James Morrison at Hampton Court Palace Festival 2017

As music venues go, the royal Hampton Court Palace, situated snug in the borough of Richmond, Greater London is arguably as impressive as it gets. Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Hampton Court Palace Festival, which takes place annually every June, once again confirmed world-class acts including Bryan Ferry, James Morrison, Jools Holland, Rick Astley, Björn Again and The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra for their outdoor summer concerts.

It was a grey and slightly rainy summer’s day and I was off to see singer-songwriter and 2007 Brit Award winner James Morrison on Thursday 8th June take centre stage in Henry VIII’s historic open air Base Court, one of the stunning Tudor Courtyards of the palace. As an avid listener of his chart-topping album ‘Songs for You, Truths for Me’ back in 2008, a nostalgic trip down memory lane was very much appealing, and I was also keen to lend my ear to some later tracks I wasn’t as familiar with.

With ample time before the 9 pm start, there was plenty of time to enjoy a glass of red and admire the East Front Gardens. And my, what a picture they were. Perfectly preened lawns and distinctively shaped trees shaped the area, and despite the lacklustre weather plenty of people had made an impressive effort with their picnics spread out on the grass. For those that were less organised (myself included!), there were plenty of delicious food stalls selling a variety of different dishes. It really was an absolutely stunning setting to unwind in before a show and I felt relaxed and content sipping my wine in such beautiful surroundings.

                                          

It was soon time for James to take to the stage, and we made our way through the palace to Base Court, completely in awe at our surroundings. Bursting onto the stage, an introduction with the 2009 single ‘Nothing ever hurt like you’, elevated the crowds, some even rising to dance already. After a bit of light-hearted chit-chat to the 3,000 strong audience, up next it was the slower, mid-tempo ballad ‘I won’t let you go’ from 2011 album ‘The Awakening’, the slower rhythm inviting arm swaying from the audience.

‘Stay like this’ from the more recent 2015 album ‘Higher than here’ brought on swooning and wolf whistles, after which James’s sweetly explained it was written with his girlfriend in mind, followed by smooth and velvety vocals of ‘Something right’ from the same album.

Crowd-pleasing 2006 hit single ‘Wonderful world’ had the audience up on their feet, many singing along and turning to the catchy chorus. Interestingly (and as James hilariously pointed out – quite ironically) we learnt that the song was actually penned for a deaf man – though this wasn’t expanded on. Taking advantage of everyone up on their feet, hip-swayer ‘Slave to the music’ was next on the playlist, with everyone jigging along.

My personal favourite ‘Broken Strings’, an original duet with Canadian singer-songwriter Nelly Furtado seemingly had everyone feeling emotional and singing along, and paired with stunning female vocals it was my personal highlight of the show.  

As the performance slowly started to draw to a close, we were treated to the likes of ‘I need you tonight’ from ‘Higher than here’, and of course it wouldn’t be a James Morrison show without the unforgettable 2006 hit single ‘You give me something’ – a classic that everyone knew the words too.

The spectacular setting, matched with a delightful performance from James Morrison made the evening a truly memorable experience and a wonderful way to spend a summer evening, even despite the rain! The Hampton Court Palace Festival showcases outstanding acts year after year, so I eagerly look forward to checking out next year’s line-up.

Paloma Faith set for Hampton Court Palace Festival

We are excited to announce that Paloma Faith will perform on 18th June and tickets for this concert will go on sale on Monday 19th January at 11am.

On confirming her date at the Festival, Paloma said: "I'm so thrilled to be playing at Hampton Court Palace Festival this June. I hear that the atmosphere is so intimate in the open air setting of base court – it will be the perfect setting for my summer concert." 
 
Renowned for her unique style, the Hackney-born singer has soared to fame since her early days on the cabaret scene. Now she is one of the leading lights, and has proudly received Four BRIT Award nominations to date, including British Female Solo Artist and Best British Album.
 
Paloma has worked with a legendary roster of music icons and singer-songwriters including Pharrell Williams, Diane Warren, John Legend and Raphael Saadiq; producing two double platinum selling albums in the UK. At the Festival, she will delight the audience with songs from her recent and most successful album to date,A Perfect Contradiction with top ten singles Can’t Rely on You and her first Number 1 Only Love Can Hurt Like This.

