Saturday, 19 May 2012

Van Encounter April 2012



Another Van encounter and this from April, 2012 no less.  It involves Emma from Northern Ireland who went with her husband to see the great man at the Culloden Hotel for hubby’s 40th.  Her blog Adventures of an Unfit Mother blog is all charm.  Here are a few excepts from her Van encounter this past April: 

 Van the Man is in da house!!

Van the Man was playing, (and staying), in the hotel too and our room happened to overlook the suite he was performing in, so I was glued, glued I tell you, to the window all afternoon, but disappointingly, apart from a few hairy looking band types, there wasn't much to see. Later, after a champagne reception (Fabulous dahling!), and a four course meal, the concert began.

 His daughter Shana Morrison performed first, and later sang one with her dad. I honestly believe that it must be a mixed blessing to be the child of a big star like Van. Oh yes, you get all the networking and a good leg up in the industry, but you'd also be constantly compared and even if you were successful, which history shows us is pretty unlikely, you'd still question whether it was really down to you or your famous parent.

I'd googled her earlier in the day, and several websites described her as 'Van Morrison's middle aged daughter'! I mean, Dear God,  I know it's to distinguish her from his 4 and 5 year old children, but that's HARSH surely? (And very possibly a little close to the bone - I mean, she's only  in her early 40's!)

So after she warmed up the crowd, on came the man himself, and I have to say, he put on a hell of a performance. You hear all kinds of stories about him- that he's odd, antisocial and even blatantly rude, so we really weren't sure what to expect from the show at all. Well, he played with his band for two solid hours, and his voice is as strong as ever. He's obviously very musical, effortlessly playing the saxophone and the harmonica as well.  That said, he really DOES seem to have no social graces whatsoever- he kept his back to the audience for much of the time, and despite it being a small venue AND his hometown, he didn't say one word to us the whole time, nada, zip, nothing. I mean he didn't even smile!! But the audience LOVED him regardless and by the end of the night, the whole place was rocking. He really is a legend - a grumpy dour one yes, but a legend nonetheless.
The next morning while we were having breakfast, there was a little frisson of excitement when he arrived and sat down at a table by the window that was strategically placed behind a pillar. The funny thing was- on stage, with his signature suit and fedora on, he was unquestionably Van The Man, but there at breakfast, he just looked like a short, plump, (ginger!), balding man - He even had a wee old man's flat cap! As he passed us later, he actually nodded to my husband and mumbled hello.  But, as he walked away I noticed he'd a big old chocolate stain on his cream chinos,  and I was all set to run up and tell him to go and steep them in cold water AT ONCE, but then I thought he mightn't take it too well, so I didn't.

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