Rory Gallagher Newcastle City Hall February 1977

Rory Gallagher Newcastle City Hall February 1977
rory77a By 1977 Rory Gallagher was at the top of his game. His band consisted of long-standing sidekick Gerry McAvoy on bass guitar, with the drum stool filled by Wilgar Campbell (1970-72), Rod de’Ath (1972-76) or ex-SAHB Ted McKenna (1976-1981). Keyboard player Lou Martin also featured for some of that time. Rory’s latest album was 1976’s Calling Card. His stage set would be drawn from the following classic Rory tracks: Messin’ With the Kid; Laundromat; Could’ve Had Religion; Pistol Slapper Blues; Going to My Hometown; In Your Town; Bullfrog Blues; Tattoo’d Lady; A Million Miles Away; Out on the Western Plain and Walk on Hot Coals. All of the great Rory gigs I saw at Newcastle City Hall during the 70s have merged together in my mind. I recall them as joyous, crazy gigs, with Rory and band lifting the roof off the City Hall, and the audience all singing along to Messin’ with the Kid, and Going to my Hometown, which featured Rory on mandolin. The pace was relentless and completly full-on for the entire set, with Rory dripping with sweat and his battered old strat ending the show even more battered than when he arrived on stage. There has never been anyone like Rory, before or since. He was simply 100% class, a great guy, and a superb guitarist. rory77b My ticket stubs give me a conundrum in terms of this 1977 gig. I have two tickets; they are both clearly printed with the date Wednesday 9th February 1977. However, one of them has been over-written by hand Friday 18th February 1977. They are for different seats a couple or rows apart. I can’t figure out what happened here. I found a Rory gig list which suggest that both gigs were played, but that wouldn’t explain the hand written ticket. My guess is that the first gig was cancelled or abandoned and I bought a second ticket for the rescheduled gig so that Marie could come along with me. Wish I’d kept a diary.

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6 responses to this post.

  1. I was at this gig too – it was the second proper rock gig I went to after seeing Thin Lizzy a couple of months earlier. I guess it was probably the gig that made me into a lifelong concert goer. If it had been a crap gig who knows I may not have ever gone to another (who am I kidding!! :o).

    I definitely saw him on the 18th but can’t answer your question as to why there is a different date on your ticket – I’ll try and dig mine out over the weekend and see what mine says!

    I did keep a diary though! See……

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mitch on February 10, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    I was at the 1977 concert – support was from The Joe O’Donnell Band who were also the support on Rory’s 1978 UK tour.

    My City Hall ticket stub is also for Wednesday 9th February but this show was cancelled (I cannot remember why) and re-arranged for Friday 18th February as hinted at in your blog.

    The night was memorable for me because as soon as this show was finished I legged it down the street to the Polytechnic to see Lone Star.

    Rory was simply terrific and dripping with sweat after a pulsating show. And at the end something happened that I have never seen happen at a concert before or since.

    Rory finished the main set with Bullfrog Blues and then came back on for a couple of encores and then back on again for a further one.
    To say that he ‘went down a storm’ would be an understatement. After the third encore the house lights came on which is the managements way of saying ‘that’s yer lot now get yourselves home’.
    However, I remember hardly anyone budged and after three or four minutes of the audience screaming for more and football crowd type shouts for Rory, Rory, Rory…the lights went out and the great man came back on for a fourth encore. Absolutely terrific!

    The set list at this show was –
    Moonchild, Do You Read Me, Bought And Sold, Calling Card, Tattoo’d Lady, Secret Agent, A Million Miles Away, I Take What I Want, Out On The Western Plain, Barley And Grape Rag, Pistol Slapper Blues, Too Much Alcohol, Going To My Home Town, Edged In Blue, Garbage Man, Souped Up Ford, Bullfrog Blues.
    Encores: Messin’ With The Kid, Used To Be, Country Mile, Tore Down.

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on February 10, 2014 at 3:37 pm

      Great memories Mitch many thanks Rory was the man in those days and a massive hero to me and a lot of my mates Cheers Peter

      Reply

  3. Great gig, his cloth hanging from his guitar headstock. Sitting in L29 Balcony £2.00 seat

    Reply

    • Posted by vintagerock on August 10, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Rory was just great; a down to earth humble guy and a guitar hero for so many of us Cheers Peter

      Reply

  4. Posted by Geoffrey Witt on January 16, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    Guitar legend, best live performance ever.

    Reply

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