Britain’s favourite tenor Alfie Boe will return to the Festival on 19th June with his band performing classic tracks from a selection of his albums, including his latest album Serenata, which sees him bringing the magic and romance of the Italian Riviera to the UK. His success has seen him conquer the world’s most prestigious opera stages, led the cast of Les Miserables for nearly a year, and stolen the show at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace.
 
King of boogie woogie, Jools Holland & his Rhythm & Blues Orchestra will perform two energy-fuelled shows at the Palace where he will be joined by the fantastic Gilson Lavis on drums and the fabulous Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall. His passion for music has made him a doyen of the music scene, and he was awarded an OBE in 2003 for his services to the British music industry. With his show ‘Later with…Jools Holland’ now in its 45th series, and Jools’ Annual Hootenanny in its 22nd, Jools’ name has become synonymous with quality music.
 
The sumptuous sounds of the MGM Studio Orchestra will be revived by John Wilson & The John Wilson Orchestra on 14th June as they pay tribute to composers George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Harry Warren, Jerome Kern and Andre Previn, among others by performing some of Hollywood’s best loved songs and show-stopping sequences from the MGM film musicals.

Celebrated for his sold out annual appearances with the John Wilson Orchestra at the BBC Proms, all of which have been broadcast on television, John Wilson has established an international reputation as a conductor, arranger and scholar. The John Wilson Orchestra is a unique hand-picked ensemble of some of the world’s finest musicians specialising in authentic concert performances of classic film musical scores.
 
The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra returns for a glorious evening ofFanfare & Fireworks. Against the backdrop of the Tudor courtyard the Orchestra will perform scores from the mainstream masters of classical music, culminating in Handel’s rousing Music for the Royal Fireworks. After the concert, Festival-goers will experience a spectacular fireworks display over the Palace.

More acts announced for Hampton Court Palace Festival

Van Morrison will make a welcome return to the Festival with classics such as Have I Told You Lately That I Love You and Brown Eyed Girl. Squeeze will also perform and delight fans with old favourites including Cool for Cats and Up the Junction as well as new material. In addition, the incredible Marc Almond will join Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra as a special guest, alongside Gilson Lavis and guest vocalists Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall.

They join Liza Minnelli, the legendary worldwide universally loved superstar who will provide the opening for the Festival’s 20th Anniversary on Thursday 14th June. The concert will include many of Liza’s showstoppers such as Cabaret, Maybe This Time, New York New York – arguably her very own signature tune – all written especially for her by the legendary song writing partnership of John Kander and Fred Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret) – and a selection of her best loved songs. 

The Festival will also host play host to Katie Melua, one of Britain’s most successful artists of the last decade who’s sold more than 11 million albums, who will delight festival-goers with familiar favourites such as Closest Thing To Crazy and Nine Million Bicycles, as well as performing songs from her new album Secret Symphony, out on 5th March. Legendary Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons will perform their first concert in the UK for 18 years at the Festival. This eagerly awaited concert will give fans the chance to hear many of the classic hit songs played live, such as: Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk Like A Man, Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye), December 1963 (Oh What A Night) and Grease.

Brit Award Winner James Morrison is also confirmed to perform in the stunning open-air courtyard of King Henry VIII’s Palace and will treat fans to his hit songs You Give Me Something, Wonderful World and I Won’t Let You Go as well as new tracks from his current album The Awakening. Caro Emerald, who recently appeared on Jools Holland’s Annual Hootenanny, will make her Festival debut this year with her eclectic style of ballroom jazz, cinematic tangos, groovin' jazz and infectious mambos with songs from her platinum-selling album Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor.

To mark the Festival’s milestone, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a special 20th Anniversary Gala, which will be followed by spectacular fireworks over the Palace. Conducted by Gavin Sutherland, he will be joined by tenor James Edwards, soprano Laura Wright and violinist Clio Gould. The evening will have a long interval so that Festival-goers can enjoy their picnics and Champagne in the Palace Gardens as the sun sets on the summer’s evening.

 

In addition to the music, Hampton Court Palace Festival is renowned for creating a truly unforgettable experience. Artists perform in the historic main courtyard of the magnificent Tudor Palace providing an intimate atmosphere for an audience of 3,000. Corporate hospitality is available in the State Apartments and Festival-goers can also arrive early (Palace Gardens open at 1730) and enjoy a delicious picnic courtesy of Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts, in the stunning Palace gardens.