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Van Morrison. 7-20-74.
This was an excellent performance by Van The Man which builds in intensity and confidence, Wingfield in particular is a monster. Fortunately a very good quality audience tape exists for posterity to enjoy.

Van busy being Da Man © Nigel Barton


 

Heathrow Shuffle. 
Warm Love. 
Foggy Mountain Top. 
Street Choir. 
I like It like that. 
Its Not the Twilight Zone. 
Listen to the Lion. 
Buffyflow. 

Bulbs. 
Into the Mystic. 
Since I Fell for You. 
Help Me. 
I Believe to My Soul. 
Iíve Been Working. 
Take Your Hand Out Of My Pocket. 
Naked In The Jungle. 
Brown Eyed Girl.

90 minutes.Rated A/A-.

    This was one of the smallest bands that Van played with in this era. , playing only its third show as a unit . Apparently the band had come together almost by chance, Wingfield was meant to play with the Montreux festival backing band for the US blues legends, but they brought their own musicians , so he was free to be part of Van's band.

    The other members were asked to join when Wingfield met them on the plane to Montreux. After Knebworth, the band toured the Us and Canada and were then laid off .This lineup did record an album with Van but it was never released , no doubt its mouldering in a vault somewhere .....the usual depressing story.

C'mon Van , get your hands out of your pockets and release that thang !

  • Van Morrison- sax, harmonica, vocals.
  • Peter Van Hook - drums.
  • Pete Wingfield - piano
  • Jerome Rimson -bass

This was for Van a very small band, playing only its third show as a unit . Apparently the band had come together almost by chance, Wingfield was meant to play with the Montreux fetrival backing band for the US blues ledgends, but they brought their own musicians, so he was free to be part of Van's band. The other members were asked to join as Winglfield met them on the plane to Montreux. After Knebworth, the band toured the Us and Canada and were then laid off.This lineup did record an album with Van but it was never released , no doubt its mouldering in a vault somewhere......

Reviews.
My personal viewpoint, reviewed from a combination of the aud tape and memory.

    Van Morrison followed and was a complete success, delivering a spirited set with many highlights,  not the least of which was  Into The Mystic  from Astral Weeks. Fronting a three piece band, of Peter Van Hook drums , Jerome Rimson Bass  and Pete Wingfield on piano , Van  said very little to the audience and was as usual pretty nervous looking on stage . He played sax on a few occasions and some cool harp on a great bluesy version of Help Me which had the audience clapping along during the quiet bits  .As the set progressed it became more soulful, Help Me was followed by I Believe To My Soul  with more great piano , in fact one the highlights of this band was the keyboard work , the piano player was really up front in the mix and he was no slouch.
    Next came a blazing version of I've Been Working which was anchored by frantic piano and shuffling percussive work, with Van delivering some short bursts of whooping combined with his frenetic harp . This then segued into Take Your Hand Out Of My Pocket , with some great  barrelhouse piano and impassioned vocals from Van. Rapturous applause followed this number, with much vociferous shouting for more and then the band funked away into Naked In The Jungle , which really rocked , with Van hollering repeatedly - Freakout, Freakout, Freakout - and you can hear the audience whoop in agreement .
        Massive applause after this one and then the tape cuts to the encore Brown Eyed Girl which was short ,sharp and oh so sweet. Van definitely made a few converts with this show .

 

 


Press reviews.

© Nigel Barton


Not everyone agreed that this set was a success, NME stated that :

Van looked like a probationary teacher on his first day in the science department of an East End Comprehensive. For most of the set he was largely uninspiring , although he managed times - notably on Into the Mystic - when he succeeded to mentally scuff the listeners life and then lapse into false calm again. Pete Wingfields piano keys stuck time and time again and Morrison would appear an almost tragic figure as he struggled to reactivate the set, wiping his spectacles painfully and looking fairly ludicrous in his lace flied leather pants
 a probationary Science teacher wearing leather lace flied pants ? That would be an interesting occurance......


Sounds tended to disagree with NME

Van turned in the most engaging music of the afternoon. He looked as tense as usual to start off with but for once he loosened up very quickly, bringing Street Choir  right up to forth number in the set , which had to be a significicant gesture . Why did you need to let me down ?, seemed to become a question that needed no answer, old history. At times as his set stretched out, it seemed that the Allmans were going to need to look to their boogie kings title , with Wingfield hammering away and Morrison rocking out .


Van Morrison links.

 

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