Van Morrison in Sheffield: Legendary signer set to rock City Hall
The legendary singer-songwriter Van Morrison is set to rock the City hall tonight.
The star had previously announced show dates of May 20 and August 19 but these were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Van Morrison has released more than 40 albums with hits spanning the last five decades including Brown Eyed Girl, Have I Told You Lately, Moondance & Into the Mystic, to name a few.
He recently celebrated 50 years since the release of the iconic Astral Weeks album and is still selling out tours worldwide. With no signs of slowing down, he continues to work on new material and upcoming projects.
Another Morrison, James Morrison, will be bringing his greatest hits tour to Sheffield City Hall on Friday, April 1, 2022. Tickets go on sale at the City Hall website at 10am on Friday, July 23.
In the summer of 2000, James Morrison fronted a covers band with a repertoire of classics from the Sixties and Seventies. Playing five nights a week to packed pubs, he raked in a small fortune by the standards of any regular 16-year-old.
He’d barely even dreamed of making it big, but what he achieved was remarkable. His five top 10 singles all rank among the biggest of their era, including the breakthrough songs You Give Me Something and Wonderful World, plus the huge Nelly Furtado collaboration Broken Strings.
Fans were enraptured by the beauty of his voice as well as the honesty of his songwriting. It made for a devoted following which resulted in two chart-topping albums, seven million record sales and a BRIT Award.
Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen and Elton John all invited James to join them at shows. He even made a show-stealing appearance at an all-star celebration to mark the 50th anniversary of Stax Records during the 2017 Proms.
“It doesn’t get much better than that!” he grinned, his memory of performing with Stax legends Eddie Floyd, Booker T and Steve Cropper one that he’ll forever cherish.
After four years away from the limelight, he’s now set to return with the album that he’s always wanted to make. You’re Stronger Than You Know is a modern British take on a classic soul and Motown, echoing influences such as Van Morrison, Otis Redding, The Band and Dusty Springfield.
James talks of the songs being warm, honest and raw. They have their darker moments but the overriding feeling is of a beacon of positivity in a climate of bad news.
Everything threatened to collapse around him as he worked on a follow-up to his 2015 set Higher Than Here. His relationship with his long-term partner Gill hit tough times and James said he lost his natural songwriting instinct.
His previous label was pushing him to write uplifting music when he was in the pits of despair. He also wanted to stand apart from the rush of male singer-songwriters who had followed in his wake.
“I didn’t know that I was going to come out of it,” he said. “I was dropped from my label and my personal life went to s**t.
"I’ve had to start again and it’s been hard but I'm stronger and much more positive for having gone through that."
James said the turning point came when he wrote the album’s centrepiece Slowly. He questions how to reignite his creativity and also tackles his tumultuous upbringing with his parents.
“Trying to escape where you’ve come from is hard,” he said. “I was brought up in alcoholism and depression and that stuff is hard to fight against.
"There are a lot of people in the world who have lost or had difficulties with their parents. Being ultra-personal is quite difficult, but if it can help people I’ll definitely leave it in.”
Other songs celebrate his appreciation and love for Gill. He wrote Power when she was feeling vulnerable after the birth of their youngest daughter.