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Al Green spreads the word Express Star
The newer songs, including the smooth Lay It Down and Stay With Me (By The Sea) merged seamlessly into the set, while a run through of songs by Green's own heroes, including The Temptations' My Girl, Otis Redding's I've Been Loving You Too Long and Sam Cooke's Bring it On Home were like the ultimate soul jukebox.
Gabrielle was an inspired choice to open the concert, hers a sweet and familiar voice, although the reception she received was appreciative rather than wildly enthusiastic.
fansAl Green belts out another classicAl Green gets in the grooveAl Green reprised his greatest hits from the 70sAt one point Al Green told the audience he wanted to get out there and hug themNewer songs merged seamlessly into Al Green's setAl Green shows the wayGabrielle was an inspired choice to open the concertGabrielle points the way too
The big hits were there of course. An audience singalong to Let's Stay Together elicited the response: "Oh, you know it, huh!", while Tired Of Being Alone, I'm Still In Love With You and L O V E (Love) were greeted like old friends.
Green left the stage in triumph after an uplifting Love and Happiness, two emotions which he effortlessly spread around the NIA.
Al Green himself was backed by a large band but came on like a mighty one man soul revue, still able to hit those famed high notes and with the crowd in the palm of his hand from the off as he dished out long stemmed roses to his adoring fans.
But songs from her later albums, including Always, show that if she's been a stranger to the singles charts of late it's not for the want of strong material.
Bailey Rae, as Green helpfully told us, "is from Leeds. England".
Al Green and GabrielleBirmingham NIA Academy
At 62, Green is no ordinary reverend his sermons from the pulpit of his Memphis church must be quite something he's got a groove and a smile all of his own.
bang up to date with songs from his latest, critically acclaimed album Lay It Down, which features collaborations with new hot guns John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae and Anthony Hamilton.
It was a concert that spanned the decades as well as the waters, as the Reverend Green reprised his 70s classics Adidas Commander Youth Basketball Shoes
Fans were served up a feast of soul from both sides of the Atlantic as the legendary Al Green started his UK tour in Birmingham with Britain's Gabrielle as special guest.
By Ian Harvey
Gabrielle on stage at the NIAThe biggest cheers were for Out Of Reach, Rise and DreamsAl Green dishing out roses Adidas Boost New to his adoring Adidas D Rose 6 Black
Two would be Bridget Jones did manage to stand up and dance through her whole 45 minute set, and the biggest cheers were, of course, for Out Of Reach, the hypnotic Rise and her debut number one hit Dreams.
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