Tuesday, February 27, 2024

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Peter Gabriel dwell at Utilita Enviornment, Birmingham, 17 June

The legendary singer-songwriter returns with a set heavy on his first new materials in 21 years. Dangerous? Not for those who’re Peter Gabriel… 

On the subject of filling arenas, any act with longevity understands {that a} sizeable share of their viewers is often there for the massive hits. These dropping in additional than a few tracks from their new album achieve this often at their peril, prompting an inevitable chunk of the viewers to hurry to the bar.

So kudos to Peter Gabriel, whose present tour sees the previous Genesis frontman devoting a hefty 50 per cent of his set to songs from a yet-to-be-released i/o album undertaking.

Certain, there have been some tasters – six tracks have been launched on-line to this point – however that’s not a lot of an opportunity to essentially become familiar with LP i/o ’s heady idea of know-how, nature and connectivity. So it’s no surprise there are many puzzled frowns in the course of the opening bars of a good few tunes tonight: ‘Do I do know this one…?’

All of it begins round a campfire and Washing Of The Water from 1992’s Us, the place a jovial Peter is slowly joined by his band, together with core sidemen Tony Levin on bass, guitarist David Rhodes and percussionist Manu Katché.

Giving the songwriter an opportunity to introduce among the key themes and concepts that underpin a lot of his materials, he succeeds in making a outstanding intimacy – one thing that’s not simple to do in such an unlimited, cavernous, venue.

Although the primary a part of the night is weighed in the direction of enigmatic i/o materials, there’s nonetheless some acquainted cuts from Up (Rising Up), Us (a rocking Digging In The Filth) and, in fact, So, whose crowd-pleasing Sledgehammer ensures the part concludes on a supreme excessive.

After the break, Half Two nonetheless rolls out 5 i/o newbies, but feels extra rounded, with prolonged duet Don’t Give Up// (with Ayanna Witter-Johnson), Crimson Rain and Huge Time, though it’s the nice and cozy, summery and welcoming Solsbury Hill that prompts the most important cheer of the night.

Complementing the music all through are a sequence of tasteful and assorted projections created with such Tate Gallery favourites as Cornelia Parker, Ai Weiwei and Tim Shaw, whereas some subtly choreographed moments discover Gabriel flanked between Levin and Rhodes for a bunch kick, and skipping throughout the stage. There’s even time for a number of jokes.

All of it ends, although, on a extra severe word and the pounding repetition of 1980 political opus Biko. The subject material could now be historical past, however as Peter notes, the necessity for protest, vigilance, justice and power make sure the music stays as related as ever.

Although there was no signal of Video games With out Frontiers, Shock The Monkey or a few of his different absent biggies, it’s exhausting to think about anybody left the sector feeling short-changed. Regardless of their unfamiliarity, i/o  cuts comparable to The Court docket, Love Can Heal, and Highway To Pleasure supplied intriguing glimpses into i/o ’s slowly increasing world. Superbly layered, percussive and atmospheric, they didn’t disappoint.

If tonight’s efficiency is something to go by, when that much-anticipated tenth studio album does lastly arrive in full, it’s going to be definitely worth the wait.  Dave Freak


All photographs copyright York Tillyer



Washing Of The Water

Rising Up


4 Varieties Of Horses


Digging In The Filth

Enjoying For Time

Olive Tree

This Is House



Half 2:


Love Can Heal

Highway To Pleasure

Don’t Give Up

The Court docket

Crimson Rain

And Nonetheless

Huge Time

Dwell And Let Dwell

Solsbury Hill


Encore 1:

In Your Eyes


Encore 2:


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