bootleg city: van morrison, “montreux 1990″

Written by Music

Okay, I know I promised some sweet live Boss this week, but my daughter had other ideas for my time. I spend less time writing these Bootleg City entries than probably any other, but they do take a lot of time to format, and the Springsteen we’re talking about (again courtesy of Malchus the Great) is two and a half discs of goodness. In other words, a LOT of formatting. So it’ll have to wait until next week.

But what have we here? Some live Van, courtesy of reader Keith, who beamed this set all the way from beautiful New Zealand for all of you to enjoy on this (where I am, anyway) rainy Friday morning. And he’s even attached the following introduction. Enjoy, friends, and I’ll meet you back here next Friday for our return visit to Bossland!

I was a late-comer to Van Morrison: as often happens, I heard a lot about his music from friends and relations.. “Hey, Tupelo Honey is a great record, I’ll buy it for you”… “How can you NOT like Astral Weeks?”… but it wasn’t until I heard It’s Too Late To Stop Now that I realised the greatness of the man.

So when Van toured in the late 80s and 90s, I went to see him. I wanted that Too Late To Stop Now experience, having missed the Caledonia Soul Orchestra. And I did eventually get it. Just once.

He’s a curmudgeon, Mr Morrison. You could argue that he’s earned the right to be one, and you’d have a point. Unfortunately this makes him frustratingly inconsistent in performance. You might just catch him on a night when he’s on fire, but you’re going to have to sit through some distinctly average stuff before you get the goodies. You may have to wait for an array of special guests to finish.. ah.. doing whatever it is they do. Brian Kennedy and Shana Morrison, by way of example, are perfectly adequate singers in their own right, but when I go to see Van, I want to see Van. I don’t want to see Richard Gere (yes, that did happen).

I want to glow, and be healed, no less. And it happened to me, with pretty much the line-up of seasoned pros on the bootleg you are about to experience. Yep, I know what I just said about special guests, but Georgie Fame is there to help, not hinder. The track list is a career-defining cross section (from Them to The Chieftains through mystic soul and jazz). The Man is enjoying himself immensely. The band step up to the mark and follow his every move. It’s a whole lot of fun.

Montreux, 1990. Let’s go there.

Yeh Yeh
Did Ye Get Healed
It’s All in the Game/Make It Real One More Time
Here Comes the Night
Baby Please Don’t Go
Domino/In the Midnight Hour
Jackie Wilson Said…
Sweet Thing
Star of the County Down
Northern Muse (Solid Ground)/When Heart is Open
Whenever God Shines His Light
Summertime in England
Caravan
In the Garden