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Born in 1945 Van heard his Shipyard worker father’s collection of blues, country and gospel early in life. Feeding off musical greats such as Hank Williams, Jimmie Rodgers, Muddy Waters, Mahalia Jackson and Leadbelly he was a travelling musician at 13 and singing, playing guitar and sax, in several bands, before forming Them in 1964.
Making their name at Belfast’s Maritime Club, Them soon established Van as a major force in the British R&B scene. Morrison’s matchless vocal and songwriting talents produced instant classics such as the much-covered Gloria and Here Comes The Night.
Those talents found full astonishing range in Van’s solo career. After working with Them’s New York producer Bert Berns on beautiful Top 40 pop hit ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ (1967), Morrison moved to another realm.
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There has been a theatre on George Street for almost 185 years. The first theatre was built in 1836, and a second in 1886. In 1908, the Dorrill family took over the venue and finally in 1934, the third Theatre opened; the ‘New Theatre’. Stanley Dorrill masterminded the rebuilding of the theatre as we know it today. He commissioned a new building from the well-known theatre architects William and T.R. Milburn of Sunderland. The Milburns developed the decadent art-deco interior with T.P Bennett and Sons, who also designed the Saville Theatre in London.