Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review: Christy Moore & Declan Sinnott. Colston Hall Bristol 10/5/2015

I saw the great Christy Moore again on Sunday night. I went with my friends Jacquie, Pat, Smithy, Judy and Sian. Christy came on stage at the Colston Hall at the early time of 7.30. As usual he was accompanied on guitar by Declan Sinnott. To help out he also had Jimmy Higgins on percussion and Vicky Keating on backing vocals. I had never seen Vicky before so that was a nice addition. The show began with Jackson Browne's great song Before The Deluge  Christy is a great interpreter of other peoples songs as he proved with the next one which was Richard Thompson's beeswing. Jimmy Macarthy's Missing You followed and then the very moving On Morecambe Bay written by Kevin Littlewood. I think Smithy would have really enjoyed this one as it is part of his own repertoire. Christy started singing I'm A Bogman next but it all went wrong and he said to Declan "I'm making a balls of this one", much to the amusement of the audience. This changed into Motherland from his 2003 album Burning Times which was written by Natalie Merchant.

 Then Christy paid tribute to the great Ewan McColl whose 100th anniversary is this year with three songs Go, Move, Shift,The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face and Companeros. Just what I needed after the election results. City Of Chicago and Shane McGowan's A Pair Of Brown Eyes were followed by a John Spillane song but I don't know how to spell it. (Hilary tells me it is called Gortatogort which is the place in West Cork where his mother came from). I did once read that John Spillane went to Africa and made a documentary with African musicians and wrote in his journal about the evils of the slave trade and I am sure that Christy is aware of the fact that the Colston Hall is named after Edward Colston who made his money from the slave trade. There was a big debate a few years ago about changing the name of the hall but it never happened. Then it was Delirium Tremens, Farmer Michael Hayes, Ride On and Viva Le Quinte Brigade. All great songs. I had to go to the toilet and I missed a song by Declan which was a shame and I might have missed one more as well, North And South Of The River was the first song when I got back in my seat followed by the beautiful ballad Black Is The Colour and the very moving Does This Train Stop On Merseyside. Declan played some great guitar during Smoke And Strong Whiskey. 
Christy then sang a request from somebody right near the front. I don't know what the song was called but it mentioned Hull and Halifax in the lyrics.( Hilary just told me it is The Dalesman's Litany, I should have known that because I have heard Christy sing it before. It is written by Dave Burland). Another request followed for Caitlin or is it Cathleen or Kathleen?, anyway it was very moving and called So Do I. The hilarious Honda 50  was followed by the classic Nancy Spain. A song from the Graffiti Tongue album Yellow Triangle was very sombre and powerful. They all left the stage but returned to sing Ordinary Man, another song with a powerful political message. A great show of two hours ended with Mandolin Mountain/ Water And The Well. 

Thank you very much Christy, Declan, Vicky and Jimmy for a great show and I'll see you again at Glastonbury in a few weeks time.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Christy Moore,Royal Festival Hall,April 18th 2014

The concert on Friday at the Royal Festival Hall was one of the most enjoyable evenings I have ever had. Partly because of the company I was with and partly because Christy Moore and Declan Sinnott were simply great.. Here is what happened.
                                I got to Waterloo station and there was The Festival Hall right next door which was handy I thought. A quick stroll across the bridge and I found my hotel on the Strand. Then I met up with my friends Jacky and Bill and their daughter Sarah. It was especially nice to see Sarah because i hadn't seen her since Glasto 97. After an hour we were joined by my nephew Dominic. It was great to see Dominic again as well. We chilled out for a couple of hours and then took a leisurely walk back over the river and found a nice restaurant by the Southbank and had some nice food. Then we walked to the Festival Hall and sat outside by the river until it was show time and we took our seats.

