It was just over a year ago at Vans Torquay show that we were stunned with the news of baby Aibhe,and now the news that Van had a new baby son.Van has always had a prolific output but this is getting silly.Would this affect the performance of the proud father i wondered.Bowood is only down the road apiece from us and we are quite blessed that Van plays in the West of England so often.
It was a beautiful sunny September evening as we set off for the The Bowood estate which is quite amazing, it was built by the first Earl Of Shelbourne who was British Prime Minister when the Americans beat us 1-0 in the war of independance.The grounds were landscaped by Capability Browne.It is a beautiful backdrop for a Van concert. Bowood House looked really nice all lit up in various colours.it was only a taxi ride from our house to the Landsdowne Arms. where we met up with the usual suspects.
There was a support act on but i didn't listen to him because i was busy getting some food and drink together. I bought a bottle of champagne £35 ! Anything to keep her ladyship happy and some nice West Indian chicken curry which she didn't like.I thought it was delicious.Then it was time for Van the Man...
Except it wasn't, flaming Chris Farlowe came on and i can't abide him, i find him grotesque,he is like the hunch front of Notre Dame.In my notes i wrote Chris Farlowe, Love My Baby, Yes I Do, and The Thrill Has Gone.Thank god Van came on next
and sang ENLIGHTENMENT which was really good followed by MAGIC TIME.I left herself at this point and wandered up to the front where Van introduced veteran jazzer Chris Barber who Played excellent trombone on GOING HOME.This was followed by the HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY,I won't repeat previous opinions here.Next up was PLAYHOUSE which lets face it isn't one of Vans better compositions but it does allow the band to show what they can do. SOMETIMES WE CRY was next and this is one of my all time favourite Van songs but not when sung with Chris 'bleeding' Farlowe.BABY WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO? followed and this is ok , Van sang this at Glasto which made me wonder if it is a precursor to a bluesy type album next but i am reliably told this is not the case.A real country style BRIGHT SIDE OF THE ROAD was next and this was quite pleasant and got the crowd dancing about a bit.DON'T START CRYING NOW was next and was ok but a bit boring.DON'T YOU MAKE ME HIGH followed which is disappointing for me because there is much better songs off Pay The Devil such as Till I Gain Control Again.Anyway never mind.REAL REAL GONE was next and that was great.I must mention Katie Kissoon was there but she wasn't really given a chance to shine.
MOONDANCE was next which was its usual crowd pleasing but for the die hards boring self.STRANDED followed which was nice apart from Farlowe walking all over it.The next song saved the whole night and certainly lifted my Mood TUPELO HONEY !,It was great.HEY MR DJ followed and it was ok but why bother?Its hardly one of Vans greater songs is it? The next few songs were quite predicable , PRECIOUS TIME, JACKIE WILSON, BROWN EYED GIRL and GLORIA.I am fed up with them but the crowd was lapping it up and enjoying it so who are we to critisise?
Anyway, it was great to see fellow Posh fan Dail and all the others at Vans last outdoor gig of the Indian summer and with the grim Phil Spector of unemployment hanging over me it might be my last Van gig for a while so i am glad i went.
Nice review Pat, Indeed Bowood House was a perfect setting for a wonderful concert.
I had a great time, the music was a good mixture of songs, Blues and a bit of country.....Don't you get me High was brilliant, first time for me to hear this at a concert. Tupelo Honey was pleasant surprise, I wished Van had not done a duet with Chris on this, no Blue and Green I was hoping, but maybe at Royal Albert.
I fear that Van has the beginning of a cold, he had a scarf around his neck all night, the voice did not seem as strong.
The audience were really into the concert, and Van was giving fantastic response.
The atmosphere was the best I have seen at a concert, with the crowd singing along to the golden oldies, even I was singing to Brown Eyed Girl...I Don't like the song! but it just goes to show if the Ambience is right on the night...!Van was in good spirits and the band played well, Sara is very talented but I just don't like the sound of the pedal steel, Chris Barber was a guest of Van's and Katie Kissoon, nice opportunity to have done Cazy Love, which I heard her sing a verse at a concert, she sounds great.
Still hoping for the return of the horn section.....fingers crossed!
Here's praying for a good concert at the Royal Albert Hall....fantastic venue.
Gazette & Herald - Lucy Buckland
Legendary Irish rocker Van Morrison amazed crowds with a perfect set at Bowood on Saturday.
More than 3,000 people turned up to hear the star play hits such as Gloria and Brown Eyed Girl.
Kevin Borley, of Derry Hill, said: "Van is an absolute star. He played perfectly tonight and has lived up to all my expectations.
"He is as good now as he has ever been. The atmosphere was amazing with a great ambience. It was so great to see him."
Fans of the singer flocked from all over the country to see him perform. Rosario Caverdale, of Essex, said: "I have been a fan for 30 years and this was everything I had hoped for."
Bowood House was lit up as the band geared up to play. Fans spread blankets, drank wine and chilled out as Van the Man played the piano, guitar, harmonica, keyboards, drums, and saxophone.
Carol Mclean, of Malmesbury, said: "I have been a fan since the 70s and this concert brought back so many memories for me.
"I have grown up with Van and to see him play now was amazing."
As the concert came to an end many fans stood up and started dancing as the band played Van the Man out.
Old school fans waved the irish rocker off stage with cigerette lighters and shouts of "Van Van you're our man, if you can't do it no one can!"
Fans stayed late into the night drinking and celebrating Van's music.