Caught in the Act



LESS than an hour's drive away from Belfast's Grosvenor Hall, ten men were shot down in a gruesome roadside ambush.


But even the fear, stirred up by Ulster's worst yet sectarian slaying, could not stop 1,500 youngsters cramming into the Hall to see the man they love to love – Rory Gallagher.  It was the first of a two-day visit to the city that was Gallagher's launching pad to England in 1968 before the emergence of the bloody Troubles.


Gallagher lived and worked in Belfast for the best part of 1967 with the first version of Taste, and he still retains a special affection for the place.


Hence his willingness to return year after year to bring a little cheer to this cultural Sahara.  He has missed only one year in his annual treks to the city since he left, and I swear he gets better every time, although ostensibly little has changed about him from the days when he used to play in front of handfuls in the Maritime Club.  He still dresses the same and that old guitar has gotten grubbier.


His music and his playing have, however, progressed almost beyond recognition.  And at the Grosvenor Hall, where they normally preach the gospel, he went down a bomb, if you'll pardon the peculiarly appropriate expression.


Rory wasn't taking any chances musically.  Most of his songs were the tried and tested ones that always go down well.  Like “Bullfrog Blues,” “Tattoo'd Lady,” and the standout “Walk On Hot Coals.”  He sings them every year but who cares?  They're exactly what the punters want to hear, with a couple of newies thrown in for good measure.


What is really important is that Rory is there, giving Belfast rock fans just about the most important event in their year.  Roll on the next time. – IVAN LITTLE

This article comes from the Jan 17, 1976 issue of Melody Maker

Thanks to Brenda O'Brien for sharing it

reformatted by roryfan

background is a capture from Rock Goes to College by donman, mutated by roryfan

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