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Rory Gallagher - Irish Tour

Review: 031
Date: 2 Jul 01


Rating: 5 Irish Stars

Rory Gallagher - vocals, guitars, harmonica
Gerry McAvoy - bass
Lou Martin - keyboards
Rod de’Ath - drums, percussion

Tracks Listing:
1. Cradle Rock
2. I Wonder Who
3. Tattoo’d Lady
4. Too Much Alcohol
5. As The Crow Flies
6. A Million Miles Away
7. Walk On Hot Coals
8. Who’s That Coming?
9. Back On My Stompin’ Ground (after hours)
10. Maritime


This album captures one of Ireland’s most loved musicians. He is back in his native land at the pinnacle of his powers. Perfectly capturing the live connection between the audience and performer, “Irish Tour”, is not only one of Rory Gallagher’s best albums, but is surely one of the best live albums ever released. The album was recorded in Belfast, Dublin and Cork, and shows Rory putting in some performances of awesome power. The fact that, after 28 years, it still makes you yearn to be there in the audience when Rory, in his check lumber jack shirt and battered stratacaster in hand, drags the band back on stage for the fourth or fifth encore speaks for itself.

This line up of the Rory Gallagher band had already released 2 albums and been on the road for 2 years, so they were as tight as the British Lions front row of the 1974 tour of South Africa. Rory could just let himself go, knowing that the band would follow him anywhere with an understanding and passion of the music they played - like Barry John to a young Gareth Edwards, “You chuck it son, I’ll catch it”. 

By 1974 Rory’s development and belief in his own abilities is almost palpable as is his confidence. He allows Lou Martin, the keyboard player, plenty of space to shine with solos before Rory storms back to show who is the boss. Throughout this album the guitar tone is colourful and hard hitting, whilst still maintaining a controlled sensitivity. Rory constantly demonstrates his incredible guitar technique. It is definitely worth pointing out skillful backing chord work, volume control and his switching of tone which deepen the musical expression of the album.

The M.C.’s announcement and the sound of Rory tuning his guitar before the opening song, “Cradle Rock”, gives an atmospheric intro to the album.

The songs are a fine collection of self composed numbers and splendid cover versions. Rory made J.B.Hutto’s “Too Much Alcohol” one of his own. It perfectly captures the warmth between audience and artist, especially when Rory and the fans count from 91-100. Another classic originally recorded for the “Tattoo” album is the 10 minute workout of “A Million Miles Away”, where the musical development from the original studio recording is outstanding.

‘Irish tour’ shows Rory’s different characters, from the gutsy hard rocking guitar hero to delicate, gentle performer. His unique style shines through on every track.

This album has sold in excess of two million copies worldwide and is a must for any Rory fan wanting their live ‘fix’.

During the live set closer, “Who’s that coming”, you can almost hear the adrenaline pumping through the veins of both band and crowd, as the music builds and accelerates into a truly dynamic sound with each band member playing his heart out and Rory really excelling himself on slide guitar. As the band leave the stage you are left with the Cork crowd singing:
                   Nice one Rory
                   Nice one Son
                   Nice one Rory
                   Let’s have another one

Nice one indeed, Rory.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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