are just starting to become a very hot property in England and on the
continent, already having conquered the Irish fans. All the
trappings and all the tinsel that goes with success, though, don't look
like they are affecting the group who prefer to remain very
down-to-earth and unspoiled.
Lead guitarist, Rory Gallagher is
Taste's main force and it was he who told me "we're just trying to keep
it a very unshow-bizzy, pop star, Max factor makeup thing. I've got my
own ideas and I don't want to Walt Disney-fy them. I'm as happy to be
playing Hackney West to 250 people as I am to 25,000.
We are talking backstage at Dublin's
National Stadium (it is a strange hall that looks like a cross between
a second division Swedish hockey patch and a hanger on an unused
airfield) - prior to Taste's concert on Saint Patrick's Day.
Rory went on, "People think the bands are very restricted with
three-piece group, but the challenges are more, and the steps of
improving come harder. We're not trying to create something new or
purify pop. The only way you can purify pop is to
create a new hairstyle, or wear winkle picker boots which I don't want
Rory formed his first group when he
was 17, back in 1966 and he got pretty fed up with the fact that
everybody else seemed to be playing Shadows stuff. He went off to
Germany and spent two years there, and in London, before the group
broke up and he formed the current lineup.
Bands in the progressive field do not
conform to set standards of dress or behavior, and of this, Rory says
"I suppose that is going back to the idea I had in the start that was a
total rebellion against all I had had to do.... stay in a suit in the
showbands and wanting to play what I wanted to play at all costs.
"This wasn't a formula for success,
but I never had any half-baked ideas of what to do. We play what we
want of play and fortunately the audiences like it."
Last year, Taste toured America with
Blind Faith. The small group was such a such a big hit that they were
asked to stay on for a few extra dates at the end.
"Blind Faith insisted on
traveling in the bus because they were trying to get the bus-feeling
back into their bones", Rory revealed. "I don't think that
worked, because people on the bus were playing different things.
"I can't say they effected us
musically at all. The tour gave us the opportunity of playing to
audiences of 18,000....they were brutally responsive and if they didn't
like your shoes, they didn't like you."
"The American music scene didn't
effect us in any way. There are people like Larry Coryell and Muddy
Waters there, but nothing that changed anything. The songs I write
weren't effected by America."
The group is back off to America in
June, where Rory hopes to see some good musicians. The tour should
prove invaluable to Taste in taking a step nearer total success and
achieving as Rory describes as "an invisible goal we're aiming for."
When the group went on-stage, they
were greeted with a huge cheer, that of which I haven't heard for many
a moon. Rory plays with only a 35 watt Vox amp, considering this
sufficient for his requirements. He got some good sounds, at times
aggressive, and had the audience with a him all the way.
Some little Alvin Lee-Clapton-Beck
licks crept in, but above all this, it was more of the style apart that
smacked of originality and supreme confidence combined.
He only has to drop the hint of a riff
and the others and chase after him. It's all very nice and together. A
group, I'm sure, that will go a long way in a short time. Richard Green From the
March 25, 1970 issue of
New Musical Express
Thanks to John Wainwright for passing it along
reformatted by roryfan