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Rory Gallagher - Live in Europe

Review: 125
Date: 25 Apr 03

 


Rating: 5 Stars

Musicians:
Rory Gallagher - Guitars,Mandolin,Harmonica,and vocals
Gerry McAvoy - Bass
Wilgar Campbell - Drums

Tracks Listing:
Messin' with the Kid
Laundromat
I Could of had Religion
Pistol Slapper Blues
Going To My Home Town
In Your Town
What in the world
Hoodoo Man
Bullfrog Blues

 


After four years and three albums, not counting the posthumously released 'Live at the Isle of Wight', Rory Gallagher split up his previous band ''Taste'' in 1970, just as they seemed destined to break into the big time. But then Rory Gallagher always did things his own way, never one to do the obvious. Rory then set about putting his own band together, under his own terms. It was very much Rory's way or the Highway, and Rory's way could not of been a bad one as bassist Gerry McAvoy stuck it out with Rory through thick and thin from the first to the last.

With Rory now firmly in control a new trio was formed under ''The Rory Gallagher Band" banner with the aforementioned Gerry McAvoy on Bass and the powerhouse drummer Wilgar Campbell. For the next two years they toured incessantly, wherever people were prepared to listen to them, and at every performance never less than a 110% was given by Rory and the boys. They often played for over three hours when they were only booked to do one. There was never any money or time wasted on stage - attire either. What the band wore on the street is what they wore on stage. What you saw was what you got. Rory never believed in Set Lists, playing what he thought was appropriate to the moment; some nights opening with one song, the next playing the same song as a final encore. Giving the other two just seconds to know which song he would be launching into next. Rory would do this with songs as well, playing 'Too Much Alcohol' one night as a full blown electric rocker with the band, and the next as an acoustic Blues with just him on acoustic guitar and a Harmonica.

During this time they recorded the first two studio albums. The self-titled debut album released in May 1971 mostly made up of songs left over from Rory's "days with Taste", followed by the far more adventurous 'Deuce' released in December of the same year. But it was not until the release the following year of this groundbreaking Live album that Rory Gallagher achieved record sales to match his fanatical life following. 'Live in Europe' reached Number 12 in Britain, but more importantly breaking into the American Billboard Top 100, opening up a whole new audience.

The set starts of at a frantic pace with two rockers, the evergreen chestnut Junior Well's 'Messin' with the Kid ' (which Rory turned into his own), and the Rory original 'Laundromat', then everything is slowed down for the aching blues of 'I Could've Had Religion', where Rory's slide and harmonica work are allowed to shine. Then, without the band, an acoustic version of Blind Boy Fuller's 'Pistol Slapper Blues'. This time Rory gets to show off his fine guitar picking. For a complete change of tempo we get the stompin 'Going to my Home Town' with Rory on Mandolin, some very effective bass work from Gerry and Wilgar plus some marvelous Audience participation. Rory could of had a hit single on his hands if he had released an edited version of this song as a 45. But like 'Led Zeppelin' Rory never released a single during his career, leaving that area to the so called Pop Bands. Live set centerpiece is 'In your own Town', a ten minute band work out. And when Rory cries out "See this match? Well I am going to set this whole place alight.'', you just know it's time for the band to cut loose.

Next in the running order are the two tracks added on to this digitally Remastered CD version. Two great blues workouts in traditional Rory Gallagher style, a worthy addition to any set. The album closes with Rory's raved up version of 'Bullfrog Blues' including a pulsating bass solo from Gerry followed by a thrashing drum solo before the whole band crashes back in with Rory bringing the house down with a screaming slide solo…..which leaves everybody breathless.

After this batch of touring, Rory took on a keyboard player to fill out the sound in both the studio and as a touring unit, but I always preferred this pioneering first band. Whatever you think 'Live in Europe' is a fine testament to a credible live act and a fine Human Being.

 

Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew

E-mail: review@mott-the-dog.com


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