Rory beats the seasonal blues

Rory Gallagher stormed across the boards of the National Stadium last night to be greeted by fans with such ecstatic recognition as to prove him still the inspiration of Irish rock. It was Gallagher's first Dublin concert in two years and the first  date in his grueling tour of Britain and Ireland , during which he plays 23 concerts in six weeks.

The man without an image was, as always, vibrant, unaffected and striving to give his all; for Rory Gallagher's music is written for the road.

Few performers can match his ability to bring an audience to its feet and the Corkman who has achieved international acclaim for his guitar playing and blues composition would not, it would seem, have it any other way.

Last night's concert was almost a complete sell-out with many teenagers in the audience proving that with  a two year break since the release if Gallagher's last album "Calling Card", his music weathers well the test of time.

His present band, consisting of himself, Gerry McAvoy on bass and Ted McKenna, former drummer with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, while still displaying the explosive qualities of the legendary Taste - Gallagher's first line-up - seems to have achieved a variable and pleasing harmony.

Now Gallagher has, at last, finished and released his latest album " Photo Finish". It looks as if his band may be settling down to the "definitive work" of which Gallagher spoke two years ago.

Answering the feverish requests of fans, the band gave such established numbers as "Calling Card" and "Bullfrog Blues" and during an acoustic solo performance, Rory was more than content to be accompanied in "Pistol Slapper Blues" and  Out on the Western Plain."

Try as the stewards did to keep fans seated and away from the stage, some of their attempts being a little too ungracious, there was no way to stop people coming forward to voice their appreciation.

Rory Gallagher is now almost 30 years old with 13 albums to his credit and the promise of even greater things to come. But in the meantime, Rory is back in town to show that natural talent reveals what good blues music is all about.

The Gallagher Band's Irish tour continues nightly until Saturday, then the Cork Arcadia on New Year's Eve and New Year's Night and finishes at the the Belfast Ulster Hall on January 3, 4, 5 and 6.         Donal Bryne

From the Evening Press  28 December 1978
Thanks to Declan Doyle for passing the article along
reformatted by roryfan
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added 5/25/05