in Birmingham just a month after his triumph at the Kinetic Circus; the
kid messin’ with the blues and sounding more convincing than
ever. Not a spare seat in the house until the crowd took their
gyratings into the aisles and the temperature rose by a few more
time it was the Town Hall, but the bill was the same with Nazareth
playing the kind of solid supporting role every top line band
needs. But if opening nights, by definition, are fraught with
worries, the gremlins decided to lie low until the second concert at
Leicester’s De Montfort Hall the following night.
Sylvester, who engineered “Deuce”, had intended recording the concert
with the Pye Mobile Unit for a possible five album, but at the eleventh
hour it was discovered that Pye had not received the confirmatory
letter and it took a frantic dash up the motorway to ensure that the
recording went ahead as planned.
you'd missed the opening night you could have gauged its success by
peering into the dressing room afterwards. Rory, looking
thoroughly spent was surrounded by admirers and was patiently trying to
conduct an interview and throw out asides to his followers at the same
time. He stuck rigidly to his task and we didn't see much of him
for the remainder of the evening. A few yards away the first
champagne cork shot to the ceiling and everyone seemed delighted.
minutes earlier Rory had trooped on stage to a tremendous ovation, and
if one says that his routine is planned and his repertoire reasonably
predictable, then one must qualify it by adding that through his choice
of material he is able to manifest an almost uncanny exuberance of
styles without ever venturing more than a few steps outside the
blues. Rory Gallagher is a versatile musician and a supreme
showman in the best tradition of the music.
sidemen Wilgar Campbell (drums) and Gerry McAvoy (bass) share the same
enthusiasm for the blues, but this doesn'tpreclude Rory from wheeling round, duck
walking across and pointing his guitar Chuck Berry style at either
Campbell or McAvoy to get the pistons stepping up the machine even
band set a mighty pace with “Used To Be”, and “Tore Down” before
slowing the tempo for an extended version of “Should Have Learnt My
Lesson A Long Time Ago”. These were the kind of numbers the
audience wanted to hear, and with little more than a few mechanical
waves and “thank you's” to punctuate the music Rory pressed on through
“Laundromat” and into his acoustic set.
already proved his mastery of the slow blues and the slide technique
(and thankfully he is not averse to changing his guitar tunings to
accommodate the bottleneck) Rory then proceeded to introduce his
expertise on acoustic guitar.
version of Blind Boy Fuller's “Pistol Slapper Blues” was spectacular
and justly brought the house down, but underneath it all he showed an
outstanding maturity on the instrument that so many electric players
since Clarence White have I seen anyone lay down their electric guitar
almost disdainfully and pick up their acoustic box to showcase a whole
new range of styles.
wears his knowledge of the blues well and seems to be far more relaxed
these days, at the same time showing a total commitment to the music
which is shared by his sidemen.
came the mandolin for “Going To My Home Town” and then back down to
business with three absolute gems in succession - “In Your Town”,
“There's A Light” and “Messin’ With The Kid”. Also in there
somewhere were “Sinner Boy” from the band's first album and, I believe,
“Bullfrog Blues”; by this time you'd have thought an earthquake had hit
Birmingham judging from the way the town hall was rocking.
in the evening Nazareth reinforced their growing reputation, facing the
hazard of a crowd who were impatient for Rory. But the band is
used to it - they've supported Rory’s band so many times in the past
that it's becoming like a regular tour package. They still do
“Morning Dew” better than the plethora of bands who did it around ‘67
and Dan McCafferty’s singing was again impressive. They'll do
well in the States. From SOUNDS – March 18, 1972 Thanks to Brenda O'Brien for sharing
& preparing this article reformatted by roryfan