|Rory Gallagher – live and
Gallagher sat back and watched
himself, on screen, in his hometown of Cork, last week. It was the
first showing of the first real piece of film, about his life as
film – Rory Gallagher – Irish
Tour ’74 – caught the essential Gallagher stage magic with some
incredible shots of his guitar-work. It was 88 minutes of hard gutsy
music and a lot of audience reaction. This was Gallagher as he
really is and as he likes to be seen.
If there is any reservation about this
Tony Palmer-produced film it must come from the fact that it fails to
show Gallagher in his quieter onstage moments. The slow, blue,
acoustic numbers, which are an integral part of his repertoire, were
not there at all, but a fairly long sequence of Gallagher doing “A
Million Miles Away” perhaps compensated for this.
and Palmer managed to get the
film together finally only days before the first showing, at Cork
Film Festival. One of the biggest problems they had was editing the
fairly rowdy party scene, which was filmed before he left for Japan
earlier this year. But the final product was, in Rory’s own words,
Irish star has had a healthy fear
of films about his work ever since a Dublin TV documentary team
working on a shoestring budget managed to produce some pretty weird
sound balance variations.
however, had a different
approach. He shot thousands of feet of film in Cork, Dublin and
Belfast to get it right and managed to place the life of a working
band into perspective, by showing Gallagher relaxing in his hometown.
care was taken with texture and
sound balance to make Gallagher say afterwards:
“It all came through just the way we had hoped it would. I trust people, who tend to switch off every time they hear my name mentioned, would at least go and see what it is all about. We tried to get inside the mind of a band on the road and I think it worked. Tony Palmer knew where he was going from the moment we first discussed the idea."
– June 22, 1974
RORY GALLAGHER opened his short British tour at Hull University last Thursday with a superb performance.
straight into “Messin’
With The Kid,” Rory and his band maintained a pace of excitement
and professional ability that is rarely seen these days.
A concert by Rory and
his band is a
musical and visual experience that far surpasses virtually all the
bands touring in Britain today. He is a dedicated guitarist with
feeling and technique that remain in a class of its own. His band
comprising Rod De’Ath (drums), Gerry McAvoy (bass), and Lou Martin
(organ), make up the perfect combination, applying a thundering sound
that ignites Rory into his electrifying guitar work.
He strides round the stage directing and providing the vitality and intensity that is shared amongst all the band. Perhaps the most refreshing aspect of the concert is that Rory, despite many years at the top and still growing in stature, is playing at universities again.
Far too many bands,
caught in the
increasing spiral of commercialism, turn their backs on colleges,
almost within a year of their success.
The band featured a
large number of
tracks from “Tattoo” such as “Cradle Rock” and “Tattoo’d
Lady.” A couple of new numbers were featured from the next album
and the rest of the set spanned the last five years of his career,
ending with the classic “Bullfrog Blues.”
There is little doubt
that Rory is one
of the hardest working musicians around. Hull University is far from
the greatest venue in the country, but Rory generated an atmosphere
and enthusiastic response that had not been seen there for a long
time. His success and popularity is as great as ever and looks
secure for a long time yet. –
ANDREW HARRIES Melody Maker – June 22, 1974
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