Delirious? Live At HMV Hammersmith Apollo

Friday 18th December 2009

HMV Hammersmith Apollo, London Saturday 29th November 2009 concert review by George Luke.


For weeks before the last ever gig by Delirious?, the much talked about item was the announcement that the Cutting Edge Band was going to be their support act. That in itself was enough to get people's curiosity going. After all, who ever heard of a band supporting itself? The choice of the Cutting Edge Band as support was a divinely inspired bit of irony; a real "only in Britain" moment. Dressed in the old outfits they used to wear when they were the Cutting Edge Band (and including one hairpiece - it was a long time ago, remember), they sang oldies such as "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" and "The Happy Song".

Sadly, I missed the Cutting Edge Band's support slot - but was very reliably (and repeatedly) informed that it was great fun. I was there for all of the main event, though, and in my many years of going to Delirious? gigs, this was definitely the best one of theirs I've ever seen. I could wax lyrical forever about how great this stunning performance was and what the special bits were. Instead, I'm going to give you a "skip to this bit" list for when the DVD of the historic concert is released. These are the crucial scenes to look out for:

  • Stu G in a kilt

  • Stu playing "King Of Fools" on a guitar "the same age as my mum"

  • "Sanctify", complete with giant screen video footage from their appearance at Champion Of The World event at Wembley Stadium in 1997

  • The bloke standing (and dancing) on his mates' shoulders during "Deeper", and Martin giving him his white megaphone as a reward

  • The band temporarily becoming a six-piece when Stew Smith joined them onstage for "Investigate"

  • Martin paying tribute to all the band members' wives, and the "D-daughters" dancing with their dads on stage

  • "Kingdom Of Comfort" - complete with royal robes and comfy throne.
In between songs (usually when the band were off changing costumes again), we were given video glimpses of various highlights of their career, as well as video messages of thanks from each band member. "This is not an end," Martin Smith reassured us in one. "It's a beautiful beginning."

The choice of Monty Python's "Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life" as our tune to exit the venue to was as inspired as the gig itself. This was the first time I've been at a concert at which everybody sang - and whistled - as they departed. 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.
About George Luke
George Luke is music editor for the black arts magazine Artrage and lives in London


Reader Comments

Posted by Claire in Thornaby On Tees, United Kingd @ 19:17 on Jan 26 2010

I wasn't at the Apollo but I was at Leeds and reading this article brings back emotions I didn't know I had ! Delirious SIMPLY ARE GOD'S APOSTLES Awesome !

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