                                                                                Christy and Declan were joined by young Jimmy Higgins who I had never seen before who really added to the sound on a variety of percussion instruments. The first song was Biko Drum probably chosen as Christy's tribute to Nelson Mandela. This got warm applause and Christy said, " Thank you very much, I can tell you are all full of hot cross buns". This was followed by Natives which was really moving. One thing I really like about Christy is that he believes in singing every word really clearly so even if someone hasn't heard a song before they can understand what he is saying. Some singers mumble the words and you don't know what they are banging on about. The next song was City Of Chicago from the Ride On album which is where I first discovered Christy's music thirty years ago. Another great song was Smoke And Strong Whisky written by Larry Page. Black Is The Colour was wonderful. It was written by Hamish Imlach. Declan picked out some beautiful notes and the audience joined in. The hilarious Delirium Tremens followed and then A Pair Of Brown Eyes by the great Shane McGowan. Some eejit near the front kept heckling Christy and he said, "If you interrupt me again I’ll have you out and you can have your money back". It must be really annoying for a performer when they are concentrating and doing their best for the audience and somebody keeps distracting them. Anyway, there were no further interruptions so it did the trick.
Magdalene Laundries followed which is a really sad song. I always thought that the Magdalene Laundries were only a shameful part of Irish history but the first one  opened in England and they actually spread all over the world. Another sad song followed They Never Came Home which is about the tragedy at the Stardust night club in Dublin in which 48 young people died but it did actually remind me of the South Korean ferry disaster of a few days ago. I can't think of another singer who cares more passionately about social issues than Christy. The story of Farmer Michael Hayes was next. It’s one of the great songs on the Folk Tale album. The beautiful ballad written by Barney Rush Nancy Spain was next which really pleased this audience. Christy has recorded several songs written by Jimmy McCarthy and Jimmy's song Missing You was next. Then a song I was certain would be sung tonight Sweet Thames Flow Softly written by the great Ewan MacColl. Does This Train Stop On Merseyside? was especially poignant with the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster being last week. Christy's great song about the Irish volunteers in the Spanish Civil War Viva La Quince Brigada followed which is another great song from the Ride On album. Declan then sang one of his own songs which was a great country blues type song but I’m afraid I don't know what it is called. Sorry Declan, I hope one of the experts will tell me.( Colm aged 9 from Kerry tells me it was called Blood Rushes Through My Veins)

                                                                                                                                                                 Christy's great peace song North And South Of The River followed and I thought it was particularly apt as it was Good Friday and the 16th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement. The Well Below The Valley is a great song that Christy's band Planxty recorded in 1973 and Christy said that he learned the song from a singer from the travelling community called John Reilly. The Voyage is one of Christy's most popular songs and it was written by Johnny Duhan so it must have made Johnny a few bob over the years. Bog Man was next and this song was written by Christy's brother Luka Bloom. One of my favourite songs Curragh Of Kildare was next followed by the great Lisdoonvarna. One of the many reasons I have always liked this song is because it mentions Van The Man. I think Christy must like Van as well because Van gets a mention in his Weekend In Amsterdam song. Ordinary Man followed and then Beeswing.I found this very moving because it reminded me of Kim. Afterwards I said that I didn't think Christy's version was as good as Richard Thompson's original which is a stupid thing to say because they are both great versions in their own way.

Christy then recited On The Mainland from his Graffiti Tongue album of 1996 in which he has a poke at the BBC for claiming Seamus Heaney as a British Nobel Prize winner. Then it was the crowd pleaser Don’t Forget Your Shovel which evolved into some hilarious nonsense about meeting Charles and Camilla in the Acoustic Tent at Glastonbury. I was glad that Christy sang Ride On because Sarah had said it was her favourite Christy song. This was followed by Joxer Goes To Stuttgart and there was the usual huge cheer when Ray Houghton got the ball and stuck it in the net. Spancil Hill  written by John Considine in the 19th century was next and quite brilliant. The songwriter actually came from Spancil Hill which is in County Clare and he wrote the song after he emigrated to California.

