Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Take It Easy...

Which is precisely what the audience did, last night - enrapt by the rare treat of Jackson Browne's presence, on stage, in the UK.  He opened the annual summer stunner, that is the Hampton Court Palace Festival, held in the regally splendid setting of the Historic Royal Palace's grounds.

In his genial, super-laid-back style, Jackson commented "Quite a spot...!" before launching into the opening lyric from Off of Wonderland: "It was so easy for me, Up so high in my tree..."
His fabulously warm, caressingly mellow voice was just as stunningly beautiful and clear as I remembered, when I first heard his wonderful Disco Apocalypse album, way back in the early '80s, in my bohemian Paris studio - every lyric distinctly discernible.

Browne went on to comment "What an inspiring place... he found the Palace ...to marry a lot(!)"; peppering his whole set with good-humoured anecdotes about his (love) life and the inspiration behind each song.  Self-deprecatingly - when an audience member yelled-out a request for one of his best known tracks - he riposted "you just have to trust me" before enthralling us with an exquisite rendition of the evocatively moving "In the Shape of a Heart".

Throughout, his happy demeanour shone-out, as he congratulated the locals in having "the good sense to live in such a great area" and to enjoy concerts in such a special setting...so different, (as he explained), from many of the other so-called 'palaces/palais', he had played previously!  The performance, showcased in Hampton Court Palace's beauteous Base Court, was bathed in gloriously changing light.
As the evening drew to a close, continuous cheers rang out when - as one - we implored Jackson and his musical entourage - including long-term friend, conspirator and mentor, David Lindley - to come back.  Joyously, he returned, regaling us with much-requested Running on Empty before the show-stopping, standing-ovation finale of Take it Easy, (which, for a long time, he had ceased playing under the assumption that people would think he was doing an Eagles cover - in spite of having written it - before telling us that he was "over that now").

The 2010 Hampton Court Festival continues until Saturday, 19th June; featuring The Gipsy Kings, Michael Bolton, Simply Red, Jools Holland, Van Morrison and Michael Ball.  Catch it if you can!

Photo credits: Stephen Frak

2 comments:

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

It must have been a wonderful occasion.

amethyst said...

It was brilliant - highly recommended both for the setting and the stars...