A CHANCE to see one of the pioneers of rock and roll doing what they do best is a rare treat.

Now a marvellously sprightly 80 years young, Duane Eddy delighted, charmed and rocked the Bridgewater Hall on what was genuinely a very special night.

Having been making music for over 60 years you could forgive the guitar maestro if he decided to take it a little easy. But this was a full-blown rock and roll show packed with hits.

Armed with his trusty Gretsch guitars, the Titan of Twang brought his unique sound to a thrilled audience, a number of whom were clearly fans of longstanding.

As if Duane Eddy being backed by Richard Hawley's band wasn't good enough, guitarist's guitarist Albert Lee - a youngster at 74 -was also part of the impressive line-up on stage.

Initially it appeared as though the audience was a little subdued but the truth is, like me, I think they were just overawed that one of the founders of modern rock music was actually stood in front of them, beaming and powering his way through famous lick after famous lick.

Ramrod, Dance With the Guitar Man, Shazam - it was one classic song after another. Three-30-Blues dedicated to B B King was a real highlight in an evening of highlights.

Having loaned him his band for the night, Richard Hawley joined Duane on stage for a series of songs paying tribute to his early contemporaries including a savage version of Chuck Berry' Memphis Tennessee, the Animals' House of the Rising Sun and Fats Domino's My Blue Heaven.

An earthshaking Peter Gunn was followed by Rebel-Rouser which ended the set before encores of Some Kind'a Earthquake and Hard Times.

As well as the astonishing musicianship being served up, one of the most striking features of the evening was the amount of genuine love and affection both on stage and in the hall.

Duane Eddy was a wonderfully charismatic, self-deprecating character. His rapport with Hawley was like that of father and son and the entire band spent the whole night grinning from ear-to-ear.

It was as if they, rather like the rest of us, couldn't quite believe what they were experiencing.

And the good news is this may not have been the farewell show advance publicity would have had us believe with Duane declaring "I don't think I'm ready to hang up my rock and roll shoes yet".