Released by: Eagle Rock Ent
Release Date: April 11th, 2011
Genre: Classic Rock/Blues Rock
Rory Gallagher – Guitar/Vocals
Gerry McAvoy – Bass
Rod DeAth – Drums
Lou Martin – Electric Piano
1) Walk On Hot Coals
2) Tattoo’d Lady
3) Who’s That Coming
4) A Million Miles Away
5) Going To My Home Town
6) Cradle Rock
7) As The Crow Flies
8) Hands Up
9) Bullfrog Blues
New RTE Music Maker documentary
Japanese Tour 1974
Home Movie Footage
The timely death of one of the best guitar players the world of rock has ever seen in 1995 brought his brilliant short career and his trademark rock blues sound to an end. As many will put it, Rory was simply one of the first rock star pioneers in Ireland and had not only influenced a generation up and coming musicians in his homeland but all over the world. But Rory was not your prototypical rock star he was all about the music and he thrived being live on stage, as his live performances we’re epic displays of musicianship where many fans connected to his sound and stage presence.
What you have here in the Irish Tour of 74 is actually a remastered version of the original music rockumentary filmed by award winning director Tony Palmer as he captured the band on their tour of Ireland. Eagle Rock has been releasing various Rory concerts in the past and most notable his performances from the Montreaux Festivals which received critical review. Here they do a great job of remastering a piece of history from the time line where Gallagher was on top of the world and was already a renown rock god. I never saw the original piece but this new DVD which is available on Blue Ray for the first time sounds great and the picture quality is sharp and clear as ever. Obviously the live performances have some limitations in terms of camera angles for instance a good amount of face time is given on Rory instead of the inspiring guitar playing, but the overall editing is great and so is the production.
The blue collar style of the band in general added eve more synchronicity on stage and that also cemented itself well with the fan base. You’ll notice that they all share the same backstage rooms and don’t have fancy assistants or are inducing themselves in any psychedelic drugs. A bottle of Guinness and some instrument adjustment is what the band mettle’s with before hitting the limelight.
As the band gets ready to take the stage on the opening track on this package the more lyrical savvy tune “Tattoo’d Lady” Rory fires on all cylinders with his trademark faded stratocaster which was signature weapon of choice when on stage. The rest of the band is tight as ever a rhythm section that features Gerry Mcavoy on bass, Rod Death on Drums and Lou Martin on electric piano. I never knew that Rory could smash the slide guitar technique out of the water, on this performance he’s stellar he just had a way of rocking out a blues tune with an emphasis on the electric. Just listen to “Who’s That Coming” towards the extensive solo break, smashing!!! One of my all time favorites cuts from him is “One Million Miles Away” which builds from the intensity guitar lead and the flashbacks on the documentary to Rory’s home town of Ballyshannon.
A damn shame that to this day there are still many people out there who never even heard of Gallagher, hopefully is performances like these that can give rock fans more access and discoveries of one of the truly masters of the strat. The rest of this DVD features even more live performances and one that is Live from the Savoy Cinema in Limerick, as part of a study of a life in the day of Rory Gallagher from his 1972 Tour. This one features more classics like “Laundromat”, “Pistol Slapper Blues” and “Toredown”.
The true spirit of the Irish was also never too far away from Gallagher’s and his blue rock style as he managed to always incorporate some folk Irish tunes into his set a good example on “Cradle Rock”. He connected with his people and that just added more to his already cult status world wide. One of the most unique takes of this documentary is the takes different shots of Belfast in it’s militant state during those times. Given is war history and political struggles that Ireland’s has had over the years, I guess Rory’s music connected to the people there more then anywhere else. He was their native son and prodigal guitar man who everybody admired and adored. But because of his mastery of the guitar and his amazing musicianship, he went on to establish himself as one of the best Blues Rock axeman that has ever lived.
In a 1969 interview shortly after Woodstock Jimi Hendrix was asked a question about Rory Gallagher.
Interviewer: So Jimi, what’s it like to be the best guitarist in the world?
Jimi: I dunno, ask Rory Gallagher.
Written by Denys
Ratings Denys 9/10