Van stalls

May 31, 2012

I very much enjoyed the eulogy of Van Morrison by neuropsychiatrist Ray Dolan ("And he stoned me", Features, 24 May). But maybe that is because I too am a long-time "Van the Man" fan.

Yet, while recognising the musical, lyrical and vocal qualities so passionately evoked by Dolan, I would also like to inject a slightly critical note. Notwithstanding Morrison's brilliance, the quality of his recorded material and his live performances is definitely variable. Not all his albums are up to the standard of Astral Weeks and some, especially more recent ones, are downright patchy.

And when he is on stage, you really do take pot luck. So much so that, unlike Dolan, I stopped going to his concerts some time ago when four of them on the trot ranged from mediocre to almost embarrassing. The reality is that Morrison doesn't always seem to care about his live audience.

The last time I saw him he was sharing a bill with Bob Dylan in Paris and so much was wrong with his performance that I drew the curtain on Morrison live. But I'd still take his discs to the desert island and, yes, he is a unique talent.

Howard Moss, Swansea

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