Shortly after the festival in Bruchhausen, Rory and Co. recently played two new Open Air festivals in Germany. The two festivals took place at the 5th and 6th of July in Dinkelsbühl and at Loreley. The bill existed out of (almost) only old-stars, Mama’s Boys who once opened the festival where the youngest. All the others like Graham Parker, Magnum, Nazareth, Status Quo, Jethro Tull and our Rory, already had 1 or 2 rock-decades behind them. Personally I, therefore, didn’t expect a great show, since (almost) all of these bands already haven their popularity-high behind them.
Besides that Agi (my girlfriend) and I were not sure if we should go to the festival. Because of the crappy train schedules we would have to travel half a day. At the end, a colleague and friend from Basel brought the solution: we went by car.
Next was a surprise in Dinkelsbühl, the festival grounds were packed. The expected few thousand had grown into a giant crowd. The organizer said 25,000 were sold and Rory’s brother, Donal, shortly after his brothers show, said it might have been 30,000 because the numbers were from ticket sales sold before that afternoon.
Because we arrived at 15:00, I only can talk about Rory’s performance. Nazareth I did see, but I found them very disappointing. I’ve never seen them before, but the album “Snaz” sounded (much) better. Not even “Tush” from ZZ Top had that drive. Besides that the PA-sound was really bad.
Anyway, Rory finally came on the stage. Just like I saw him (in Montreux) exactly one year ago. And again this man was the experience, he will ever be. A bit heavier, but still going strong. His jumps are as high as Pete Townshend’s, his duck-walk is better than Chuck Berry’s, his guitar-salvo’s are at least more original than Rambo’s and –what all the others (perhaps) can’t do – Rory played bottle-neck guitar with a sneaker, which some enthusiastic fan had thrown. All things he has been doing since the days with Taste. The only thing that’s different is that I think he looks a lot more fit in this part. Nothing new under the sun, but for me personally, it is more sympathetic than magnesium-explosions. From that point on Rory had won the sympathy of the crowd.
But it would even get better because this guy had also a band behind him. And when you don’t let the fact that he didn’t play new songs (again) distract you, he played a fantastic concert. The sound was ....compared to the band before him, Nazareth... crystal clear for festival standards. The only sound problem occurred when Gerry McAvoy’s bass stopped. Rory and Brendan covered the problem (which took several minutes) up with a lot of the routine, although Moonchild was a surprise opening. Further highlights where “I Wonder Who”, “Nadine”, “Walkin’ Blues”, Messin’ with the Kid” etc. None of them reached the class, spontaneity of “I’m Ready” – an old Muddy Waters song. What magic touch Rory and his men - including Mark Feltham (harp)- give this song...it's a lesson.
To my surprise, Rory left the stage for the first time after 2 hours, despite the fact that it started with a delay of 45 minutes. His first encore was the long missed -good old- “Bullfrog Blues”. That was the end. The people still wanted more, but a festival had its closing time.
Later behind the stage a relaxed scene, Brendan, Gerry and Mark where hanging around satisfied, Gerry very active while the two others are more relaxed. All are satisfied. Brendan agrees with me that “I’m Ready” was the best song of the evening.
Rory’s isn’t in the room. After the show there was a press conference. Much to my surprise 10 – 15 people from the press where there (“You may ask hard and unpleasant questions, don’t hold back” said the chairman").
After the press conference, Rory had more work: several people wanted to do interviews. I'd really like to know what will be in the newspapers. I believe it is a good sign that new activities (album and tour) by Rory, took so much attention from the press and he answered them all.
There was a lot to talk about with Gerry, Brendan and Mark, having exited the successful concert. Mark is not a member of the band, although he missed only one show in the last three years. He still loves the session-playing, plays here, plays there, but prefers to play with Rory. Recently he has played on the new album of Talk Talk which will be released soon. Then Donal Gallagher walks onto the scene, a sign that the interviews will be over soon.
We went to Rory’s caravan, right next to Jethro Tull’s and talked with Donal. We talked from the Self-Aid-Festival in Dublin to Deuce. And then Rory came, tired after the concert and the interviews, but satisfied. And he looked like he was happy to see us again because he dropped everything from his hands, grabbed a few beers and mineral waters and sat down with us.
Talk about books, horoscopes and Montreux where mixed with news. The new album will be released in August/September. The deal with the record company is also 90% finished. In Europe, Rory will sign up with Phonogram, in the USA it could be Polygram. It's a good sign that such big labels want to sign Rory up. One song will probably be a blues-duet with Lou Martin ! Another will be called “Continental Op”, with a theme of a crime-movie.
Before the release there will be a short tour of Spain from 6th – 13th of July. Barcelona, Madrid and San Sebastian will be visited. After that there will be a concert in the south of France to play with –read and be astonished- Memphis Slim, an old Blues piano player who lives in Paris.
With the new album a bigger and better promoted tour will start through all of Europe.
By the way the entire show was recorded by SWF 3 [a German TV channel] and will be broadcast soon. A date hasn’t been set yet.
After Jethro Tull
started, Rory talked about a Rockpalast broadcast the evening before where
he was a guest for an interview, we said goodbye because we wanted
to go back to Basel the same night.
This article comes from Deuce Quarterly #39 (February 1986)
Thanks to Johnwright for passing it along
Thanks to Mike Rasenberg for translating & background photo
reformatted by roryfan
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