Van Dyke Parks
Submitted by mikethep on 6 May 2013 - 9:50am
The Borderline W1
May 5 2013
Somewhat to the relief of me and my mate Sean the gig at Ally Pally, which would have involved standing through hours of who knows what, was cancelled, and this intimate gig put on instead. It's a real treat to listen and talk to a legend in such surroundings. Looking spry and cheerful and anything but 70, VDP ran through his back catalogue: Jump, Sail Away, Cowboy, FDR in Trinidad, as well as a couple of things by Gottschalk, who was rockin' that New Orleans piano a century before Mac Rebennack. Discreetly backed by harp, cello, double bass and drums, he put on a great show. At the end he brought on a young chanteuse called Gaby Moreno for beautiful duets on Nilsson's He Needs Me and Lowell George's Sailing Shoes. Brian Wilson wasn't mentioned.
Beardy Garth Hudson lookalike in a Monkees t-shirt who knew all the words; beautiful dark haired girl there on her own who listened gravely with absolute concentration to every note; me, Sean and similar; and Loudon Wainwright.
Food & drink:
Drink. What else to say.
It made me think:
That VDP isn't a marginal rock figure, he's a great American composer in a direct line from Gershwin and Porter. He has a new album out which ideally will sell in huge numbers, but I doubt he's expecting that.