Rory was and still is my favourite blues guitarist – the gentle Irishman has been gone 25 years this Sunday 14 June 2020.
I have been listening to Rory Gallagher before I knew who he was, as older cousins used to listen to him (along with Peter Green & Taj Mahal), I just thought it was great music – and in my late teens I listened constantly to his (and some may say the best live album every produced) Irish Tour ’74 (15 years after it was released, as I was 3 in 1974!)
That was the vinyl that really got me into Rory and I had to try to find every live track he had every done (which of course now is a lot easier since the invention fo the internet).
I was very lucky I got to see him once, but even though his health was failing him, he was still a showman when he picked up his battered old 1961 Fender Stratocaster and played his blues.
BBC Radio 4 long running show is looking for your own Desert Island Discs
Can you pick your Desert Island Discs? Those eight must-have tracks you’d want if you found yourself marooned. With so many of us feeling more isolated than usual, that’s just what Radio 4 is challenging you to do.
Last night I had the pleasure of going to see Jeff Wayne conducting the 10-piece Black Smoke Band and 36-piece ULLAdubULLA Strings playing his version of the The War of The Worlds, I have loved this since I was a kid (it must have been the prog rock that Jeff used back 1978 production) but also the voice of Richard Burton (as George Herbert, The Journalist) that haunts the whole thing – and in particular with this production his hologram hangs over the CIA in Cardiff.
We were treated the brilliant vocal talents of Justin Hayward (The Moody Blues) and Chris Thompson (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band ) who were in the original recording and they were accompanied by Rhydian (off the telly) as Parson Nathaniel who did his own camp opera version of the character that Phil Lynott originally played, his wife was played by Liz McClarnon who was in a girl pop band Iam told my the Mrs.
My surprise of the night was Jason Donovan as The Artilleryman (played by a certain sheddie lady’s favourite David Essex in the original) – of course it would be no surprise to Jason’s fans, as he has done so many other musical theatre shows but his maniacal singing in the 2nd half (Brave New World) was great..
The visuals and effects were exciting from where we where sitting and smoke and fire effects added to the atmosphere, but it was the music that shone above al,l the mixed of the orchestra and rock band worked just as well today, as it did in my bedroom in the 80s on cassette – some of the tracks were a little dated but maybe retro is the word to use nowadays.
The Black Smoke Band were top notch and some perfect guitar solos and banging percussion.
I love the long pieces like the “Horsell Common and the Heat Ray” but the more popular and well know “Forever Autumn” got the most reaction from the audience- it’s a shame that the falling leaves from the ceiling did not reach us 😉
A great “modern/interwebby” audience participation feature was that punters were asked to Tweet to the shows stream @twotwofficial and certain ones where picked to appear on the giant screen at the back in the break.
It was a great way to engage the audience in the interval and we got a few “I Love you Jason” and “Terry from Barry visiting the show with his mum”, a few of mine ended up on screen as well – which was nice.
Last night me and mrsunclewilco went to see the Bad Shepherds at the glee club Cardiff Bay.
They are the folk band that does punk covers lead by comedian Adrian “Ade” Edmondson (yes Vyvyan) who was sweary on Vocals & ‘thrash mandolin’, the shepherds were supported by Ella Edmondson, well if you can’t give your own family a support slot when can you.. she was a good singer songwriter.
Adrian was backed up by some superb folk musicians Troy Donockley on Uilleann Pipes was brilliant and Iam sure fiddler Andy Dinan had sold his soul, also Tim Harries competes the quartet on Double Bass.
As you know Iam more a rock fan than punk (unless its about sheds) – but as I reach my middle years folk is spreading into my listening more and more, in fact I don’t think it ever went away as Iam closet Jethro Tull fan so the chance to see punk classics reworked as folk was something we could not miss.
My favourite cover was Friday Night Saturday morning the b Side of the first record I every bought Ghost Town by the Specials, but the reworkings of God save the Queen, Teenage kicks & Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue by The Ramones and Down in the Tube Station at Midnight were top class.
The only downside was that a room full of middleaged folk/punk fans at an all standing gig, cmon promoter gives us some chairs our backs could not take it.
Anyway they will be back in Wales Jun 24th, 2010 at the Muni Arts Centre in Ponty, well worth a ticket.
I have sky+ these two shows about the late great John Martyn that were on BBC Four last night and will catch up with them soon.
I think I have seen them before, but always worth a watch as he was a nutter but a wonderful guitarist and of the course the voice at the start was sublime.
I went to see John a few years ago in Cardiff, after his leg amputation, he was playing Solid Air in full, due to all his problems it was a good show as he could still play great guitar, I even wrote a review.
A friednofafriend of mine Taif, played bass with him a few years ago on tour and here he talks about John..