HE once famously played a whole concert in Belfast with his back to his audience.
But on Friday night, Van Morrison faced front for his free concert at the Waterfront Hall.
And he even broke into a smile as he accepted his Freedom of Belfast honour from former lord mayor Gavin Robinson and the current Lord Mayor Mairtin O’Muilleoir.
He was presented with a scroll and a gold ceremonial key.
The east Belfast musician was honoured by the city council for his achievements during his long career.
He was presented with the honour at the Waterfront Hall, before performing a free concert in front of a crowd who were chosen in a lottery system.
Among those in the audience was Morrison’s mother, Violet, while his daughter Shana was part of his backing group.
Morrison – real name Ivan George Morrison – was reared in east Belfast where he took inspiration for some of his hit songs.