Master Proves He Has Never Lost His Touch

Source: Bristol Evening Post

Writer: Rob Stokes

Date: 05 Nov 2007

We were an audience of a certain age, drawn together by songs released when singles were seven inches in diameter and Gilbert O'Sullivan seemed to be constantly in the charts and a regular on Top of the Pops.

Last night, 30 odd years after his last appearance at the Colston Hall, he returned - and brought the house down.

If you think the place was full of women recalling their teens you'd be wrong.  There were plenty of men there happy these days to admit to being closet Gilbert O'Sullivan fans.

After opening with the first three songs from his new album A Scruff at Heart came the first of a series of his greatest hits.

As Nothing Rhymed played, a film ran of him sitting at his piano in the cloth cap that was once his trademark.

If you closed your eyes for a second you could be back in front of your TV all those years ago.  For he sounded as good as ever he did.

Four more songs came from his new album during the evening, the upbeat I'm in Love With Love (Again) being the highlight.

But they could all have been written at any time in his career.  You could say he has stood still. But if you're great at what you do, then why change?

Gilbert O'Sullivan has the knack of writing catchy tunes but first and foremost he is a brilliant lyricist.  He loves to play with words and like a modern day Noel Coward he can sum up a thousand feelings in single line.

He was joined on stage by up to 11 other musicians, including a stunning string quartet. And the hits just kept on coming.  Among them were the beautiful ballad We Will, the chart topping Clair and the wonderfully named Ooh Wakka Doo Wakka Day.

We sang or mouthed the words to them all.  For the lyrics had seeped into our sub-consciousness and needed only a the merest prompt to bring them flooding back.

We waited until nearly the end for Alone Again (Naturally), arguably the most poignant of all his hits and one whose words have touched a million lives.

Two-and-a-half hours and almost 30 songs after he first appeared he delivered a 10-minute version of his 1973 hit Get Down and we were all on our feet.

Gilbert O'Sullivan left the stage waving and with a broad smile.  Hopefully it won't be too long before he comes back again.

Thanks David Williams