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VAN MORRISON - LIVE - THE PERFORMANCES
2007-08-24last public update: Monday, 17-Feb-2020 13:39:14 CET
We're in Dorset, on the edge of one of the largest natural harbours in the world, but tonight no foghorn whistles blow. Forget the cry of gulls and the deep-sea swell, as it's a fine summer evening in olde Poole town.
At seven o'clock sharp a singer arrives backstage, clutching a worn old leather briefcase, muttering something serious, then smiling, he leaves a silver Mercedes and driver, free to move on, and disappears into the club.
It's been a while; several years have passed, since the man's previous visit with a certain Linda Gail Lewis. Wasn't that when it all went wrong? Well tonight expectations are high as a new Van is back with a fresh combo, and who know where he's heading now.
A surprisingly refreshing Guinness (extra cold) in a quiet Lighthouse bar begins to work its magic in the waiting game. Eight o'clock sharp take your seats, old folks, for the show is about to begin. And yes, thank Christ, drinks are allowed in the full, comfortable, seated theatre. Musicians wander on stage, back up singers, violin, banjo, a drummer needing no raised platform, a close, tight group, confined by the equipment.
Maybe we should have guessed, here he comes now, Chris Farlowe, with a warm up of sorts, but he is quickly joined by the man himself, who treats us to some very fine saxophone, and later detailed acoustic guitar.
Despite George Ivan still wearing a tight-buttoned suit, hiding behind shades and a pork pie hat, a comical figure, he appears relaxed, smiling, comfortable, and having a pretty good time. The voice, the voice, weighty bass barreltone healing season'd and glorious.
Between swift exits to the bar for Guinness replenishment, dodging ribald security festering reliant yellow monkey men who vex the harmless aged multitude, we are treated to a varied robust tight set that includes the disappointing Vegas style Have I Told You Lately, a novel bluegrass Bright Side Of The Road, a mellow Magic Time, Farlowe sounding strangled on Stranded, a throw away Precious Time, I'm Not Feeling It Anymore, sung with great feeling, and a predictable goodnight folks Brown Eyed Girl after the quickest ninety minutes ever.
Bonuses include a surprised Tom Jones (OK, Chris again) duetting on Cry For Home, a reprise of their big hit. Two great tributes - a Ray Charles number to die for - in all its majesty - beautifully arranged, pure love, and a comical Dylan ditty with Chris again helping out to great effect, for It's All Over Now, Baby Blue.
Other highlights include a Tupelo Honey that was worth the price of admission on its own, sung with a passion and depth you don't see every day. Well preserved, and skilfully converted.
Hitching a ride into the night we made haste to The Bricklayers to mull over the nights events, over frothy pints, buttered scones and crumpets, footfalls echo in the memory.
An old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Wonder if anyone taped it. Some of these bootleggers, they make pretty good stuff.
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