March 22, 2006

Van Morrison

We were lucky enough to be able to go and see Van Morrison on St Patrick's day eve in Birmingham. What a voice! There is something about it's timbre, it's quality and it's … bigness that suggests a strapping big bloke but he is actually a dinky little thing of Ronnie Corbett proportions. I say again, what a voice. There's not many people who can equal nowadays their sound on CD but Van Morrison is actually even better in the flesh. He's a grumpy sod allegedly, and it's true that he never said a word to the crowd. The point is, he doesn't need to. He didn't sing anything from his new country album, which was a little surprising, but I suppose when you are of Van Morrison's calibre there is no need to advertise or plug.

And as it was St Patrick's day we were treated to an encore of "Star of the County Down", which was simply amazing. Like the whole performance. What was equally amazing was that people – stupid, ignorant people – actually talked through the whole thing! Two airheaded bimbos in front (obviously dragged along by male accomplices) could not have made their disinterest plainer. Quite apart from the fact that this dude is mind-numbingly good at what he does, why pay £35 for a seat when it's just background music for a vapid and irritating conversation? How I ached to bang their empty heads together. Happily some hardcore fan in front of them – with the Van the Man hat and everything, the sort who could say what they were doing when they first listened to a certain album – shut them up for us. A true hero.

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