MIKE Dignam, made a visit to Manchester’s Deaf Institute April 6, and our Iwas there to see what the ‘Fight to Forgive’ tour had to offer…
After writing, performing and touring with his own music for the past five years, the singer songwriter from the northwest embarked upon his newest tour at the start of April this year. This time teamed alongside his current drummer, George, the pair worked in perfect harmony, with George’s drumming complementing Dignam’s talent even further.
Opening the evening for Dignam was the three-piece band, Heath. The Brighton based trio were certainly a fitting support act, with the particular song, ‘Give Me Over’ standing out in particular. This song captivated the crowd, as although seemingly longer than a typical three-minute song, the variation weaving throughout the track seemed to hook the audience whilst the musicians became engrossed into their music.
Dignam then opened his set not long after, beginning with a brilliant choice of opener, ‘Give Me More.’ One of his more popular songs, it engaged the audience from the onset, and was a perfect representation and reminder of Dignam’s current style of music.
After finishing his first song, Dignam began chatting to the audience and didn’t stop throughout the whole set. With the intimacy of the venue and the homely décor, it almost felt like Dignam was performing a private gig in the comfort of your own living room. Despite his brilliant talents in singing, song writing and performing, he is probably one of the most down-to-earth musicians both on and off stage.
Between each song performed, Mike explained the lyrical meanings behind them, allowing the audience to connect to his beautifully crafted lyrics, covering relatable topics that most audience members would be able to relate to.
After performing a handful of songs with his drummer, Dignam proceeded to play a few acoustic tracks alone with his guitar, including the well-executed acoustic track, ‘Lungs.’
However, it wasn’t long before George was back on stage, and him and Dignam got back to the rock inspired tracks. After the acoustic part of the set, it became clear that Dignam was a very versatile musician. Not only could he take his hand to just him and his acoustic guitar- but also he sounded equally as exciting when performing with his drummer and electric guitar.
Another well-known track, ‘Hurt’ was then played, with an added instrumental at the end of the track, which emphasised how well Dignam and George worked in unison, and also exposed both of their incredible musical talents.
Mike also took time to thank the audience for coming to the show and sticking by him whilst his style noticeably changed to a rockier style. He explained to the crowd how at the start of his career he was writing for pop, but he was writing for what he thought people would like-not what he wanted to write.
After opening up to the audience and performing the last few songs in his set, Dignam ended on ‘Fight to Forgive,’- the song that marked the evolving of the change from pop to rock influences.
However, Dignam certainly didn’t forget his roots, performing an encore of ‘Great Escape,’ one of the very early songs in his career. He stepped down off the stage, unplugged his acoustic guitar and came into the middle of the standing area.
Just Dignam, his guitar and the crowd, he sang and played a beautiful rendition of the track with the help of the audience singing the chorus with him. Something I have never seen at a gig before, this act only reiterated how appreciative Dignam is of his fans, and how humble he is towards his amazing talents.