CONCERTS Jun 7, 2011 23:25:05 GMT -5
Post by maddogtim74 on Jun 7, 2011 23:25:05 GMT -5
Donovan, Royal Albert Hall, Friday 3rd June
For those of you who might not know, Donovan's concert at the Royal Albert Hall was to commemorate the 45th anniversary of Donovan's third album; the innovative and psychedelic 1966 album Sunshine Superman. The Sunshine Superman single got to number 1 in American and number 2 in the UK and was inspired by the then girlfriend of the Rolling Stones' Brian Jones, Linda Lawrence (who would later become Donovan's wife.)
Jimmy Page was a session muscian on Sunshine Superman before the days of Led Zepplin (I also read on Wikepedia that Jimmy Page also contributed to the Kinks debut album!)
Anyway, I arrived at the Royal Albert Hall about 45 minutes before Donovan's performance, the RAH is probably Britains most prestigious concert hall and it certainly is impressive!
I wasn't sure who the support act was but shortly before Donovan's performance I found out that it was Newton Faulkner. I have to admit that all I'd heard by him was a song called Dream Catch Me (a song my brother played me) and I wasn't expecting to enjoy his performance that much - I was pleasantly suprised! I actually really enjoyed his performance and his friendly and down to earth banter with the audience. The songs were actually really enjoyable and he seemed like a nice guy (I actually spotted him leaving after the whole show was over) He ended his hour long set with a really cool, and quite amusing, rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody!
So Donovan comes on at 8.00am after being introduced by his daughter Astrella Celeste, who looked very elegant in a fitted blue dress. She would continue to relate little bits of Donovan's life in between songs, throughout the concert. Donovan walked out on stage looking very cool in his flowery shirt and waiscoat and kicked off the show with early hits Catch The Wind and Colours. After that he was joined by the London Contemporary Orchestra and performed several more of his most well known songs - Universal Soldier, Mellow Yellow, The Hurdy Gurdy Man, Jennifer Juniper, Barabajagal - to name a few!
I especially enjoyed Jennifer Juniper, a personal favorite of mine, and he totally rocked out on Barabajagal! I was chuffed to see that he was using his famous guitar, the green one with the little deer on it!
After about an hour there was an interval before we all waited excitedly for Donovan to come back on stage and perform his Sunshine Superman Album in its entirity. The orchestra played for a few minutes to build up mormentum, a few people started to get restless and some bloke shouted out 'Hurry up Donovan!' to which a member of the orchestra replied 'I think he's having a joint!'
Anyway, the second half of the concert kicked off with Sunshine Superman and Donovan's joined by a special guest - Jimmy Page! At this point there's a lot of noise and excitement and people seem genuinly suprised!
We're treated to the entire album, practically note for note. Donovan is also joined by folk musician Shawn Philips (who played sitar on the SS album) They do a few songs from the album ( Three Kingfishers, Guineveve, Ferris Wheel ) whilst sat on cushions on the floor together. It was at this point that I noticed Donovan had no shoes on and that he was wearing bright purple socks! ;D I really like the sound of a suitar so I really enjoyed these songs, they almost send you into a trance!
Donovan was joined by a young man for the song The Trip, and each took turns to sing the different verses. This is a personal fave of mine from the SS album so I really enjoyed it! We found out later in the show that the young man singing with Donovan was his son Donovan Jr
Jimmy Page's guitar playing helped to make Season Of The Witch really rock, it was really great!
After the last song from the album was performed, Donovan's son and daughter both hugged their father and Donovan's wife Linda came onstage (quite fitting as many of the songs on SS were inspired by her) She presented him with some beautiful flowers and Donovan thanked everyone. Astrella turned to her dad and said 'I'm sure everyone would like to hear you sing some more. How about doing Atlantis?'
Donovan honoured this request and at this point a fair few folks left their seats and walked up to the stage. As I was only 2 rows back I thought I might as well join them! Donovan Jr and Astrella remained on stage and sang along to Atlantis (another favourite of mine We were also treated to a second rendition of Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow, again Donovan Jr and Astrella joined in. Donovan himself seemed to really enjoy himself and I'm sure everyone else did too!
After the show I walked outside to see that a group of people were hanging around outside the stage door. Word was that Donovan hadn't left yet and people were waiting to see him and get albums signed. I already had an album in my bag just incase but after waiting nearly 40 minutes we were told that he'd already left I hung around awhile longer anyway and got chatting to a really friendly couple about the show, the Kinks and various other things! Some people remained to try and catch a glimpse of Jimmy Page but it was gone midnight and I had to catch the last train so I had to go.
Here's a cool video I found on YouTube of the second rendition of Mellow Yellow. If you look carefully you'll spot Jimmy Page, Astrella and Donovan Jr. You'll also see the flowers he was given.
There are also some cool shots of the audience towards the end of the video, giving you a good idea of just how big the hall was and how many people wewre there.
And here's a really charming, recent, short TV interview with Donovan, where he talks about Sunshine Superman, and getting together with Linda
Hopefully I'll add some photos tommmorow evening when I get them onto my computer - if I got any good ones that is!
This is very well-written Sleepwalker! So many details and side stories that I really enjoyed it, despite not knowing Donovan's music as well as I should. In fact, I will be exploring Donovan more indepth because of you Sleepwalker! Thank you for writing this, you really do have talent at creating a narrative.