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Sunday, December 12, 2010

Squeeze were pretty good on Tuesday night, but if I'm honest, they were only really the warm-up guys for Saturday night's headline act at the Brighton Dome: an exclusive performance by our good friend Andrew...

Fans of 'Where's Wally?' should be able to spot him somewhere in the middle.

Anyhoo, that's the Brighton Goes Gospel choir doing a bit of carol-singing at the Dome last night. I presume the cloud of toxic green gas which appears to be seeping in from the left was being released by a group of atheists hell-bent on removing the Christ from Christmas. Either that, or the after-show buffet was on the turn.

This is actually the third time we've seen BGG live, following Andrew's groundbreaking debut last December and his inevitable encore back in May, and as befits a singer who struggles with repeat bookings, this concert was held in yet another different venue. He appears to be on his way up though, because having sold out Hove Town Hall and then Roedean School (kids are so gullible), Andrew can now lay claim to having performed on the stage where Abba won Eurovision. It'll be Wembley next year.

Anyway, if you want to share in the gift of Andrew's voice this Christmas, here he is singing in the first half...

I was annoyed that everyone else joined in and tried to drown him out, but he's in there somewhere. One of the themes of the show was 'faith', and I have enough to know that he was singing in tune, despite the fact that I couldn't hear him. I should also point out that I've no idea what that song was called because I was too cheap to buy a programme. But let's face it, they were too cheap to have a backing band, so we're pretty much equal.

Ok, I'm lying. They did have a backing band. I think there must have been some kind of power-cut for that song. One of the big screens stopped working in the second half too.

Anyhoo, every Brighton Goes Gospel concert has special guest stars, and this one was no exception. Susan Harriott was back from last year, and was joined this time around by the excellent Wayne Ellington, plus the equally good Beverley Trotman, who shot to fame in series 4 of the X Factor, which will be remembered as the season that unearthed the talent of Leon Jackson. How he beat her, I've no idea. All three were brilliant, but my personal favourite was local rapper Skilf, who burst onto the stage from the rear, halfway through the first half, to do a bit of impromptu hip-hopping in the midst of the choir...

Judging by the look of sheer terror on Andrew's face, I'm not sure Skilf's arrival was entirely expected. And as for the chap in the background, I don't know if he's trying to fly away, launch an attack, or about to break down in tears. Either way, it's a case of post-traumatic stress disorder in the making.

As it happens, Skilf has featured on this blog before. Indirectly at least. He's actually the front man of Astro-Physics, a notoriously difficult to spell local band. Gospel music represents a slight change in direction for him, but I've checked his Twitter page today, and he says this: "Performing with the Gospel choir tonight was massive!". Which is no way to describe Karen Gibson.

Anyhoo, if you're thinking that having spent three hours at the Brighton Dome with a camera in my hand, I've managed to come away without a single decent close-up of Andrew, you'd be wrong.

This one was taken in the interval, during the two minutes that Lisa and I spent leaning over the balcony of the circle bar, furiously waving and shouting at our friends below, in a vain attempt to get them to notice us. I tried to persuade Lisa to let me throw her crisps at them, but apparently friendship doesn't mean that much to her.

In the end I decided to photograph Stefan's credit card details and use them to do my Christmas shopping. That'll teach them to ignore us.


Phil's Mum said...

They took a very long time to go down into the river.  I WAS going to ask for the CD for Christmas, but I've gone off the idea!

Dave said...

It sounds like 'As I went down to the river to pray', by Alison Kraauss, who (you'll be amazed) I have a CD by.  It was, of course, performed in the film with George Clooney, which I've seen but the name eludes me, wait a minute, it's on the tip of my tongue, hang on...

... oh yeas, '<span>O Brother Where Art Thou'.</span>

I hope this helps.

Phil said...

I'll get you Skilf's new album instead.

Phil said...

Thanks Dave. With all that time in the river, it's no wonder Andrew's voice was drowned out.