                                                                              The evening was coming to an end and for an encore Christy performed Rocky Road To Dublin followed by the tear jerker Sonny’s Dream. Then Christy, Declan and Jimmy left the stage in triumph after one of the most enjoyable concerts I have ever seen.On the way out of the hall i was really pleased to meet Hilary  from County Kerry.I hadn't seen Hilary since Christy's show in Bath last year. She must be the worlds number one Christy fan so I hope Hilary will put me straight on any mistakes in this review.

                                                                    Next day walking  back across the bridge I took one last look as the sweet Thames flowed softly underneath and I renamed the London Eye the London Diddily Eye in honour of Christy Moore. 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Review: Christy Moore & Declan Sinnott.Bath Pavilion May 26th 2013.

I have been a Christy Moore fan since 1985 when I discovered the album 'Ride On'. I loved every song on that album.I liked the humour of songs like Lisdoonvarna and like Steve Earle who I saw three nights ago I liked Christy's left-wing political songs. Until recently I bought all of Christy's albums. I saw him several times in Bristol and about four times at Glastonbury. To my shame though for somebody who claims to be a Christy fan it has been far too long since I last saw him live so I was delighted when I heard that Christy was playing locally at Bath Pavilion. I caught the 4.00 train from Westbury and arrived in Bath 29 minutes later. It was a beautiful warm summers evening as I strolled up Milsom Street with thousands of tourists and local people enjoying the sunshine or watching the jugglers and the clowns and the other buskers.
I walked past the Abbey and there was even a buddhist lady meditating in the abbey courtyard blissfully unaware of the crowds. I made my way to the Huntsman pub where I hoped I might meet up with some other fans but I didn't, so after a pint I got bored and went for a walk along the river. I had a pint in the Boatman pub and sat outside and it brought back quite poignant memories of when Kim and I used to come to Bath at the weekends.Then I went back to the Huntsman and my brother Paul turned up so we sat there for a while chatting and watching the world go by and taking photos of each other.At 7.45 we made our way to the Pavilion.I hadn't been to this venue for over 30 years but it is small and intimate, just perfect for a Christy concert.
I bought the most recent CD called Folktale, a beautiful album which I am listening to at this very moment. and we took our seats which were right in the middle behind the sound man.As usual Christy was ably supported by Declan Sinnott who is a superb guitarist.I have actually been aware of Declan's work longer than Christy's because I had the Book Of Invasions album by Horslips about 35 years ago.The first song they did was January Man which was a really nice introduction. Christy said it was nice to be playing in the city of Bath and to play a venue where The Beatles, Stones, The Who and Jimi Hendrix had played. Then it was the Yellow Furze Woman followed by Richard Thompson's great Beeswing. Christy got a few words wrong in this for which he apologised afterwards. This was followed by I'm Missing You another very moving song and then Christy sang a song for somebody called Julia. It was Butterfly which I think is a song by The Handsome Family originally.Its a beautiful song and it made Julia's night I'm sure. I was realising that the words of the last three songs all reminded me of Kim. Then Christy sang Bob Dylan's Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll maybe because it was Bob's birthday last week. Christy said it was nice to play to an audience that came to listen. This was true,you could have heard a pin drop during most of the songs. Next was a song for a lady called Rosaleen. It was Spancil Hill which Christy had first heard in 1963 and it had never left him. That song was followed by the great Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?.I found it very moving especially with the reference to the Hillsborough victims. I really enjoyed the next song as well The Dalesman's Litany written by Dave Burland.I bet my Yorkshire friends Jacky and Bill would love this song because they spend a lot of time in The Dales.
The very respectful audience came alive during the next song and clapped along to the very humourous Delirium Tremens which was great fun.The following song Christy said he first heard sung by Nic Jones who i am looking forward to seeing in a few weeks.He had also heard it by John Riley. I discovered it myself as Matty Groves by Fairport Convention but Christy calls it Little Musgrave.It is an epic song and a great one. It's like a film in a way, you can imagine the drama in your mind as you listen to it. Then it was the great Ride On.One of the songs that first got me into the music nearly 30 years ago. This was followed by Jackson Browne's wonderful  Before The Deluge which Christy has made his own. Then a song i had never heard before. It was a request for Sixteen Fishermen Raving written by Wally Page which was really funny and Christy said he didn't know what it was about either. Nancy Spain written by Barney Rush was next and this must have been sung a thousand times but it is still very moving.
Christy handed over to Declan to sing a song next which I hope is called Let The Sunshine In. It was very nice.Declan has his own new album out now which I must check out.The following song was a joint effort with Christy and Declan taking turns to sing a verse. I'm not sure what it is called though. It is a story set in America about a woman called Sara McCrae.Maybe one of the experts will help me out. People started calling out requests so i shouted out Don't Forget Your Shovel which was the first song that came into my head and Christy sang it. The audience loved it. The next song was the sad story of The Contender Jack Doyle.I don't know anything about Jack Doyle. I'll have to do some research but I can't be bothered at the moment. Its a great song anyway. The powerful Biko Drum was next, one of my favourites of Christy's political songs.Then there was a request from somebody from Kildare,Christy's home county and there was some banter to find where exactly in Kildare the person came from. Their reward was the funny Honda 50 written by Tom Tuohy (Thanks for that info Petra). I'm A Bogman was next which was written by Christy's brother Luka Bloom. followed by the beautiful Bright Blue Rose written by Jimmy McCarthy.Another very emotional song was Black Is The Colour which Christy encouraged the audience to join in with.
Declan and Christy then left the stage but we knew they would be back for an encore. The first song was the great City Of Chicago and then the audience favourite Lisdoonvarna. During the part which mentions Van Morrison Christy said to Declan, "Did you know Van has a house in Bath?","We'll stay the night then",said Declan.(Actually Van left Bath quite a while ago). The song then segued into a rousing I'll Tell Me Ma to bring a great show of almost two hours to an end.I went down to the front to snap a couple of photos but all my photos that i took inside turned out crap so sorry about that.

