1st February 2012

Van Morrison – Rave on John Donne/Rave on part two (live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast)

I could write extensively about Van Morrison and the impact his music has had upon my taste in music and life, but I will try to spare you the tedium. Long story short, I am something of a fan.

The reason for posting this is that my father is fortunate enough to be going to see Van the man play in Belfast on Friday night. I am fairly jealous.

Van is a remarkable live artist, possessing a rare ability to lead a band. Typically I find myself to be underwhelmed by live albums, feeling unsatisfying when comparing them to studio versions. This is why it is so strange that Van has made 3 live albums that beguile me (It’s too late to stop now, Live at the Grand Opera House Belfast and A night in San Francisco). I can only think of a couple of other live albums that I would even bother to give another listen yet I return to these three over and over. And over.

This is taken from Live at the Grand Opera House, Belfast, an LP that takes pride of place in my record collection. It is the best bits of several shows recorded in 1983. This particular song has taken on an almost mythical status in my life. I love the dreamy, meandering opening and then how the song suddenly shifts gears with the intorduction of saxophone (I am a sucker for some horns). From there it builds and builds to a crescendo with Morrison crying, exhorting with a tangible sense of urgency. All the while his band backs him immaculately giving the song a texture that I find irresistible.

Is it real? What you sang about in your song. I said come back baby. Can we talk it over one more time? Tonight…


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