded rap is dropped into the song.

One of the crowd offers Martin some Pringles and he takes some and tells the crowd that such an act of generosity would never happen down south, immediately winning the hearts of these northerners. "History Maker" is one of the few older songs that are played tonight and still sounds glorious and inspiring. "Now Is The Time" is upbeat and again prompts much leaping about and crowd singalongs. It's evident that the new songs are immediately finding resonance with the Delirious? fanbase as one of the most impacting moments of the night was "Miracle Maker" where Martin introduces the number, telling the crowd about how the band wrote and recorded the song in one evening in the studio. As usual Martin introduces his band mates with special mention for Stu G's psychedelic trousers.

The crowd seem more at home and more familiar with the newer material than the older so that a near riot takes place when the band launch into "Paint The Town Red", this short, punky, energetic number turning into a rallying call for those who are planning on taking the Gospel onto the streets. It's like "Revival Town" for a new generation. Throughout the gig, the lyrics for the band's songs are projected onto screens bringing back memories of the Cutting Edge gigs when the band would play hit and run gigs across the country. The passion seems to have gone up a level and these days the band are playing with even more fervour than their younger selves, realising that their music might never make the charts but the hearts that are changed in front of them as they play make it all worthwhile.
At one point Smith crowd surfs as he steps into the crowd to challenge us and to read a Scripture. However, with the lack of light he struggles to read his paper. He hesitates before admitting he can't read it. In the nick of time, a roadie appears with a torch! The evening is over too quickly and all too soon, Martin is sitting at the piano singing "Every Little Thing" encouraging the crowd to use their mobile phones to call friends to let them hear the song.

'The Mission Bell' marks the moment when the band rediscovered their passion for inspiring a new generation to be world changers. Judging by the success of this gig, they're enjoying reaching a younger audience and the band have never sounded better. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Reader Comments

Posted by Mat Armitage in liverpool, merseyside @ 13:57 on Oct 23 2007

hello i was with Airborne Entertainment, we done a show for you a couple of months ago and was wondering if we could have the raw footage of our performance.

Thanks alot
Mat Armitage

Posted by Beth in Bradford @ 09:33 on Nov 7 2006

Was Such An Amazing Night I Loved It =] Thought It Was Pretty Good What The Did To The Happy Song! i loved the night i never wanted it to end!!!

Go Delirious? !!!!

Posted by Dan Lowton in Bradford @ 09:43 on Jun 24 2006

the new album rocks id neva herd it until that concert just some of the olda tracks but that concert was one of the best experiances ive eva had it was AWESOME!

Posted by Matty in Bradford @ 20:50 on Jan 14 2006

lol i go 2 dat church lol its ace n i wa der crowdsurfin lol from da front 2 da bak lol.
it wa ace da best nite of ma life 4eva lol

Posted by Anais Mutumba in Abundant Life Church, Bradford @ 15:23 on Jan 10 2006

This was definitely one of the best nights ever! I had never really heard many Delirious? songs, just the odd famous ones such as the ones we sing in church or that are played in the foyer. So this night was my initiation into their music and I LOVED IT! God's presence was strong in the auditorium and even attracted the leadership on the balcony! It was an awesome expereince which was over too soon. I got a great view being near the front and somehow managing to avoid the mosh pits!! It was a breathtaking expereince in more ways than one.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

Add your comment

We welcome your opinions but libellous and abusive comments are not allowed.

We are committed to protecting your privacy. By clicking 'Send comment' you consent to Cross Rhythms storing and processing your personal data. For more information about how we care for your data please see our privacy policy.


Connect with Cross Rhythms by signing up to our email mailing list

A Step Change...
Cross Rhythms Media Training Centre
Artists & DJs A-Z
# A B C D E F G H I J K L M
N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #
Or keyword search


Courts of Praise
Get close to God, be extravagant in declaring your love for Him in our Prayer Room