Van Morrison was packing sax tonight, striking up a version of Brown Eyed Girl which set the tone for much of the rest of his set, being as it was a gentle tussle between subtle jazz flavours and loungey tendencies. 

This show was an exercise in restraint with  lovely, lightly-wrought playing from his six-strong ensemble, arranged around Van in a wide semi-circle, ready to act on his  command. The mournful mute brass and his own mellow sax solo made Haunts of Ancient Peace one of the highlights of the night, only rivalled by the fine cool jazz swing of Moondance.

Van’s vocals varied between when he felt the need to suddenly beat the body of his guitar or deliver a foghorn blow on the harmonica. Enunciation of the lyrics was, as usual, an added bonus, wheeled out for the homespun wisdom of I’m Not Feeling It Anymore. Nevertheless, there was soul in his tone, and little welcome bursts of  humour which showed how much he was enjoying his time on stage.

The pace pepped up in the later stages with bluesy Them favourites Baby Please Don’t Go and Here Comes The Night and covers of Sonny Boy Williamson’s Help Me and John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom. Van then re-appeared for an encore of Gloria and the band’s wonderful finale.

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