Introducing a Taste of the anti-big-time
by Roy Shipston

Taste finished their first major British and European tour last week and, after only three days rest, flew home to Ireland to start their biggest tour there since they 'emigrated' east across the Irish Sea more than two years ago.

In the past, the Irish trio have only done three or four day tours in their homeland. But this time the tour will last eight or nine days and they will be playing all the big venues at Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Limerick, Newry and Ballymena.


Before the group left London, guitarist Rory Gallagher philosophised about the success of the tour. "We'll be alright so long as the big showbands aren't in the same town the same nights as us. We'll die a death if they are". Then he added, thoughtfully; "I suppose those days are over. The tour's pretty well sold out, except for a couple of dates."

"But the showbands are branching out quite a lot. They seem to be breaking out in two different ways. The old ones we used to play in always did a bit of pop, then a bit of Country and Western or they are sort of enlarged Tremeloes - pop groups with brass.

"At least they don't all wear the same suits now."


What about all these split rumours? Gallagher gives a guarded answer. "I can't say anything. We'll just have to wait and see what happens. We'll know after this tour. I'd like to do another studio album, but there's talk of doing a half 'live' recorded one."

"There are a couple of good tapes around, including the one from the Isle of Wight. But there's no decision been made yet. It's all in the head. I've got enough material for a new album, more than enough. We've been doing some of the new things on the last tour. But we still do old ones. We do our old favourites if we feel like playing them, contrary to what some people think."

Rory says Taste were naturally looking forward to the Irish tour very much. But what comes after it? At the moment it would appear that nothing very definite is planned.

Taste are fast becoming a big time group, but they don't act the superstar bit and, somehow, you can't really see them in that role.

"We're very pleased with the way things have developed. But it's hard to answer the question 'How big do we think we are?' without sounding sick. You know where you are and where you are not. We just see ourselves as a sweaty club band. We might be playing in a different place but we still aim to give the same impression. We're happy with the way things are because it's been a nice civilised development. But we're not going to turn round and say 'stuff clubs - we just want to do three concerts a year."

"We've done the big tour and that's fair enough, it's covered Europe. Now we can get back to thinking about some of the clubs we want to do. I think more groups on our, what do you call it, our level, our scene, if you like, should do clubs because that's where all our music comes from. Even people like Clapton and Bruce are doing clubs now and that's good. If the clubs become sterile, the whole thing would dry up."

"What I'd like to do is a couple on concert tours a year and blocks of club engagements here on the Continent, and the States, and the rest of the time in the studio."

Rory very much wants to break into the American market - but not just for the monetary advantages. "We'd have to wait for another album to be released before going there again. It's best to go when you have an album out. We had an LP in the chart. It got to number 129 or something in four weeks. But in a country that size we were delighted, The one time we went there we played in massive baseball stadiums to 18000 people and also small clubs. The clubs were the best. Playing in clubs, you walk in, get yourself a pint, trip over someone's foot, go into the dressing room and it's all sweaty, the whole place is instantly informal."


Another anti-big time aspect is the effort they put into a show. They can't stand groups who turn their backs on the audience after each number and hold a long discussion about the next one. "We give it all we've got - after all, you've only got an hour to play. If I am in an audience and there are big gaps between songs, whatever climax might have been achieved dies."

Rory's ambitions are to record a lot more and 'do' America - "without doing the million-dollar Rolls Royce- postcards from LA thing. It isn't the money, it's just that playing in a little American club you learn such a lot from the different attitudes. And most of the musicians I admire live there."

But whether these ambitions will be fulfilled with drummer, John Wilson, and bassist, Richard McCracken, remains to be seen.

This article comes from the 10/17/70 issue of DISC
Thanks to Wim Wezenberg for sharing
reformatted by roryfan
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added 2/21/10