DVD review: TASTE – What’s Going On – Live At The Isle Of Wight

In this exclusive interview edit (17:49) Rory Gallagher’s brother and custodian of his legacy, Donal, tells David Randall about Taste’s tour with Eric Clapton/Blind Faith in the USA in 1969 and Rory’s growing frustration with tour/label management.  Donal also talks about Rory the person, ongoing projects, plus video releases in general.  (Interview recorded in February 2012 and first broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, 19 February 2012)

TASTE - What's Going On - Live At The Isle Of Wight

Eagle Vision [Release date 18.09.15]

With all the focus on Rory Gallagher’s solo career in recent years – evidenced by remasters and largely recycled video – it is only right that there should be a resurgence of interest in his formative band, Taste.

Never realising their full potential they only released two studio albums and two official live albums that respectively feature a rather restricted and repetitive setlist.  To coincide with the reissue of those two studio albums in expanded form via a much-needed  box set, we get the first ever video release of the band at the Isle Of Wight in 1970.

Their IOW performance is bolstered  by a new documentary – on the Bluray version – with the usual talking heads of those that were there (brother Donal) along with those that were inspired (Brian May, The Edge).

The additional bonus features include three tracks from ‘Beat Club 1970′ and show the jazzier side of the band with rare footage of Gallagher playing sax on ‘If The Day Was Any Longer’ and three music videos.  Not enough information is given about these period pieces, evidently they were shot in Germany, but they are in colour and there is a lot of gunfire.

Musically, the IOW set revolved around mainly slow to mid-tempo blues rock workouts; the running order of the video footage includes ‘Gambling Blues’ but not ‘I Feel So Good’ which now features on the newly remastered CD version of this release along with the also missing ‘Blister On The Moon’.

What of the gig and this latest presentation? The IOW 1970 was truly the last of the really great UK rock festivals at least in terms of audience numbers ( totalling 600-700,000) and a bygone-era is evoked during the song ‘Morning Sun’.  It is surprising that the video footage hasn’t been packaged previously but Daniel Gallagher and the producers have done an excellent job especially in terms of the stellar sound quality.

This 54 minute performance is invaluable in showing Rory’s rising star and a band format providing the  template for his coming solo career.  Taste (with Richard McCracken, bass and John Wilson on drums) split soon after this gig but – 45 years after the event and now 20 years after Gallagher’s death – this is a great reminder of the influential and often incendiary guitar player.  ****

Review by David Randall

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

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In this two hour special David Randall plays a selection of the GRTR! reviewer choices for ‘Best of 2019′ and announces the results of the popular poll. First broadcast Sunday 22 December 2019.

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