Live Review: Van Morrison @ Colston Hall

Taking our seats in Colston Hall Van Morrison’s one and a half hour set punctually commenced with Morrison delivering a captivating saxophone performance. Accompanied by his unnamed six-piece touring band Morrison performed a phenomenal set consisting of tracks such as Ride on Josephine, Have I Told You Lately and Why Must I Always Explain?

For a man of seventy-two, his voice cannot be faulted, with song after song executed remarkably effortlessly. His renditions were in fact so accurate to their studio version that if I closed my eyes I could have been listening to Morrison on record. 

A true musician Morrison exhibited his skills on the guitar, keys, and harp at different points in the set. Crowning moments marked by renditions of Someone Like You, Vanlose Stairway and his classic Brown Eyed Girl. Even though this particular recital of Brown Eyed Girl lacked some of its original lack-luster it was received fondly by all, members of the audience leaping up enthusiastically from their seats.

Today Morrison still continues to release new music and also performed Versatile from his 38th studio album released earlier this year. It is evident even at his age Morrison still loves what he does, from time to time stepping back from the mic moving his arm up and down orchestrating the tempo like an old school dab hand.  As the set came to a close Morrison abruptly marched off stage, tight-lipped and reserved, with not a single word to the audience, leaving his band to end the set.

Departing the venue, I overheard disgruntled members of the crowd critiquing Morrison for his lack of communication with the audience. However, it was Morrison’s self-effacing performance itself that I found endearing. After all his music is legendary and speaks for itself.

Issy Villiers

Photography: JiVePics