Van Morrison: Royal Albert Hall: 30 October 2013

Van Morrison has just been granted the freedom of Belfast- but he’s had the freedom of my home and hi fi for more years than I care to count.

I’d never seen him live prior to this evening as I’d always been put off by his reputation for temperamental behaviour. I’m delighted to report that I saw an artist at his very best, enjoying the company of those he was playing with and the audience.

Playing at London Bluesfest 2013, Van eased himself into his set with a series of blues standards, before bringing on Chris Farlowe to trade verses on a couple of songs. A mid-set highlight was St James Infirmary. This was the first time I’ve heard this sad song of loss and regret with something like a true expression of emotion.

There was sufficient time for a great rendition of Into the Mystic, Moondance and Jackie Wilson Said before Chris Farlowe returned for Stand by Me and Gloria closed proceedings.

I’m pleased to have seen a great performer tonight.

Tonight’s performance merits a strong 8/10