RORY GALLAGHER   Apollo, Glasgow

NOTHING keeps the world's hardest gigging guitarist away from his work; not even the telephone operators' strike in Ireland which nearly scratched this show. But at 8.40 pm the word came through that his manager (Rory's brother Donal) had managed to charter a. four-seater plane from Cork to Glasgow.

Just as well, because it looked like the fans would rather kill than leave without hearing their hero. It's been 17 months since Gallagher played Glasgow and the rapturous welcome he received when at last,  at 9:50, he ran on stage, made it clear that he'd come back not a moment too soon.

Standing to attention, the crowd stomped and clapped him through 'Secret Agent' 'Body And Soul' and 'Moon Child' for starters. Looking for all the world like Steve Hillage's smarter brother (minus the hippie touches), Gallagher hopped, shuffled, wobbled and leaped his way through the RG Top 50 favourites, each to a tumultuous applause.

Clearly he has lost none of his star quality over the years. His strength lies in being able to make even his best - known piecesroadshowpicx.jpg sound newly minted,  yet honed to perfection. Virtuosos are, it appears, pretty outre fare at the moment, but Gallagher couldn't care less. He and The Rory Gallagher Band (Lou Martin, keyboards, Gerry McAvoy, bass, and Rod de'Ath drums) made my hair stand on end with their bawlingly hungry working of 'Bullfrog Blues' (a rock 'n' roll tour de force to test the best of back up bands). Blessed with a sound technician from heaven, Rory and his lot just can't fail.
The crowd sits down to take in his acoustic guitar break, but stand again for' 'Going To My Hometown', Rory leading with mandolin.

Having shown his mastery of the blues and bottlenecking in 'Down On 31st Street', out- Berrying Chuck on 'Souped Up Ford', and leaving the power pop brigade breathless in 'Tattooed Lady' there seems nothing left for the group to do but take bows and split. But no, we get a taste of the forthcoming album too. A reverent hush falls over the hall as 'Brute Force And Ignorance'.. and "Cruise On Out' make their first impressions.

An encore is demanded - 'Let Me In' - and then another, 'Messing With The Kid'. At 12:15 we rush out into the snow with the hundreds who must walk home.

No worry; every eye is shining bright, Rory made it here tonight.    JOHN WISHART

This article comes from the April 15, 1978 issue of Record Mirror
reformatted by roryfan
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added 10/23/05