from Pantperthog to Knockando

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Gig review: Delirious? (at Greenbelt)

It must be about ten years since I saw Delirious? rock out at the Newport Centre. I have to admit my aversion to Christian music means I’ve turned down opportunities to see them since. But as we were at Greenbelt (for free) and therefore had the chance to see them without it costing us an arm and a leg, I thought it worth taking the risk.

My preconceptions were ill-judged in the extreme. They were, quite simply, excellent. Admittedly I only recognised one song (History Makers), but as they had all the words back-projected in unique creative patterns for each song, it didn’t matter. It took on the feel of an outdoor worship session, admittedly with perhaps the best worship band you could ever expect to hear, and yet it worked as a performance as well.

I had a discussion a couple of weeks ago with my brother and sister-in-law about how many modern worship songs leave me cold, especially the ‘love poems to Jesus’. Seriously, people wonder why the Church is losing men, and then expect us to sing about feeling Jesus’ gentle touch as our intimate companion. Frankly if this is what blokes are supposed to sing about, it’s a wonder we have any homophobes left in our churches. Except, of course, the song is about Jesus, so it’s OK to sing about how he’s gentler than any other lover.

Thankfully there was a healthy dose of reality in Delirious?’s worship songs. Our God Reigns stood out for me in particular, as it juxtaposed the state of the world with a powerful declaration of faith. The crowd-enhanced rendition of Martin Smith’s ‘Majesty’ (one of the few songs without back-projected words) was another high point. And they neatly avoided the ‘sing about Jesus as if he was your girlfriend’ trap.

In fact the only negative point was when three spotty teens pushed past us as if they were heading for the front and then stopped right in front of us. I had a bit of a go at them because they were taking the mick stopping there, but they resolutely ignored me and wasted the opportunity to do the right thing and move.

We eventually sorted out the problem when Cathy tapped one of them, said ‘excuse me’ the same way they did, and led me by the hand to stand right in front of them. There was nothing they could say because they’d just done it to us, even though I heard them muttering. And as some of the older members of the crowd called it a night and left we ended up with a fantastic view!

But, annoying kids aside, this was a brilliant gig and I’d definitely consider paying good money to go and see Delirious? again.

Overall rating: 9/10

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