Irish music legend Van Morrison has banned fans from boozing at his gig - in case it disturbs him as he sings.

The famously grumpy 63-year-old star has told the venue he wants no alcohol sold at any of its bars before or during his performance at the Brighton Dome on Friday.

The Brown Eyed Girl folk singer is a teetotaller, having had a spell of drink problems during the 1970s and 1980s, but his agent said the ban had nothing to do with trying to impose his own lifestyle onto the crowd.

Instead he said it was designed to stop the audience from coming and going to the bar during the performance.

The Belfast born singer has complained in the past about being annoyed by crowds wandering around and said his shows should be about savouring the musical experience.

Promoter Danny Betesh, from gig organiser Kennedy Street, said: “It’s an extension of something we’ve been doing for years. We have had a policy of no drinks being taken into the hall because certain artists find it off-putting to have the audience moving around.”

Staff at the Dome said the venue had been hired for the event so they had no influence on the decision.

A spokeswoman said they were not expecting any difficulties dealing with fans. Soft drinks will still be sold.

Morrison has a reputation for being a temperamental performer who has disappointed fans by refusing to play his best-known songs and has turned his back on the audience or walked off stage when unhappy with the crowd.

The Brighton gig has already prompted anger from some fans who were shocked by the cost of tickets. The cheapest seats, with restricted views, have been sold at £40 and the most expensive have cost £105.

One fan from Seaford, who refused to be named, said: “I have seen Van Morrison 25 times over the years. Having followed his career for the past 40 years I consider myself an ardent fan.

“Unjustifiably high ticket prices alienate fans such as me because I just cannot afford to pay those prices any more.”

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