MOTOWN came to Oxfordshire as a crowd of 9,000 music-lovers danced along to pop and soul stars The Jacksons, for the finale of Blenheim Palace's Nocturne festival.

The band, featuring brothers Tito, Jackie, Jermaine and Marlon, had the crowd on their feet for a hit-packed set celebrating 50 years of the band, and evoking the glory days of Detroit's legendary record label.

Tito said: "We are celebrating 50 years of The Jacksons and have a heck of a show. It has been a little while since we were here so it's good to be back."

They treated the audience on the hottest day of the year to such hits as Can You Feel It, I Want You Back, ABC, The Love You Save, and I'll Be There.

They dedicated a section of the show to their late brother Michael.
Tito told the Oxford Mail: "I feel Michael with us. We've been performing since we were little kids until now and it's hard not to have him here. But it's bittersweet as there's still a good feeling about him and his songs which comes from writing good songs. They live for a long time and that's the difference."

The band were supported by Jersey City disco band Kool and the Gang – still featuring original bass player Robert 'Kool' Bell and his saxophonist brother Ronald. Tunes included classics Cherish, Jungle Boogie and Celebration.

The night of pop and disco rounded off a spectacular four days of music for Nocturne, which saw up to 36,000 people through the gates of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Oxford Mail:

The series commenced with two nights of classical music, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra playing the film music of John Williams on Thursday, and west Oxfordshire composer Max Richter performing his Vivaldi Recomposed project – a reworking of the 18th century Venetian master’s Four Seasons, as well as the premier of his new album Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works, and a performance of On the Nature of Daylight – familiar as the theme music to the film Arrival.

Saturday was a night of jazz and soul with Jamie Cullum, Gregory Porter and Corinne Bailey Rae.

Standout moments included a tribute to the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire by Porter and a soulful rendition of Radiohead's classic High & Dry by Cullum, in readiness for his set at Glastonbury Festival next Sunday – where he shares the bill on the Pyramid Stage with Thom Yorke's Oxford band.

Festival director Ciro Romano said: "You'd be hard pressed to find a more perfect setting for a concert series than the Great Court at Blenheim Palace and its wonderful surroundings.

"We've worked really hard over the last three years to refine what we do with Nocturne and are delighted that this year's event has been such an overwhelming success on so many levels.

"We've enjoyed a fantastic weekend of music featuring an array of stunning performances from a range of international star acts. And even the weather has been on our side! We're already looking forward to next year and would like to thank everyone who's helped us make the event happen."