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Issue:- 19 December 2014

Gig Review:- 'Peter Gabriel at Liverpool Arena!'

ON 7 December 2014, those attending the almost fully packed Liverpool Arena had a chance to spend more than 2 hours in a company of the former 'Genesis' front man, Peter Gabriel who returned to Liverpool with his extraordinary:- 'Back To Frontconcert and created an unforgettable feast for thousands of eyes, ears and hearts.

The evening was opened up by 2 young and talented Swedish musicians:- Linnea Olsson and Jennie Abrahamson, who performed 4 songs of their own composition and immediately captured the hearts of the audience. After such a triumphant warm up, on stage appeared the hero of the occasion; astonishing and legendary, Peter Gabriel. With a greeting:- "That's me!" he sat at the piano and performed his first song called:- "What Lies Ahead". Splitting the show into 3 sections, Gabriel began the first part with the acoustic set, which included some favourites as:- "Come Talk to Me", "Shock the Monkey", "Family Snapshot" and "Digging in the Dirt". However, the absolute highlight was the breathtaking:- "Solsbury Hill", which got everyone out of their seats. Although the selection and delivery of songs was very successful and the visual effects were simply amazing, I could not fully enjoy the show. The reason behind that was the absolutely disrespectful behaviour of my neighbours who were sitting in front of me. Coming to the show totally drunk, middle aged folks were shouting, singing and spilling the beer on the poor people sitting around them. All that continued over the whole first set of the show, until the security made them leave the arena. Unfortunately, my neighbours were not the only drunk people present at the show; I guess that almost half the crowd were not sober. I found it very annoying that during the show people were constantly walking around to get another glass of beer or some snacks. There was a feeling like no one is feeding these people at home and the concert of Peter Gabriel is the only place where they can put something in their mouths.

The 2nd part of the show was electronic and was based on Gabriel's biggest and most commercially successful album; 1986's "So", in its entirety. This part for sure will remain in my memory for a long time, mainly, due to its spectacular light show, which was simply amazing. Opening with a song:- "Red Rain", the arena shone in red light and a crowd of technicians, wearing fencing masks, came on stage to operate powerful spotlights with cameras on huge legs. All that reminded me some episodes from Transformers movie. Giant video screens, located on the stage, flickered in black and white, and from time to time displayed close ups of the band. The concert was being filmed for DVD release, and unfortunately that also has spoiled my impression from the show. At times, Gabriel was interacting with cameras more than with the crowd and it often made me feel as if we were just invited to observe the filming process and sponsor a DVD film rather than attending a live concert. Nevertheless, the performance did not lose any quality because of that.

Later on followed legendary:- "Sledgehammer", "Big Time" and "In Your Eyes". It was clear that Gabriel played crowd loved music, and the audience immediately reacted to it, praising the artist with standing ovations. Sometimes when I looked at a standing massive crowd of Gabriel's dedicated fans, who were singing and raising their hands all as one at the same time, unconsciously, I remembered about Hitler. This was very powerful and, at the same time, a scary scene and I was happy that Gabriel managed to dilute fast and loud songs with the ones that are calm and gentle. "Don't Give Up" was one of these songs. This emotional song was performed by Gabriel in a duet with an outstanding Jennie Abrahamson, who showed all the beauty of her pure sugar sweet voice. Another song that was welcomed by warm ovations was "Mercy Street", which Gabriel sang whilst lying on his back in the centre of the stage.

The final part of the show included the song:- "The Tower That Ate People" that was supplemented with a very spectacular visual effect that reminded a huge UFO lamp slowly going down to take Gabriel on board. This was very impressive! The night was closed with the famous:- "Biko" which ended up with almost everyone in the arena punching their right fists in the air. What a night! This was a truly awesome performance by a great artist. Even 30 years on, Gabriel is still rocking the audience!

Mobile coverage deal is just not good enough, says CLA

PROPOSALS to deliver mobile phone coverage to 90% of the country by 2017 do not go far enough according to the CLA in the North. The organisation, which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in the area, says the new commitment agreed by the four major mobile phone providers with Culture Secretary Sajid Javid will still leave swathes of the North's countryside without mobile phone connection. CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said:- "This announcement contains big numbers and strong words but in reality it perpetuates the status quo and will leave thousands of homes and businesses with the prospect of poor or no mobile phone coverage for years to come. It is deeply disappointing that the Government has not pushed the providers to come up with more radical solutions. We are keen to know whether this agreement ends the prospect of a national roaming network that we know is hated by the mobile phone providers, but in our view has the potential to provide choice and access in rural communities." Miss Fairburn said the CLA would continue to campaign for affordable universal mobile coverage across rural communities. "We will continue to fight for a mobile phone network that provides accessible and affordable mobile coverage across the whole of the UK." she added. Details of the new deal are available to view online here.

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