Van Morrison in Ireland

Van Morrison in Ireland is the first official video by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, released in 1981 of a concert Morrison recorded in Northern Ireland in 1979. It was directed by Michael Radford who would go on to become a noted filmmaker. The video includes footage of the band whilst touring in Ireland and images of Belfast, including Hyndford Street and Cyprus Avenue. Tony Stewart of the NME states, "The band display a range of textures reminiscent of The Caledonia Soul Orchestra, first with the dark resonance of Toni Marcus' violin, then Pat Kyle's bright sharp tenor sax and finally Bobby Tench's prickly electric guitar".[1]

Van Morrison in Ireland
Video by
Released1981
RecordedFebruary 1979
GenreVarious
Length56:28
LabelHendring Ltd./Angle Films Ltd.
DirectorMike Radford
ProducerRex Pyke
Van Morrison chronology
Van Morrison in Ireland
(1981)
Van Morrison The Concert
(1990)

This concert featured the band with which Morrison recorded his 1978 album Wavelength, augmented by a horn section and violinist. The concert included two songs from Wavelength, the title track and "Checkin' It Out". The rest of the songs had originally been recorded at least seven years earlier, the latest of these being "Saint Dominic's Preview" from 1972. Also on the video are two songs Morrison had recorded when fronting the band Them in the mid 1960s — "Don't Look Back" and "Gloria".

Recording

The film consists of a combination of performances of ten tracks recorded in Belfast and Dublin in February 1979. This was the first time that Morrison had played in his native Belfast since 1965.

Songs

Brian Hinton's review of the whole concert:

They open with "Moondance", Katie Kissoon taking a verse, then a slightly ponderous "And It Stoned Me", then flow gracefully "Into the Mystic". As this is not 1970, they then come bang up to date with a rocky "Wavelength", the "poised blues" of "Don't Look Back" and a rolling "Wild Night". Katie Kissoon sings "Crazy Love", "with Kyle's flute circling, dipping and gliding off Peter Bardens' delicate piano phrasing". Van is back for "Checkin' it Out", with John Altham on baritone sax, then it's "Kingdom Hall" and a raft of classics, a jangly and ragged "Moonshine Whiskey", a controlled "Tupelo Honey". On "Saint Dominic's Preview", when Van reaches the line about "it's a long way back to Belfast city" the crowd explode, as do Van's lungs on "I've Been Working", blowing the guts out of his harmonica. Indeed they are part of the performance, adding to the inspiration. They shout fruitlessly for "Gloria", between a ten-minute "Caravan" and a final encore of "Cyprus Avenue", where Van laughs, shouts, and falls to the ground.[2]

Track listing

All songs by Morrison unless noted

  1. Intro. - 0:47
  2. "Moondance" - 3:56
  3. "Checkin' It Out" - 3:08
  4. "Moonshine Whiskey" - 6:10
  5. "Tupelo Honey" - 6:09
  6. "Wavelength" - 6:20
  7. "Saint Dominic's Preview" - 6:46
  8. "Don't Look Back" (John Lee Hooker) - 4:26
  9. "I've Been Working" - 5:33
  10. "Gloria" - 3:41
  11. "Cyprus Avenue" - 9:32

Personnel

Musicians

Production

  • Director - Michael Radford
  • Producer - Rex Pyke
  • Sound - Mick Glossop
  • Photography - Roger Deakins, Bill Marshall, Jeff Bains, Christopher Morphet

Notes

  1. Hinton, (1997), pp. 215–216
  2. Hinton, (1997), p. 216

References

  • Hinton, Brian (1997). Celtic Crossroads: The Art of Van Morrison, Sanctuary, ISBN 1-86074-169-X
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