St David’s Hall, Cardiff

 With songs as great as his, Van Morrison can let the music do the talking.

And what a set he delivered tonight.

Opening with a lithe, freeform version of Moondance, the ‘70s classic set the standard for all that was to come.

Stood behind a mic stand which bore the gold letters V and M – he took us and his hugely-skilled seven-piece band on an exhaustive 100-minute run through his glittering back catalogue.

Van’s players orchestrated his sublime work with the verve and interpretative skills of a jazz outfit as the maestro changed the direction of songs with a mere flick of his hand, while his band played on their nerves and their talent to mine a rich groove at their master’s request.

It was an unforgettable evening choc full of his greatest compositions. Brown Eyed Girl, Real Real Gone, Have I Told You Lately That I Love You, In The Garden, Ballerina and an especially sumptuous Little Village all wore the rosy glow of the warmest of hypnotic songwriting – a delicious collision of stunning soul, jazz, roots and blues.

A blistering Gloria brought proceedings spinning to a spellbinding close as we were left dazed and beautifully bruised by the experience.

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