There is little point in doing an introduction to a musician who is cited as a significant influence by just about every guitarist of not since the early seventies onwards.
Johnny Marr, Slash, Brian May, Alex Lifeson of Rush not to mention Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton are all quoted as admirers of the Cork born Blues Wizard. Joe Bonamassa proudly played a Rory Gallagher number using one of Rory’s own Strats at shows at Hammersmith and the RAH.
These recordings are from 1977. Gallagher was at a creative peak and his ‘Calling Card’ album had just been released. The shows here are from Brighton Dome, Sheffield City Hall, Hammersmith Odeon & Newcastle City Hall and I would have to say that they are among the best live recordings I’ve heard from him during the mid-seventies. The band at the time was Gerry McAvoy on bass, Lou Martin on keyboards & Rod De’Ath on drums.
Gallagher is playing with fire and real spark, his solos show all the invention and improvisation he was famous for and the band, having been with him for 4 years, are completely in sync with his playing.
Most of the tracks are from ‘Calling Card’ and his previous album ‘Against The Grain’ but he also played a number of crowd favourites such as ‘Bullfrog Blues’.
Gallagher is particularly favoured for his live albums such as the classic ‘Live in Europe’ and ‘Irish Tour ‘74’ and this tour seems to have been missed out from the live canon – which is daft as it was recorded on the Jethro Tull mobile which was state of the art in ’77 – and this release eases that situation.
This is essential for Rory Gallagher fans and for fans of Blues music in general. We lost him at the ridiculously young age of 47 but this is a fine addition to his legacy.