With the re-issuing of much of the late Rory Gallagher’s back catalogue on CD, his music is undergoing something of a Renaissance. Hometown fans often under-estimate the regard and esteem in which the Cork man and his music are held throughout Europe and beyond. A visit to a Rory Gallagher Tribute Weekend in the Netherlands at the end of February made this writer aware of the continuing, indeed growing importance of his legacy.

The Weekend was held in Leeuwarden, the principal town of Friesland in North Holland and was organised by Gallagher enthusiasts Klaas and Annet Spijker. Klaas got the idea from Tony Moore, proprietor of The Meeting Place Midleton. But more of that anon.

The Leeuwarden Weekend consisted of two concerts, a Saturday night event featuring five acts who have been inspired by Rory’s music. The pick of these were the Ged Thomas Band from Britain, Brute Force & Ignorance from East Germany and Dublin singer/guitarist Dave McHugh’s After Taste, featuring Cork bassist and drummer Ruben Lynch and Jason O’Driscoll respectively.

A more intimate concert the following evening showcased Brute Force & Ignorance, a band who seem to have captured much of the essence and spirit of the Rory Gallagher sound. Rory’s brother and long-time manager, Donal Gallagher was much impressed by their remarkable sound, describing it as “scary”. Compere RTE’s Marcus Connaughton remarked that anyone who remembered Gallagher’s early trio Taste could not but be struck and moved at the similarity.

Fans from Holland, Belgium, France, Germany, Britain and the US were in attendance, as well as an almost 30 strong Irish representation. It was amazing to hear such and international assembly sharing their enthusiasm for Rory. Many keep in regular touch through Rory Web Sites, e-mail and Chatlines. Further events are planned this year in Britain, France and another in Holland.

Closer to home, the aforementioned Meeting Place Midleton has pioneered the Rory Gallagher Tribute Concert concept in this country. Since he opened The Rory Gallagher Room two years ago and began organising Gallagher Tribute concerts, Midleton has become a Mecca for Gallagher aficionados from all over the world. The Room is filled with Rory memorabilia, contributed by the Gallagher family and by the fans themselves.

Their next series of Gallagher Tributes commences on Sunday April 16th, with Dutch band the Juke joints, and special guest, king-time Gallagher sideman Lou Martin. Each month 'til October offers a concert with Dave McHugh’s After Taste, Brute Force & Ignorance (two concerts in June) the Mississippi Sheikhs from Sweden and The Loop from Germany among the scheduled attractions.

Words: Paul Dromey
Reccommended Website: www.roryon.com

This article was first published by the Mediazoo in Corks List Magazine on March 22,2000.
Reformatted and posted with permission from the Magazine and the author by roryfan.
Thanks to Ronan Leonard for getting the permissions
the background is a capture from RP77 mutated by roryfan
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