Friday, July 04, 2014

Van Morrison at Hampton Court Palace

Mon 16-June-2014

Now the seventh time we have seen Van the Man and the second time at the Hampton Court Jazz Festival. I still find it very special that the gig is in the courtyard of a 500 year old palace.

The deal is have a picnic in the grounds beforehand and many hundreds available themselves of the lawn behind the palace.

You can order a picnic from the caterers or bring your own. We have a natty little picnic backpack with a two place setting and took our own; catering by Sainsburys.

I respected the "no photography" rule (this time) so all you get is the stage. Last time we saw Van there was a mystery woman on stage. This time we found out it was his daughter, Shana. She did a 15 minute warm-up set comprising three or four songs then stayed on stage to join her dad. She provided some backing vocals and joined Van for a couple of duets.

I am sure he did a more jazz biased set appropriate to the festival. The Telegragh seems to agree and gave it 5 stars.

"Van Morrison played with both sensitivity and commitment at his gig at Hampton Court Palace", writes Andrew Perry.

"Moondance, as the evening light started to fade, was so jazzy, it actually morphed into Miles Davis’s “So What”. [...] Throughout, though, this was music as salubrious and classy as the setting, characterized by the band’s deft, delicate playing and their leader’s rare generosity of spirit. With the rain holding off, and a raucous send-off of “Gloria”, it was a marvellous night, indeed – truly fit for a king." Read the full review...

We have never seen the grumpy side of Van Morrison. Seventh time lucky. Every time he has been on top form and every concert subtly different. We reckon we've done Van, we might not bother again, let's not push our luck. There are other artists to see.

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