Express & Star

Gilbert O'Sullivan returning to Birmingham

Gilbert O'Sullivan is returning to Birmingham this Spring to take fans back to the 70s.

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Gilbert O'Sullivan Photo: Park Promotions LTD

The musician topped the UK single charts that decade with Clair in 1972 and 1973's Get Down, while also in 1972, he reached the peak in the US with Alone Again (Naturally).

Gilbert O’Sullivan was born Raymond Edward O’Sullivan in 1946 in Ireland. He moved to Swindon with his family aged seven and after a formal education became a student at Swindon Art College, specialising in graphic design.

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But he had another love – music – and after forming and joining local bands as a drummer and vocalist, he started writing his own songs, heavily influenced by The Beatles as writers and Bob Dylan as a performer. Calling himself Gilbert, with a very distinctive image, two singles released by CBS Records and one with the Major Minor label, got little attention.

Undeterred, he sent a demo tape to Gordon Mills, the man behind Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck, who - impressed with his songwriting - became his manager. The result was his first single on the MAM label, Nothing Rhymed, which became a UK Top 10 hit in 1970 by reaching No.8.

More hit singles and a debut album called Himself followed. But it was 1972’s Alone Again (Naturally) that sealed his fame, topping the US charts for six weeks and garnering three Grammy nominations. Soon after, he got his first three British No.1 hits with Clair and Get Down, as well as the album Back To Front. Gilbert was named “Songwriter of the Year” at the 18th Ivor Novello Awards, embarked on an 18-city UK tour and a US tour, performed sold-out concerts, clocked another UK Top 10 hit with Why Oh Why Oh Why and, in 1974, won a third Ivor Novello award.

A spokesperson said: "Fast Forwards to 2020, and Gilbert is enjoying one of the most creative and commercially successful periods of an outstanding career. He has continued to look to the future while his famous back catalogue has won respect and adoration all over the world.

"His 2018 album [Gilbert O'Sullivan] reached the Top 20 [in the UK] and he now returns for a solo show that will see him present new songs alongside the classics in an intimate and unforgettable setting."

Gilbert O'Sullivan comes to Birmingham Town Hall on Victoria Square on April 5. Doors open at 7pm, with tickets from £31.10 to £39 available from the box office on 0113 243 0808 or online at