Sunday, February 18, 2007

one I love from the one I love

So it was Valentine's day the other day. I tried to be romantic - the dozen red roses went down well - after all, Pip's been through a hell of a lot on our behalf recently!
In return Pip bought me a Van Morrison live DVD. It's his first official DVD release (if you don't count his appearance in the awesome Scorcese 1976 concert film 'The Last Waltz').

What's fantastic about this is that it's from his 'golden' era - when he was at the absolute top of his game. Most Van fans would say this was between about 1974 and 1980. It's a double DVD set - both from the Montreux festival - one set from 1974 and one from 1980. I've only watched the 1980 set so far but it is absolutely red hot. His band are amazing and the sound quality is superb.

Anyone who knows me well knows that Van is probably my all time favourite artist.
In fact I used to have a 'Van Morrison' test when it came to women! If a girl didn't like Van Morrison I reckoned that said a lot about the kind of person she was and the chances were we weren't going to make it. I'm happy to say that Pip passed the test with flying colours. Before we were even going out with each other she got us a couple of tickets to go and see him. That would have been about 1998.

And, yesterday, I managed to get a couple of returns for his sold-out Oxford show this April a couple of weeks before my birthday. It'll be the 5th time I've seen him. He's way past his best now - he's old and even more grumpy and never performs without his dark glasses and old bluesman style hat. And he never talks to the audience. But he's still a living legend if you ask me.

update: it occurred to me that some of you may have been persuaded by my glowing praise to check Van Morrison out. And perhaps you need a pointer as to where to begin. In my opinion 'Into the Music' (1979) is his finest album (side 2 particularly) but you may also want to check out the classic 'Astral Weeks' (1968) when he was probably at his most mystical. Or there's 'Moondance' (1970) which was the first Van album I bought and contains some classic tracks. And there all cheap these days too! Enjoy.

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