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
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