Hampton Court. June 2016 GetSurrey.com
Van Morrison pulls out all the stops with ‘polished performance’ at Hampton Court Palace Festival
Van Morrison gave a stellar performance at the Hampton Court Palace Festival this week
Chaz Brooks rocked out at the sell-out gig in East Molesey where Morrison “effortlessly eased” through a set of his greatest hits
Typically, rather than milking the applause, Morrison exited the stage mid-song to leave the rest of the band to finish the concert.
It was a fitting climax to a masterclass where Morrison effortlessly eased through a set of more than 20 tracks from his extensive back catalogue, with the addition of a cover of St James Infirmary, presumably added to demonstrate the talents of the octogenarian trombonist Chris Barber.
Older readers will remember Barber as a band leader, and he surprisingly played the whole show.
The rest of the band comprised drums, bass, guitar, backing singer and a keyboardist who doubled as trumpeter.
With a jazzy feel throughout, Morrison kicked off his set with the instrumental Celtic Swing, moving seamlessly into Close Enough For Jazz and then one classic track after another, including a sensational version of Moondance.
Others included Brown Eyed Girl, Carrying A Torch, Whenever God Shines His Light On Me, Baby Please Don’t Go and Magic Time.
Contrary to his reputation as a moody performer, the Blues Brother look-alike certainly appeared to enjoy himself throughout the show, while directing his ensemble with a military precision and having a stage hand on constant duty to receive instructions.
Now into his seventies, his voice is as strong as ever and it is clear that Van is still “the man”.