Afterwards I bumped into Hilary from the Kingdom of Kerry.She is a lovely lady who I met three years ago through a mutual friend Petra from Hamburg at the London Feis in Finsbury Park when Bob Dylan,Van the Man and Christy played there. Hilary is a huge Christy fan who goes to all his gigs. She is also good friends with his stage crew which was very useful because she asked one of them called Mick to go backstage for me and he came back with my CD personally signed by Christy which really made my night.
I had to rush off to catch the 10.30 train.It had been a perfect night.It was great to see Christy and Declan in such fine form and obviously enjoying themselves and last night must be a contender for gig of the year as far as i am concerned.Thank you very much Christy and Declan.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Christy Moore At Glastonbury 2004

Seeing Christy Moore in Bath on Sunday brought back many fond memories of seeing Christy with my late partner Kim.At Glastonbury 2004 we got snapped by the official photographer.We were drenched but it was worth it to see Christy.This is an extract from my account of his performance.
                                                                                                                             Then it was time to make our way to see one of my personal favourites Christy Moore. We got there good and early to get right at the front.Before that though The Bishop Of Bath And Wells came on stage and gave a short speech which was well received.He reminded the audience that during the 3 days of the festival 90.000 children will have died worldwide because of lack of the basic things we take for granted and he urged the audience to support the charities that the festival supports.Thats what many people forget, that Glastonbury is a fundraiser.Each year it gives over £1,000,000 to groups such as OXFAM, GREENPEACE, WATER AID, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and many others.
                                                                                  I think it was 1982 the first time I saw Christy at Glastonbury when he was in the Moving Hearts band and I think 3 times since as a solo artist. The previous time was 1993 when he came on before Lenny Kravitz and The Kinks . I remember that occasion because Chisty sang 'Welcome To The Cabaret' and with his great self -deprecating humour Christy said ,"Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen for coming to see Lennie Kravitz and The Kinks and Christy Moore, i've never heard of him before!".Christy has always been a great supporter of the festival and so it was great to see him back on the Pyramid Stage at 4.00 Sunday afternoon.He hasn't enjoyed the best of health in recent years but Christy seems fighting fit again now. It was also great to see him arrive on stage with great support from Declan Sinnott and Donal Lunny.We were in for a great show. Christy began with the great Before The Deluge, a Jackson Browne song that Christy has made his own. I wonder why he chose that song to open? Had he gotten word backstage about the storm brewing?. He followed that with North And South Of The River, a very moving song about Northern Ireland. This set the tone for the show with Christy opting for songs with a strong political message rather than love songs or the whimsical humorous songs for which he is noted.You will have to excuse me now because I wasn't taking notes and I was merrily drunk so I can't remember every song that Christy sang but he did the following for sure.
Before The Deluge
North And South Of The River
Black Is The Colour (Christy does requests even at Glasto!)
Missing You
Viva La Quinte Brigada (Awesome, My Favourite)
Burning Times
City Of Chicago
Go Move Shift
Hiroshima/Nagasaki Russian Roulette
Yellow Triangle.
A few minutes into the set it began to rain and got heavier until it became a downpour,the crowd stayed though even though they were drenched which is a huge sign of the affection the audience have for Christy.I think the rain even made Christy more determined to entertain the crowd.
