In a Natalie Imbruglia stylee, I’m torn – torn, I tells ya!
It’s just been announced that the prestigious opening act at the new Hull Venue will be Van the Man. This is something of a coup, and as a long-standing fan I should be really excited that he has deigned to grace us with his presence for the first time in 30-odd years. However, my fan-dom is markedly lapsed, in that I don’t think he’s actually done anything truly great since the early 90s. I’ve seen him give some truly outstanding, transcendent performances up until around the same time, but over the years the new material and live shows I’ve seen on screen have all been a real disappointment. I think the main problem I have is that the voice which was once a thing of beauty is now just a horrible bark, and the idiosyncratic mannerisms and stagecraft I once found endearing I now just find rather irritating. Adding to this the legion of stories about his perfunctory approach to performing (the clocks, etc.) I just don’t get the feeling that renewing my live acquaintance with the fella would be a rewarding experience. And yet, and yet…the residue of my admiration of his past work still has a strong pull.
So my question to the Massive is, has anyone had recent experience of the Van Morrison live experience? Was it as disappointing as I have imagined it…or has it confounded expectations and been as good as ever? Does he actually do any nuanced singing rather than staccato barking? Advice or insights would be very welcome, as the purchase of tickets would be a considerable investment. Cheers.