Gabrielle performing her Evening With Gabrielle Tour at The Town Hall Birmingham on Wednesday 2nd November 2016
Images and Review by Kevin Cooper
Last night many at the packed Town Hall in Birmingham left feeling a little disappointed after spending their hard earned money on a ticket to see their idol, Gabrielle.
Best known for that eye patch which she used to wear at the beginning of her career, she had an incredible start when in 1992 she broke the record for the highest chart debut by a female with her massive single hit Dreams. Now, the eye patch has gone and with her hair falling over one eye, this once incredible singer displayed real problems during her performance.
Starting well with When A Woman, it wasn’t long before she informed this audience that she was experiencing difficulties. Stumbling around the stage and mumbling into the mic, she was heard to say “how life can change in a few hours”.
But she persevered as she delivered Sunshine and Say Goodbye as she sat on a stool for a few minutes before getting up again to come to the front of the stage to inform the crowd that she had wanted to cancel the show but didn’t want to let them, her fans down.
Nobody should judge Gabrielle on this performance. It was very clear that something was wrong. Any fan will know that she always delivers a beautiful version of her hit Fallen Angel and a powerful Out Of Reach, but not so last night. Backed by two backing singers, guitarist, drummer and keyboardist, she regularly left them confused as they started one song only for Gabrielle to sing another. She often argued with them before songs like Heartbreaker, Give And Take and mass sing along Rise, were finally agreed upon.
When the closer Dreams finally came, it was a bit of a relief. Whilst the crowd were forgiving as they stood and sang along with her, the whole performance was a far cry from what she is capable of. Having recently supported Michael Bolton on his tour of the UK, we all know that on those occasions she stole the show from Bolton with her excellent acoustic set.
Gabrielle can without doubt do better. Let us hope that whatever was troubling her in Birmingham is put aside very quickly and the Gabrielle that we all know and love will soon be back to entertain us in the way that only she can.