A Handsome and Pretty Outing

We are excited. Tomorrow we are having a Handsome and Pretty outing. Living in two cities separated by the Irish Sea makes this a very special occasion indeed.

Tomorrow, one of Ireland’s heroes takes to the East Belfast Arts Festival stage.

The living legend that is Van ‘the man’ Morrison.

“The Big Top Festival will be the musical highlight of the first East Belfast Arts Festival. Combining the talents of one of the world’s truly great musical legends with some of the very best of the next generation of home grown talent, the day festival will be a feast of music like east Belfast has never seen before.

This is the first time that Van Morrison has appeared in east Belfast since he left these shores on a career that has taken him to the very top of his profession, and if recent reviews are to be heeded, he is at the top of his game right now…

One of music’s true originals Van Morrison’s unique and inspirational musical legacy is rooted in postwar Belfast. Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.

Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much covered ‘Gloria’ and ‘Here Comes The Night’. Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career.

After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm. Recorded over 3 days with legendary jazz musicians Astral Weeks (1968) is a still singular album combining street poetry, jazz improvisation, Celtic invocation and Afro Celtic Blues wailing…”

(read more HERE)

It would be rare that you would recommend a cover version of a song by an artist like Van Morrison. However, there is one exception – Jeff Buckley. The first time we heard his “Sweet Thing” we stood still for all 10 minutes. It is quite astonishing.

We are sure that you too may also be heading to the gig if you are near Belfast this weekend. With Brian Houston and (previous interviewee) Katie And The Carnival supporting, it sure will be a big treat. Let us know if you are going!

One other important thing …

Handsome and Pretty’s very own Katie Harte is running a beginners quilting class

at The Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast.

Classes start this Monday (10 Sept)  7.15 – 9.15 pm

“In an effort to keep alive the beautiful crafts that are being lost to the modern age,

come and learn how to make a beautiful quilt to give as a special gift

or keep you warm on your sofa this winter.”

Book your place NOW on the Crescent Arts Centre website

happy friday, have a fantastic weekend

handsome and pretty

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