In a part of East Belfast, near where I spent my childhood, an avenue which is known worldwide to legions of ‘Vanatics’, was the venue this week for a fantastic celebration of a superstar’s 70th birthday.
Fans had come from all over the world to see and hear the legendary Van Morrison in Cyprus Avenue, the tree-lined location he made famous nearly 50 years earlier in a song of the same name, in the now very collectable 1968 ‘Astral Weeks’ album.
In spite of a drop of rain, which, after all, has been well-mentioned in much of his music – including the line ‘When it’s not always raining there’ll be days like this’ – the crowded avenue roared its approval to, perhaps, Belfast’s greatest songwriter, by singing ‘Happy Birthday’.
Well done, Van, from one in the old neighbourhood.
The old article reproduced below is one I wrote a couple of years ago. But I feel it is worth repeating simply...