Review by Hayley Clark with Photography by Cath Dupuy

What a wonderful night for a moon dance as Innervisions Festival 2019 drew to a close with the legend that is Van Morrison performing not one, but two sell out shows at Camden’s iconic Roundhouse. The Northern Irish crooner wowed the crowd as he performed with a full band and boy was he on rare form, treating the crowd to an hour and half stellar performance and I’m sure there was even a rare smile thrown in now and again from this megastar.

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With support from the soulful James Hunter fans of all ages packed into the venue on Sunday evening, horn sections, guitar riffs and deep soulful vocals projected through the fine acoustics of the venue as the audience bopped from side to side. The relaxed atmosphere shone as the festival’s second year went out with a bang, bringing some of the best of soul, jazz and funk to iconic venues across the capital. Innervisions’ refined vibe raised the bar for the festival experience.

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As the clock struck eight, the crowd clapped joyfully as the band appeared on stage under indigo lighting, appearing in trademark trilby style hat and shades looking the epitome of cool, the icon graced the stage and whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

The cool swing vibes played across the stage as the 73 year old was just getting started, his deep soulful sounds leaving goose bumps as he sang along, sultrily staring into the audience as all eyes were transfixed on this music royalty. The band were tight as they burst though favourites like ‘Gonna Send You Back’ and ‘Days Like This’, with no need for fancy graphics or light shows the intimacy in the venue meant you could hear a pin drop. With over 50 years in the business the OBE’s voice has matured with age, like a fine wine the full-bodied tones flow from the stage.

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The electricity built up with the sleek performance, throwing in a harmonica solo and a short burst of saxophone he takes his audience on a jazz masterclass, it’s not about the hits in this show as the music takes you to another dimension, to close your eyes and listen to the crystal sounds beaming around the Roundhouse, there isn’t many living legends left of the calibre of man who started touring at the tender age of 13.

Teasing the crowd with the swing infused ‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’ emphasised the versatility of his pristine performance, the audience singing along clapping in synch as the magical evening was in full flow achieving a rousing reception from those in the presence of this great. With a vast back catalogue it was no surprise Sir Van had a vast choice to choose from when curating the setlist ‘Moondance’ uplifted the crowd with its funky deep beat and his cover of Lester Young’s ‘Jumping With Symphony Sid’ left the crowd in awe, the flowing lyrics and excitable horn groove.

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As the encore of ‘In The Garden’ started to play there was a slight tease of ‘Brown Eyed Girl’, however this was nipped in the bud as the extended melody showed off each band member’s talents impeccably at the end of the two night stint, thanking the audience he left the stage, it was a perfect ending to Innervisions 2019, and we are already looking forward to 2020.

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