Chris de Burgh, Blickling

While the ghosts of Blickling Hall may have been recovering from the presence of Shirley Bassey the night before, on Saturday it was the turn of rocker Chris de Burgh to get the audience to their feet.

By CAT BARTMAN

While the ghosts of Blickling Hall may have been recovering from the presence of Shirley Bassey the night before, on Saturday it was the turn of rocker Chris de Burgh to get the audience to their feet.

The scene was set – the stately surroundings, the warm summer evening, a stage and about 5500 people.

Picnickers were in for more than three hours of non-stop music and the constant presence of dozens of hard core fans at the front of the stage proved that after three decades in the business de Burgh can still draw them in.


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The 52-year-old from the Emerald Isle was returning to the open-air venue near Aylsham for the second time, the first being in 1998.

Dressed in his trademark black it was hard to pick him out from the backdrop of the stage at first, but he was soon noticeable leaping around waving his hands in the air enthusiastically.

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With his five piece-band, de Burgh went through the ballads like A Woman's Heart and Missing You and the more rock-influenced songs such as A Spaceman Came Travelling and Don't Pay the Ferryman.

By the time Lady in Red reached the ears of the crowd the arm swaying had given way to slow dances in the candlelight.

The relaxed atmosphere continued as people milled about and de Burgh switched from guitar to piano and back to guitar for an acoustic set.

He included a few cover versions, with the Beatles' Hey Jude, returning for the second night running, and The Eagles' Hotel California.

With seemingly boundless energy de Burgh worked the crowd up to a grand finale which had everyone on their feet.

It only remained then for an impressive fireworks display to complete the night and send the crowd home contented.

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