Musical banter from Gilbert

Gilbert O'Sullivan live @ Glastonbury festival 2008
Gilbert O'Sullivan live @ Glastonbury festival 2008

EVENT: Gilbert O’Sullivan

Venue: Grand Opera House, York

Review BY: Julia Pattison

I was a fan of Gilbert O’Sullivan in the Seventies, and have always liked his very unique style of songwriting.

Well, the lad’s still going strong, and at 64 years old he’s as creative (and agile!) as ever. His latest album Gilbertville features many new and exciting tracks, some of which he played at the concert alongside such classic favourites as ‘Clair’, ‘Alone Again Naturally’, and ‘Nothing Rhymed’. His songs fall into three categories: songs of social observation (even agitation), humour and romance.

Gilbert was joined on stage by his amazing 11-piece band, including a string quartet. Mick Parker has been Gilbert’s musical director since 1992, and the easy rapport between the two of them was clearly evident in performance. The musical arrangements of the songs were all carefully considered, bringing the very best out of them; just an acoustic guitar and a shaker were used to accompany Gilbert in ‘Happiness Is Me and You’, to great effect.

We were treated to well over two hours of great music and cheerful banter, with projected footage during some songs bringing back wonderful memories of more innocent times. Love in all its forms clearly means a lot to Gilbert, and his moving lyrics reflect this, from numbers such as ‘I’m In Love With Love Again’, ‘Matrimony’, to ‘What’s In A Kiss?’, to name but a few.

An unexpected bonus was seeing footage of Gilbert singing a duet with the late Peggy Lee back in 1992, not long before she died - the applause nearly raised the roof!

‘I Can’t Get Enough Of You,’ sang this modest musical maestro - well it was obvious from the crowd’s rapturous applause and appreciative cheers throughout, that York can’t get enough of Gilbert O’Sullivan!