Van Morrison takes swipe at 'absurd' media portrayal of him
Belfast singer Sir Van Morrison has revealed how his open-air 70th birthday concerts in Cyprus Avenue two years ago filled him with delight.
The vocalist said that the performances in a place where he grew up in the city made him "very proud".
He told the Daily Telegraph: "That was the source of so many things for me and I still feel a close connection with it."
Van's remarks came during an in-depth interview with the newspaper, given as part of the run-up to the September 22 release of his new album Roll With The Punches.
The interview touched on Van's reputation for taciturnity with interviewers.
Daily Telegraph reporter John Preston described a certain tension in the air as the Belfast musical hero arrived for his interview.
"A small, tubby, suitably pugnacious-looking man in a crumpled purple shirt, a black leather cap and dark glasses strolls in - and at once the air begins to tighten," Preston wrote.
But Van declined to live up to his dour legend, insisting that his reputation for humourlessness was greatly exaggerated.
He said: "I think there's been so much written about me being dead serious, and never smiling and all the rest of it, that the label will never go away.
"That is totally absurd because there's a lot of humour in my work - at least I think there is - and as the people who come to my gigs know, there's a lot of humour there too."