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Friday, 28 June, 2002, 09:57 GMT 10:57 UK
Van Morrison to play country pub
Van Morrison
Morrison's demands and conditions run to three pages
Regulars at a country pub in Wiltshire will get a shock when singer Van Morrison interrupts his summer schedule to play their local.

Morrison's one-off gig will be the culmination of two years of work by the landlords at The Crown on Salisbury Plain.


We have to do something a bit special to get people to notice us

Gary Marlow
Landlord
But booking the famously particular star will cost Gary and Sarah Jane Marlow 37,000.

His summer schedule now includes concerts in Munich, Lucerne, Switzerland - and an hour and a half in Everleigh's best boozer.

It is not the first time the Marlows have taken a gamble in securing the services of a reclusive 1960s star.

Last year they persuaded former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, absent from the music scene for many years, to play a set at the 16th Century pub at a cost of 18,000, which left the couple with no profit.

'Very cool'

Mr Marlow, 43, said: "It's taken two years to get [Van]. He is very pedantic and very choosy, but it will be worth it.

"It is a bit bizarre, having him at this pub in Wiltshire, but it's very, very cool and will be a very personal night.

"It's a wonderful old building and a beautiful setting with nothing blocking the view for six miles.

Robbie Williams
Could Robbie Williams be next?
"Where would you rather be - in this fabulous old building where the stage is set for a great night - or just in some hall?"

A stage is being built at the back of the pub for the outdoor concert, which is supported by guest singer Chris Farlowe.

Mr Marlow said he has already had a three-page list of demands from Morrison and his eight-piece band, the contents of which he is not allowed to reveal.

And the artist behind top 100 album staple Astral Weeks will have an impressive dressing room.

"He's pretty much got the pub and the whole of the restaurant," said Mr Marlow.

"But there's going to be a lot of people coming and going and he can't really be interrupted when he's eating his steak before, can he?"

The pub has a capacity of 1,500 in its grounds and they have sold 600 for the Van Morrison gig so far but need another 400 sales to break even.

Distant pint

Mr Marlow said the foot-and-mouth crisis hit businesses like theirs hard last year.

"We're just a country pub, people have to drive here just to get a pint.

"We can't just sit around, we have to do something a bit special to get people to notice us.

"But if it works, who knows? The sky's the limit. Robbie Williams next perhaps?"

Tickets and information on the gig on 3 August are available on 01264 852664.


Click here to go to BBC Wiltshire
See also:

22 Nov 01 | N Ireland
25 Oct 01 | N Ireland
03 Jul 01 | N Ireland
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