Morrison wows Escot crowd

PUBLISHED: 10:48 22 July 2010

IT is just as well Escot Park is an outdoor venue, because the power of James Morrison’s voice on Friday night would have blown the roof off anywhere else.

There was a festival atmosphere as the evening sun shone down on the crowd, with concert goers enjoying picnics and drinks al fresco, milling around and chatting.

US singer Lauren Pritchard kicked off the evening’s proceedings, promoting her debut album Wasted in Jackson, out in October, and her Painkillers EP, out next month. Confident and charming, with a voice showing traits of Beth Orton mixed with Amy Winehouse, her melodic and soulful set got the audience on side.

Folk singer-songwriter Joshua Radin was up next. His easy-going manner and voice, reminiscent of Jack Johnson, added to the summer vibe of the evening. Crowd pleasers included new single Brand New Day and I’d Rather be With You. Mixing the upbeat with slower, more melancholic numbers gave his set variety that kept it interesting.

James Morrison seemed to love every moment of his performance, his enthusiasm infectious and endearing. He owned the stage, leaping off the drummer’s podium at every available opportunity in true rock‘n’roll style. No hint of ego, just genuine excitement and energy.

The 90-minute set exploited his natural talents as vocalist and musician to the full, mixing the ballads he is perhaps best known for with faster-paced tunes. Particular highlights were the tear-jerking Once When I Was Little and the passionate duet Broken Strings, which he performed with one of his backing singers. Hits such as Wonderful World and You Give Me Something had everyone singing along. Throwing a Stevie Wonder cover in for good measure showed that Morrison can hold his own with, and has respect for, the greatest. Every moment was a joy to watch.

Ellen Cook


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