Astral Weeks 50th anniversary celebration


Three writers reflect on the social and cultural influences and the profound musical impact of Van Morrison’s great album.

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Van Morrison’s great album turns 50 this November: to celebrate the Irish Literary Society is bringing together three writers (Lucy Caldwell, Gerald Dawe, Ryan H. Walsh)  to reflect on its social and cultural influences and the profound musical impact of the album.

Dawe’s book In Another World reflects on how post-war Belfast, where Morrison grew up and formed Them, shaped his music. Walsh’s Astral Weeks: A Secret History of 1968 considers the impact of Boston, where Morrison lived at the time, on the making of the album, the book is also a sprawling account of the city’s interconnected countercultural sects. Walsh reflects on the origins of a masterpiece that has touched generations of listeners and influenced everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Martin Scorsese. Caldwell, also from Belfast, has written of her own work, ‘…the music of Van Morrison in general and of Astral Weeks in particular is something of a guiding spirit to my stories.’ Belfast musician, Donal Scullion, will play a special set from the album.

A signing will follow the event


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Event Details

Start date: November 26, 2018

Start time: 19:30

Venue: The Bloomsbury Hotel, 16-22 Great Russell St, London, WC1B 3NN