90’s Icon Gabrielle was unsurprisingly a huge draw at Cheltenham Jazz Festival this weekend. Playing on the festivals final day in the Henry Weston Big Top Tent, fans were already gathered outside the venue about an hour before doors opened listening to her sound check.
A full house, we knew that this show was going to be a very special one.
Gabrielle was even seen walking around the venue with a fan just before her set. Oh, actually that was a cardboard cut out of her. Still, it was very fun to see.
Beginning with Thank You, fans jumped out of their seats to dance up and down the aisles and everyone was just so wonderfully happy and her set had only been a matter of minutes at this point. The fun continued with When a Woman and Gabrielle took time to pay attention to every block of fans in the entire venue. Give Me A Little More Time brought back many memories and it was this moment that reminded us just how many amazing hits Gabrielle has.
This was our first time seeing Gabrielle live and what a treat! Gabrielle was so engaging with the audience and completely down to earth. Her personality shone on stage and it felt like we were part of a family. She was so comfortable and happy on stage and you could tell there were fans in the audience that she had come to know well over the years.
Sunshine was a very beautifully emotive moment. Telling us how the song was written about her son who is now 27, she jokes about how kids go through terrible 2’s, 3’s and 27’s but every moment is precious.
Gabrielle’s band were fantastic. All of them were having a wonderful time and her backing singers were incredibly infectious. We found ourselves mimicking their dance moves, especially during Sunshine. This show made you want to just let go and be free and have fun! No one cared, no one judged as everyone was there to just enjoy themselves which was really moving.
Admittedly, we were only familiar with the hit singles so it was nice for us to hear some of the album tracks from her albums. She played Falling, Under My Skin, Tell Me What You Dream and Put Up A Fight. All these songs were sensational and showed us what an exceptional artist and gifted songwriter she is.
Gabrielle was asked to leave the stage by her backing singers whilst they had their moment and the girls got pretty much the whole audience up on their feet for their covers of I’m Coming Out and Thinking of You. The girls were amazing!
Returning to the stage, Gabrielle performed a cover of Womack and Womack’s Teardrops.
The next few songs to be played were Don’t Need The Sun to Shine (to make me smile), Young and Crazy and Shine. Gabrielle tells us how she has a lot of songs with Shine in the title as she doesn’t like the dark. She says she even sleeps with the light on.
What was funny throughout the set was how Gabrielle kept forgetting what song was up next. This didn’t come across as anything bad just sweet and hilarious.
Closing with Rise, this song live was truly stunning and a very emotional moment as almost every audience member were up on their feet singing along and really feeling the music and lyrics.
Of course that wasn’t really the end!!!! The crowd stomping for an encore, Gabrielle and her band came back on and performed Out of Reach! Another nostalgic moment that really captured the spirit of how loved her music is, this song live was perfection. Gabrielle was never going to let her fans down and finished the show with Dreams. For years I have never known the words after the lyrics Dreams Can Come True but I looked them up before hand and was happy to sing along correctly and loudly.
What a beautiful moment that was and hearing so many hardcore fans sing loudly and passionately.
The entire set was just so much fun! I do wish she played Because of You but that didn’t make the show any less amazing for us
It’s always an amazing feeling to rewind and go back to the past for a moment and enjoy some of the best moments of the 90’s and Gabrielle was certainly giving us a nostalgic moment. She was such a big part of so many peoples lives back then and back when single charts actually meant something to fans, when people actually knew what songs were in the charts, when film soundtracks were known by everyone (Out of Reach – Bridget Jones’ Diary) and those songs reminded you of films and films reminded you of songs. We don’t really have that so much anymore. I don’t know about anyone else but I wanted to go back to Our Price or Woolworths straight after the show and buy her albums. Too bad that isn’t a possibility anymore but hey, we have HMV still thankfully.
Gabrielle and her music are legendary and always will be. She is such a homely artist whose music warms your hearts, even the songs about heartbreak.
We highly recommend going to see her live. We miss the show already!
Categories: Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Favourites, Festivals, Latest, Live Reviews
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