Album review: RORY GALLAGHER – Kickback City/Live In Cork

Kickback City

Sony Music [Release date 28.10.13]

This release is a rather interesting twist on an artist’s legacy.  In recent years we’ve been treated to definitive remastered albums under the careful eye of Rory’s younger brother Donal but ‘Kickback City’ is an altogether different proposition.

As a package it emphasises Rory Gallager’s fascination with the crime thriller genre – clearly reflected in many of his songs – and an interest in the dark horse or outsider.  Bring together ace crime writer Ian “Inspector Rebus” Rankin and DC Comics graphic artist Timothy Truman – both declared Rory fans – and you have a compelling new release.

There are three CDs including appropriate studio tracks (all previously available), live tracks available on CD for the first time (from the 1987 Opera House gig in Cork) and a narration of the short story ‘Kickback City’ plus Rankin’s novella ‘The Lie Factory’.  The short story is enhanced by Truman’s graphics, there are four postcards,  and of course all is inspired by the song titles. 

Indeed this might explain the selection of certain tracks, and there seems to be an emphasis on the later pieces.  Perhaps Rankin was particularly inspired by ‘Defender’ (Rory’s 1987 studio album) because four tracks are included.

The live tracks are actually a nice complement to the recent Eagle Vision release Live In Cork (EREDV986).  Again, the emphasis is on ‘Defender’ (Continental Op, I Ain’t No Saint) but also included are a handful of earlier classics (‘Tattoo’d Lady’, ‘Messin’ With the Kid’, ‘Loanshark Blues’) as well as the instrumental ‘The Loop’ which would appear on the last studio album ‘Fresh Evidence’ in 1990.

The Cork Opera House gig marked the return of Gallagher to his hometown and is an excellent companion to the classic ‘Irish Tour 74’.  In 1987 he showed no sign of slowing down although sadly the ensuing years would take their toll: a legendary performer wrestling with ill health, personal demons, and a changing musical industry. 

Both these releases further attest the durability of the Gallagher phenomenon and with brother Donal maintaining the quality control we can hope that more Rory riches are still in store.  ****

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.

Reissues (2013)


David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 1 August 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week and an interview with “metal queen” Lee Aaron.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 7 September 2021.


Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.
You can Listen Again to shows via the presenter pages at www.getreadytorockradio.com

Featured Albums w/c 6 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 HEARTLAND Into The Future (Escape Music)
12:00-13:00 VEGA Anarchy And Unity (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 JACKSON BROWNE Downhill From Everywhere (indie)

Power Plays w/c 20 September 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BAD TOUCH Twenty Five Miles (Marshall)
THE HUMAN VEIL Enemies (indie)
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY Now’s The Time (Golden Robot Records)
VANSLEEP Oceans (indie)
TRUE NORTH Save Me (Out Of Line Music)
SORROW & THE SPIRE In The City Tonight (Golden Robot Records)



Popular (last 30 days)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), ALL POSTS, DVD REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply