WITH THE KID:
RORY GALLAGHER IN CORK (Castle Hendring, 74 mins.)
Rory Gallagher always
seemed too unassuming to be a genuine guitar hero, and in any case, his
abiding passion for blues music always pre-empted empty metal
thrashing. He's favoured tight little trios ever since his auspicious
Taste debut, and now receives solid backing from bassist Gerry McAvoy
and drummer Brendan O’Neill (Mark Feltham stops on stage only when his
harmonica work, very proficient, is required).
The spotlight's firmly fixed on Rory, though, which is the way it
should be. His voice, light but strongly melodic, is superior to, say,
Clapton’s, while his extraordinarily fluid fretwork is powerfully
dramatic without resorting to flashy tricks (though he's not averse to
preluding Tattooed Lady with an elegant Rodrigo pastiche). Feedback?
Who needs it? His guitars — he switches from electric to acoustic to
bottleneck and back again — are chipped and battered, but he treats
them with the ease and comfort of old and respected friends. And he's
certainly happy here in a 1987 hometown concert (unobtrusively timed by
director Anita Notaro) at Cork's Opera House, working his way through
an impressive set of songs old and new.
The more overtly melodramatic
numbers like Follow Me, Shadow Play and Off The Handle help sustain a
mood of friendly aggression while, in honourable 12-bar bashes such as
I Ain't No Saint, Don't Start Me Talking and Sonny Boy Williamson’s My
Baby She Left Me, he proves that, yes, pink men can sing the blues
without posturing like skinny ninnies. Anyway, his guitar does most of
the talking and its voice carries conviction. It's a joyful sound.
Enjoy the music and envy the audience. 4 stars Monty
Smith This article comes from the April 1990
issue of Q Magazine reformatted by roryfan