Seal Put a Spell on Birmingham at Symphony Hall

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There are but a few songs from your youth that you really connect with and define your state.

In 1990 Seal released Killer, a collaboration with acid house DJ Adamski, at 20 Killer was one of these tracks for me.

So you want,
To be free,
To live your life 

The way you want to be…

But it wasn’t just the lyrics that meant so much, at the time Killer was a groundbreaking tune, where synth and impeccable vocals meet, landing feet first firmly on a burgeoning dance scene.

Seal’s back catalogue is eclectic, fully matched by last night’s variety performance. Supported by a full orchestra, and the Symphony Hall collaborating with exquisite atmospheric acoustics we were treated to a Swing masterclass: Luck Be a Lady, I Put a Spell On You, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, That’s Life…..

“These songs have been around for years, that one was written in 1922. And they’ve been around so long for a reason, because they all tell a story,” Seal told the crowd honing them in to fully listen to a rapturous rendition of It Was A Very Good Year.

Seal then took off his jacket, before picking up his acoustic guitar ready for the business end of the set; on cue a woman in the front row presented him with a rose…..and from then on the crowd was treated to the full breadth and range of Seal’s voice, filling every cornice of this grand theatre as he blasted out A Kiss From A Rose followed by lesser-known but equally exhilarating Whirlpool.

Hopping off the stage and walking part way down one of the isles, the whole auditorium rose, somehow knowing we were in for something special: Killer sounds as fresh today as it did in 1990, and to interact and sing amongst the audience was pretty brave; whilst being grappled, groped and photographed at every note he managed to hold the tune perfectly, with what at times appeared to be a crazed crowd relishing the chance to get up close and personal.

Still being tracked relentlessly by two hungry middle aged women and a crazed young videographer Seal finally completed his circuit of the auditorium still holding note, although looking a little more ruffled than he did 10 minutes prior.

Safely back on stage, he closed the show with the song that appears to mean a huge amount to him, Crazy, said to be written to depict the crazy events of 1990 – 91 and the fall of the Berlin Wall, although I think it’s meaning cuts deeper for Seal.

You go and see many gigs in your time, but there are only a handful that you know will stick with you forever, this was one of them. Thank you Seal, it was a pleasure.

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