"I know its hard but thanks for staying with us, you created a great vibe to work off,"Said Christy.
We all knew what the finish would be.It was of course Lisdoonvarna which was superb and I always like it when Christy name checks my other hero Van Morrison. The song evolved into I'll Tell me Ma and the crowd danced in the mud.All three of them took a bow and walked off in triumph. What a show! As we left John C Scott from the official Glastonbury Website took our photo. I looked like a drowned rat, so we went back to the tent .There was a huge pool of water in it because I had stupidly not done the zip up properly.Then I made a decision..
"Lets go home", I said to Kim.
"What about James Brown?".
""Oh sod James Brown, he's not bothered about seeing us."
We put our belongings in a couple of bags and walked away, abandoning our little faithful little tent.It had done a good job for 4 years but it was knackered and caked in mud.(That was a really bad thing to do, you shouldn't abandon stuff for others to have to clear up)
We got the bus to Castle Cary and the train and were home about 50 minutes after leaving the site.A hot shower and a shave and I went to the pub and the football.That night I watched
about 2 hours of Glasto on the telly,Bonnie Raitt sounded great and Morrissey and I began to regret coming home early.I felt that I'd cheated.Today I washed my wellies with a hosepipe in the garden they were covered in mud. A little bit of Worthy farm will be forever part of my back garden

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Wild Children ( Born in 1945).

 We were the wild children born 1945
When all the soldiers came marching home
Love looks in their eye
Tennessee, Tennessee Williams
Let your inspiration flow
Let it be around when we hear the sound
When the spring time rivers flow, when the rivers flow
Rod Steiger and Marlon Brando
Standing with their heads bowed on the side
Crying like a baby thinking about the time
James Dean took that fatal ride, took that ride.
I'm going to two concerts in the next few months of artists who are celebrating their 70th birthday this year which means they were born in 1945. In May I am seeing the great Christy Moore in Bristol just three days after his birthday.and in August seeing Van Morrison play on Cyprus Avenue, Belfast on his actual birthday. Both these events will be memorable.
 I just looked on Wikipedia to see what other musicians were born in 1945 when the soldiers came marching home from war. The list is quite astounding. Stephen Stills, Rod Stewart, Bob Marley (R.I.P), Elkie Brooks,Arthur Lee of the group Love (R.I.P), Mickey Dolenz and Davy Jones (R.I.P) of The Monkees, Eric Clapton (Birthday today), Lowell George of Little Feat (R.I.P), Richie Blackmore and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, Stu Cook, Doug Clifford and John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bjorn & Anni-Frid of ABBA, Hugh Hopper of Soft Machine (R.I.P), Tammi Terrell (R.I.P), Rita Coolidge, Bob Seger, Keith Jarrett, Pete Townshend, Gary Brooker of Procol Harum, Gladys Horton of The Marvellettes (R.I.P), Gordon Waller of Peter & Gordon, Benny Gallagher of Gallagher & Lyle, Carly Simon, Debbie Harry,Kim Carnes, John Lodge of The Moody Blues,Al Stewart, Pigpen of The Grateful Dead (R.I.P), Doug Ingle of Iron Butterfly,Jose Feliciano, Dee Dee Warwick, Bryan Ferry,Don McLean, Donny Hathaway (R.I.P),Brian Connolly of The Sweet (R.I.P), Melba Moore, Neil Young, John McVie, Bette Midler, Peter Criss of Kiss and Lemmy of Motorhead. If you know of any more let me know. I make that 45 well known musicians including a lot of legendary figures. I just looked at 1955 by way of comparison and I could only find about 12 musicians that I have heard of so I think 1945 must have been a vintage year for great musicians to be born.

