It’s the fantastic Sunday concert in Whitehaven I want to have on DVD! That concert gave me the same feeling that the movie “Braveheart” does… It moves me inside and out.

That was also why I was extremely frustrated at the gig on Saturday. There I was… I had flown from Sweden to see two concerts with the voice of voices and what happens? Some people had too much to drink and my energy really had to fight to stay with Francis. I can’t understand why people pay and go to a concert not remembering a thing and just being disrespectful to the person on stage, and to all the other people who had paid money to see the concert. All of a sudden I got what Francis said about alcohol and his concerts. He is so right!

Despite all the annoying energy thief alcohol, Francis did make a fantastic gig on Saturday. It was really cool to see how intelligently he handled the situation and the respect he showed to those who were behaving.

On Sunday night the atmosphere was back on top! I’m back at Rosehill Theatre in Whitehaven, waiting on Francis Dunnery’s second concert on home ground. Some people do say that I’m crazy flying over to England and then going to the outcast of England but I just laugh when I hear that. I so understand what they mean but I also understand that they have never had an encounter with Francis Dunnery and his music. If you once had, you’re forever addicted. It doesn’t matter if you have to fly around the world. Where Francis is, you know that the good vibes and the great energy is going to be.

I was, as usual, met by a incredible warmth. The warmth that was delivered from the stage – and there is a reason. No, there are by the way a lot of reasons. Francis’s warmth is in some ways impossible to avoid. He has won his fans’ souls one time for all and he refuses through his ongoing work, to let them go. Francis Dunnery truly is Francis Dunnery and nothing else, that he shows clear and concise. And we all love it!

Here, at the beautiful Rosehill Theatre that often turn into a handclapping and cheering inferno, Francis’s songs are in centre and of course also his immaculately tailored voice. Francis Dunnery really does sing the pants, shoes and underwear off his colleagues.

Without mincing words, visually the concert isn’t a astonishing experience – it consist of the 43 year young Francis, a guitar, a headset, a grand piano and a stage. But anything else would be wrong. Dunnery presents himself exactly as it should be! That’s one of the magical differences between really listening to music and seeing it. Dunnery delivers his songs with a self confidence and humbleness that only a man who really has lived can do.

I’ve seen two concerts during Francis’s current House Concerts Tour and the two in Whitehaven – still I’m waiting on the moment that Francis is going to miss one single little note, or at least half a note, or maybe just a quarter of a note. Especially since it’s just him and the guitar on stage and nothing to hide behind. But it doesn’t happen! He doesn’t fall out once.

Dunnery shows as usual his world class in handling the guitar and he offered many shrewd tricks. Time and time I found myself holding my breath during the solo guitar parts, almost fainting from lack of oxygen. This man really nurtures his trademark as guitar virtuoso. His way of handling the guitar says enormously lot about that man.

In Sweden we only have one artist that can talk for five minutes between every song and that is the very special Thomas Di Leva. England/USA have Francis Dunnery. You can’t get enough of his so thought-provoking talk between songs, at least not if you are a woman…

During the gig Dunnery delivered a string of pearls of his songs. He reaches some high points in the beautiful “Haunted” and the very moving “Soldier”, two soul touching songs where Francis Dunnery sings with a empathy that really grabs your heart and shake it up.

One of my favourite songs is “Old Man and the Angel” the one that Francis plays the Grand piano to. To me it was one of the best moments. I have had a wish for almost hundred years to once see Francis playing the Grand piano. And it did came true, twice in a weekend!

“Still too young to remember” rocks the whole of Whitehaven, if not to say the whole county of Cumbria.

Dunnery also gives us a wind and waterproof version of “Hometown” and a lovely and devoted “Jackal in Your Mind” that touched me to tears.

To me the incomparable final with Francis playing the Grand piano is something of the best you can experience with you clothes on. Francis Dunnery was called in once more and delivered some more to all his friends in the audience. He got standing ovations twice and Mr Francis Dunnery once again gave us a evening that we never will forget! Thank you, thank you, thank you Francis!

By Martina Kruus Axelsson
Published in Egremont Today

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