Rory Gallagher


IT IS possible to revert. I've done it hundreds of times. If the atmosphere and the company are right, an arcane riff from an aging hippy can still send shivers up the spine and set the arms flailing wildly, albeit for less prolonged periods than of old.

So with a skinful of black velvet and a mind emptied of any notions of objectivity, I staggered from the claustrophobia of the press box into the warm embrace of the crowd below. Frustration and disappointment awaited me.

Packed to the gills with raucous Irish and not so Irish persons, the tattered grandeur of the Lyceum reverberated to the chant of "Roaree!, Roaree!" for a decade or so before the lights went down. Confronted with a sea of hands and fists, the object of affection greeted the crowd with a cheeky grin and a toss of flyaway locks, and began the ritual which has deteriorated over the years into empty ceremony."
Blues-based light metal provided the musical foundation, and backed by bass and drums, he played the licks and made the moves that everyone had come to hear and see. I never could tell whether it was the audience or Gallagher himself who was pulling the strings.


Clad in gringo denim, mirroring most of the audience, Gallagher posed, swiveled, jumped, did a comic stagger across the stage and paused in the middle of solos to shake hands with the fans. Rory was one of the boys. Rory's timing was impeccable, lest we forgot, he was the one with
the real guitar.

He worked hard though, earned his money, switching to acoustic for some blues picking before returning to the axe that deafened with a whirlwind of sound, spilling notes like entrails from the abattoir of speakers.

Too stuffed to jump, the crowd contented itself with shouting and swaying, occasionally acknowledging a favourite song; like 'When I Was A Cowboy' and the solo slide rendition of '31st Street'. The irony of two titles, 'Follow Me' and 'I'm An Independent Man' ,went unnoticed as they were greeted with equal idolatry. Even the prospect of Al Kooper, who joined him for the second encore, failed to arouse in me anything more than cursory interest.

Like a good demolition expert, once Rory Gallagher's got it down , it stays down. It works therefore it is. But even reliable old Status Quo sound fresh enough now to recruit a new bunch of headbangers and I don't see too many young faces at the Lyceum.

Still it was St. Patrick's Day and was therefore special. So special that you couldn't wash your hands as the sinks were filled with vomit.

Looked for one new value. But nothing came my way.
Neil Norman

This article is from a collection of cuttings I bought awhile ago.
I don't have the source, but it appears to be from 1980

reformatted by roryfan
To Join The Loop
Mailing & Discussion List 
email roryfan at

Back to main RoryON!! page
 Back to Articles page
Back to previous article
Forward to next article
added 1/29/06