herald

Thursday 23 November 2017

Miriam blown away by Van's 'magical' gig

WATCHING Van Morrison perform in Ireland this week was a "magical" experience, says TV star Miriam O'Callaghan.

The mum-of-eight was one of a relatively small number of fans to treated to an invite-only intimate concert over the weekend.

Morrison's Up Close And Personal show marked the first time the reclusive singer had taken to the stage since the tragic death of Gigi Lee and her baby son George Ivan Morrison III, who died within months of each other last year.

Miriam told the Herald she was one of those lucky fans who managed to nab a "golden ticket" for the show which took place in Belfast on Saturday night.

Primetime presenter Miriam, who attended the gig with close friends and is a life-long fan of Van's, described the performer as a "genius".

"It was a wonderful, magical gig -- he is a musical genius. I have loved Van for years so it was a real treat to hear him play in such a small gathering."

The singer-songwriter performed at the invitation only concert, the first of three, at the Stuart Suite in the Culloden Estate Hotel. Following a champagne reception and dinner, a total of 900 fans -- which included British Open champion Darren Clarke -- forked out up to €2,500 per table for the shows, which finish tonight.



COMA

Saturday's fundraiser event, which saw the Days Like This singer perform a number of his hit tracks, was hosted in aid of the local arts Lyric Theatre.

Gigi died from throat cancer 12 weeks ago and her son died suddenly after slipping into a diabetic coma one year ago this month. News of the tragedies surfaced in late 2011 and attracted widespread media attention, following revelations of Gigi's death on October 7.

Miriam, who in the past admitted that she would love to interview the reclusive musician, described Morrison as one of her dream guests.

"He would definitely top my wish-list. I think he's a really talented musician and a very interesting person," she added.

labutler@herald.ie

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