Van Morrison – Newcastle City Hall 19th March 1979

Poor old Van Morrison has a reputation for being a bit grumpy and boring live but the first time I got to see him in 1979 at Newcastle City Hall it was the audience that was boring. I remember my mate Nick and I were wanting to get up and dance but the audience remained seated for the entire gig and it was only right at the end that a few people finally got up out of their seats and jiggled in the aisles – naturally we made our way down to the front to join them

Looking back it seems a shame – the gig started with Moondance and Brown eyed girl – two songs that have become legendary and you could probably imagine people feeling it had been a good gig if he encored with those two nowadays rather than start with them!

I found this video of Van from a couple of weeks before I saw him (there’s a full version at the bottom of the page!

The band in the video is as below and I think the line up was the same at Newcastle:

Van Morrison – vocals
John Altham – saxophones
Herbie Armstrong – guitar
Peter Bardens – keyboards
Mickey Feat – bass
Pat Kyle – saxophones
Toni Marcus – violin & vocals
Bobby Tench – guitar
Peter Van Hooke – drums
Katie Kissoon – backing vocals
Anna Peacock – backing vocals

The Newcastle set list was:

Brown Eyed Girl
Checkin’ It Out
Don’t Look Back
Warm Love
Wild Nights
Crazy Love
I Like It Like That
Kingdom Hall
Moonshine Whiskey
Tupelo Honey
I’ve Been Working
St. Domonick’s Preview

A recording of the show can be downloaded here

I must mention the support act too as he was brilliant – Ealr Okin came on dressed in a suit complete with spats and a bowler hat just like he is dressed on the sleeve of the album I bought below.

If ever there was someone who can blow his own trumpet it was Earl Okin!

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