                                                                        I don't know about any of those other musicians on that list but the only one that I can think of to celebrate in song the fact he was born in 1945 is Van Morrison in his song Wild Children on his seventh album, the very underrated  Hard Nose The Highway released in 1973. It also features on the greatest live album ever made called It's Too Late To Stop Now.I don't know if Van's dad was in the army during the war because he worked in the Harland And Wolff shipyard and was probably kept busy building ships but that is beside the point. Wild Children is probably my second favourite song on the Hard Nose album after Warm Love , (You can listen to the song below if you want) and is about the influences on the kids of 45 growing up in the 50's and the people who inspired them such as Marlon Brando and James Dean, films like On The Waterfront and the plays of Tennessee Williams. Anyway at the concert in Cyprus Avenue on Van's birthday I think as well as the song Cyprus Avenue he should include Wild Children in his set-list. I have never seen him perform it live so that would be great. Roll on August 31st!. 


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Van Morrison, Teenage Cancer Trust Concert, Royal Albert Hall, London 25/3/ 2015.

Last nights concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London was one of the most enjoyable evenings I have had in ages. Here is what happened. I arrived in London at about 12.30 and as it was a nice sunny day I decided to walk to Kensington through Hyde Park. I had lots of spare time so looked at an exhibition in the Serpentine Gallery. It was really interesting, the work of an American artist called Leon Golub who I had never heard of but the work was quite brilliant. I finally emerged from the park just by the Albert Memorial so I thought I'd have a walk around to the stage door of the Albert Hall because you never know who might be hanging around but I didn't spot anyone. Then I had a spot of lunch in the Queens Arms and found my hotel. A really nice hotel which had an Indian Restaurant on the ground floor. "That will come in handy tonight", I thought to myself. I had an hours nap then walked down the avenue again back to the Queens Arms where I met up with Mike (Nosey), Hugh and Ivan from Northern Ireland (Not that Ivan!). It was really nice to meet Howard for the first time and his son Matt. We had a couple of drinks and a chat and then made our way to the Albert Hall. Just before showtime I was pleased to bump into Amanda who I have met at a lot of Van shows. I was in row 18 but had a really good view.
A man whose name I didn't catch came on to introduce the show and talked briefly about the Teenage Cancer Trust. Roger Daltrey has organised these annual shows for 15 years and they have raised £20,000,000 in that time. Then there was a short but very moving film about the charities work. After that Roger Daltrey came on stage and introduced a group of young people who have benefited from the Teenage Cancer Trust and one of them spoke briefly to the audience. Roger Daltrey has gone up in my estimation since last night. He deserves a lot of praise for all his hard work. Finally Roger introduced Van  and the show got under way.
                                                                              The band of Paul Moran, Dave Keary, Paul Moore, Bobby Ruggeiro and Dana Masters began playing and then Van walked on stage to huge applause and proceeded to play Celtic Swing. This was followed by Higher Than The World. Dana looked really nice but I was slightly bugged that her contribution on backing vocals was so quiet. What is the point of backing singers if you can't hear them?. Then Van introduced his first guest of the evening which was Clare Teal. They sang one of my favourite songs from the new album Carrying A Torch which was fabulous and then a song from Astral Weeks The Way Young Lovers Do which I don't think I have heard Van perform live before because I didn't go to the Astral Weeks shows of 2008.
 Paul Moran excelled himself on this song which was great. Clare left the stage to warm applause and Van launched into a medley of  Baby Please Don't Go/Parchman Farm/ Don't Start Crying Now. This was really good and Van introduced some dark humour into the Parchman Farm segment with some pretend gun-play. Roger Daltrey was the next guest to be introduced and seemed a bit nervous about singing with Van. " This should be interesting", said Roger hesitantly . I think he had probably only heard about the song that very afternoon and had to read the words off a music stand but he was really good on Talk Is Cheap and I never knew Roger was such a good harmonica player. Roger was rewarded for his brave effort with a big hug from Van which was nice to see, there was a lot of love about this concert.and he left the stage.

