The Mouse That Roried
....And saved the day for Celtic
They'd been howling and thrashing around the hall since they'd streamed inside. Uniting at the sight of the hero for ecstatic bellows of "Rory, Rory, Rory", springing to their feet and staying on them to stomp for the duration.
Straight back from a two and-a-half-month
US tour and bang into this first British date, Gallagher's- off and running
with "Tattooed Lady". Despite his cutting his right index finger
on a razor earlier in the day, there's no holding him once he's on: from the first bars he's away.
There isn't a guitarist out who can beat Gallagher for gutsy attack, and continuous gigging in the past year has strengthened him and his band 100 per cent in performance.
When Gallagher gets going the other three pull out all the stops to keep pace, and the second number, the driving "Let Me In" from the new" Against the Grain" LP was marked by specially good interplay between Rory and bassist Gerry McAvoy.
With their first wind knocked out by the openers, people fell back into their seats temporarily for the raunchy blues, "Where's My Baby Gone?", savouring some fine slide work and Gallagher's increasingly powerful singing. Then it's irresistibly up again for the old James and Bobby Purify number, "I Take What I Want", with Gallagher tearing up the notes and racing back and forth across the stage.
His solo acoustic spot goes down just as strongly as the high-energy electrics. When he sings the first line in "Pistol Slapper", people sway forward with arms outstretched like worshippers at a Southern Baptist revival meeting and sing along until he accelerates to a breakneck rag.
The band's back, down and dirty, for "Souped-Up Ford", Lou Martin spiraling in with whirls of honky-tonk piano and Gallagher full of little spurts when he's so chuffed he bolts and duck-walks frenziedly.
They get wilder and wilder, grinding up
"All Around Man", and in "Bullfrog Blues" the lighting's flashing off and
on in stark white punctuation to Rory's exhortations
"Did you eh-eh-eh-ver. . ."
Rod de'Ath takes a drum solo like a steamroller operator ..out to kill.
The screams for more started before they'd
even left the stage, augmented by a tuneful "Nice One Rory" from the Celtic
supporters, whose weekend was clearly saved by the concert.
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