Gig review: BAND OF FRIENDS feat. Gerry McAvoy (Rory Gallagher) – Robin 2, Wolverhampton, 24 April 2015

This is an edit from an interview in November 2014 when Gerry McAvoy chatted to David Randall and chose some of his favourite tracks for Get Ready to ROCK! Radio (4:51)

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BAND OF FRIENDS - Robin 2, Wolverhampton, 24 April 2015

For 20 years Gerry McAvoy rode shotgun with Rory Gallagher providing the hard hitting melodic basslines to complete the bluesy rock sound that Rory was so well known for and now for the past number of years has taken the front role in the ultimate continuation of Rory’s music, ‘Band Of Friends’.

He is joined by ex RGB and SAHB drummer Ted McKenna and Dutch virtuoso guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel of whom Gerry has stated is ‘The closest to Rory you will get’ and together they are the pure essence of the RGB sound.

BAND OF FRIENDS - Robin 2, Wolverhampton, 24 April 2015

As far as music legacies go Rory Gallagher’s must be one of the most respected by his fellow musicians, known as the guitarists guitarist he is mentioned by many as their influence and even after his passing back in 1995 he regularly appears on Best Guitarist lists and has a huge and dedicated fan base.

Having seen BOF a few times this year it’s clear to see that Gerry is revelling in his new role of front man as he interacts with the crowd and more so his onstage interaction with Marcel and Ted.

With so many tracks to call on and so many they ‘had to play’ the setlist choice could not have been an easy thing but overall I think they got balance right. Kicking off with ‘Cradle Rock’,  ‘Wayward Child’ and then a storming hard hitting version of ‘Laundromat’.

BAND OF FRIENDS - Robin 2, Wolverhampton, 24 April 2015

Marcel nailed the guitar licks, wringing the notes out of his RG look-alike 61 strat and his vocals fit seamlessly, Ted McKenna as ever is one of the most visual players I have seen and you can feel the passion coming from him which is reflected in his facial expressions and body language, all this linked with the interaction with Gerry make for an energy charged set.

BAND OF FRIENDS - Robin 2, Wolverhampton, 24 April 2015

It’s great to see them including some of their new material from the new album ‘Too Much Is Not Enough’ which as Gerry stated is the line in the sand, they will always keep playing RGB tracks but as creative musicians they want to write and play new material and the new tracks are certainly very well received and fit in well with the overall bluesy rock style.

‘Leap of Faith’ kicks off with a great drum intro before an eastern inspired guitar lick kicks in, maybe this tracks sums up what the new album is all about and shows that they have that faith in their writing and are putting it out there.

BAND OF FRIENDS - Robin 2, Wolverhampton, 24 April 2015

As the night closes, some of the big guns are rolled out, ‘Shadow Play’ and ‘Bad Penny’, before a well-earned encore of another new track ‘Succubus’ and showstopper and final track ‘Bullfrog Blues’.

Listening to the crowd response and the quality of the new music I can see that Gerry, Ted and Marcel have hit the right balance of old and new and with a summer of gigs and festivals booked Blues Rock is going to be taking the crowds by storm. Catch them at Ballyshannon and Cropredy festivals amongst others.

Review and photos by Simon Dunkerley

BAND OF FRIENDS - Robin 2, Wolverhampton, 24 April 2015

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