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Van to play for Irish audiences for the first time in a decade

Legendary musician Van Morrison is returning to the Irish stage after a 10-year absence.

The Herald can exclusively reveal that 'Van the Man' will perform live shows in Dublin and Belfast early next year.

Fans will be lining up to get their hands on coveted tickets as Morrison rarely embarks on Irish tours.

In what is bound to be one of the biggest sell-outs of the 2012 musical calendar, the Belfast native will arrive at The O2 on February 4 next year, following a return to his hometown on February 3.

The legendary performer and songwriter has influenced the likes of Bruce Springsteen, U2 frontman Bono and Elvis Costello.


The one-off set list for the highly-anticipated concerts is set to include a selection of his greatest hits.

Many of Morrison's songs make particular reference to places in Belfast where he spent his youth -- such as Cypress Avenue, Hyndford Street and Orangefield High School.

Van has enjoyed global success since he burst onto the scene in the 1960s and is counted by many as one of the best musicians of all time, with critically acclaimed albums such as Astral Weeks and Moondance.

Former US president Bill Clinton recently announced that the Irish man's 1967 hit Brown Eyed Girl is one of his top 20 songs of all time.

Morrison performed before an estimated audience of 80,000 people in Belfast in November 1995, when President Clinton visited Northern Ireland. Tickets for Morrison's gigs go on sale on Thursday November 10, at 8am.