York Press - Richard Foster
NOW into his 60s, music legend Van Morrison shows no sign of slowing down, with his current tour schedule taking in Britain, Europe and America.
He is one of the most prolific and eclectic artists of his generation, being inspired by his Celtic roots, jazz, blues and soul.
On Saturday, his excellent band played their first note at 8pm, while their last note rang out with Morrison walking off the stage at 9.30pm sharp after performing a show-stopping trio of Bright Side Of The Road, Moondance and Brown Eyed Girl.
Some of his fans in the capacity audience tried to get him back on stage for an encore.
But, knowing Van as they do, it was a half-hearted attempt and many were already heading for the exits as the lights went up. Morrison knows his mind.
His band hardly paused between numbers as they worked hard to pack as many songs into the 90 minutes as possible.
Morrison's saxophone playing was strong and clear - his dialogues with the trumpet player were delicious. To add variety, he also played harmonica and acoustic guitar.
A marvellous mix of fiddle, mandolin, steel guitar, banjo, keyboards, percussion and electric guitar decorated the songs.
Even more sound textures were created when the electric bass player switched to double bass and the keyboard player moved from organ to piano.
Morrison's voice was as soulful as ever, his singing lifted to another level by the wonderful ensemble playing of his band who responded to their leader's every instruction. Great stuff.