 Then it was time for the enigma that is P.J.Proby to take the stage. He clearly relished every moment of his appearance. I bet P.J. thought his days of appearing on a stage like this were well and truly over so he loved to be back in the spotlight. They sang Van's song What Ever Happened To P.J.Proby and then a song that P.J. had written in reply which I think was called P.J.Proby Calling Van Morrison, It was ok and fun and Van played some nifty saxophone on it. I really enjoyed their next duet, Sam Cooke's Bring It On Home To Me. P.J then left the stage after milking the applause. I had actually quite enjoyed his contribution. Precious Time followed with Paul Moran again showing how great he is on the trumpet.

                                                                                Van's old friend Georgie Fame looking resplendent in a white suit then came on-stage and  seated himself at the keyboards for Get On With The Show but as on the Duets album I think Georgie's huge talents are not really utilised  on this song. The cha cha cha ending is quite humorous though. Georgie was much more to the fore on The New Symphony Sid and Centrepiece which evolved into Corrina,Corrina. I should mention Dave Keary on guitar who was outstanding all night. George departed and then it was time for a really soulful Days Like This and finally Dana made herself noticed with her vocal contribution. Van's sax playing was great as well. One of the absolute highlights of the evening for me was when Mick Hucknell arrived on stage and performed a stunning Streets Of Arklow with Van. I must say that after about 3 decades of not liking Mick Hucknell due to stupid gingerist prejudice  I am now a fan. He is a great soul singer.Van played some great electric guitar on this song. I filmed it and you can see the result below.

 After Mick left the stage it was Moondance a song I am usually bored with hearing too often but I enjoyed it tonight and Dana's contribution was really nice.This was followed by Magic Time which was ok because Van & Dave were tip top on sax and guitar. Following that Paul started the familiar intro to Whenever God Shines his Light but on the spur of the moment Van cancelled it and they did Brown Eyed Girl instead. This shows the genius of Van. He makes it up as he goes along.The audience loved this and sang along with it.
                                                                             The pinnacle of the evening for me was was next with Into The Mystic. It was magical . The only distraction was silly people in the audience who whooped and whistled at certain points. Van ad-libbed on the lyrics and started scatting words like "Don't worry child, I'll carry you, till we get the healing done". I found that very poignant indeed especially in the context of it being a charity event for teenage cancer. Well done Van. He disappeared into the wings to tumultuous applause.The house lights came on and I thought that was the end. I left my seat and walked to the front to try and get a photo of the band but suddenly Van reappeared and I sat down on the floor to listen to a wonderful rendition of  In The Garden. I was spellbound. There is no finer musician on the planet than Van Morrison.
                    That was finally the end of a wonderful concert. I met up with my friends for a quick pint in the pub then back to the Indian Restaurant at my hotel for a nice feed and then to bed and fell asleep into restful slumbers. Thank you very much the Teenage Cancer Trust, Roger Daltrey, Van Morrison, my friends and the Montana Hotel, Kensington for a most enjoyable visit to London. A big hand for the band !