Previously released only in Europe, Live in Cork finally debuts the 1987 performance in Cork’s Opera House. With his eventual death arriving a scant eight years after this concert, Rory’s legacy lives on in Cork where he grew up and this concert marked one his return to the town after a career of touring. While not hailed as one of his strongest performances, it’s undeniable that even when not at his best, Rory was still amazing. With a thirteen song set list and bonus material to check out, Live in Cork is sure to please the Gallagher fan that has been holding out for a region one release of this concert.
After an absence of some years from playing in his native city, Rory returns to perform for the first time at Cork’s Opera House. Such was the occasion that Irish Television (RTE) had its cameras there to capture the homecoming. This DVD contains the concert originally released on VHS as “Messin’ With The Kid – Live At The Cork Opera House”, but now with superior audio. To compliment this landmark performance, a unique and highly personal “Rough Guide To Rory’s Cork” has been compiled, showing locations, memorabilia and rare & unseen photographs – all supplemented with anecdotes.
Do I even have to say it? Yeah, this is another musician I wasn’t familiar with. And this is yet another artist I’m now glad I know as this concert was really an enjoyable listening and viewing experience. While I couldn’t join the crowd in their excitement as Rory switches between his catalog of old and new titles, I could simply enjoy the music nonetheless. While it isn’t exactly my style of music per say, there were a lot of memorable pieces of music as well as song lyrics that stuck with me.
But more than anything it was Rory’s guitar playing that stood out to me most. While the full band backing him up was remarkable, the way Rory was able to play the strings on the guitar was really fantastic. I know little about musicians of Rory’s time, but it’s clear to me that he was definitely a fantastic musician. There was plenty of songs to enjoy here, but it was the performance of “Out on the Western Plain” that stood out to me the most. With just Rory on acoustic guitar for the song, it was a perfect example of his talent (or, at the very least, the talent he exuded at this show—as I came to read online, it seems he was already quite strung out on drugs at this point in his career).
The set list included on this DVD is as follows:
1. Continental Op
2. Tattoo’d Lady
3. Don’t Start Me Talkin’
4. I Ain’t No Saint
5. Follow Me
6. When My Baby She Left Me
7. Off The Handle
8. Out On The Western Plain
9. Wanted Blues
10. The Loop
11. Shadow Play
12. Messin’ With The Kid
13. Loanshark Blues
Thirteen songs with an aggregate runtime of seventy eight makes for a concert that’s neither too long or too short. While I wouldn’t recommend this to any random person on the street, fans who have been waiting for a domestic release of this title will no doubt jump on it—and with good reason too, as the budget pricing and small selection of extras make this one a worthy addition to any fans collection.
Live in Cork arrives on DVD in a standard clear amaray case without a slipcover or anything fancy like that. What is included is the aforementioned “Rough Guide to Rory’s Cork,” which takes the uninformed on a little journey through his life with shots of memorabilia and the like. It’s a nice little addition to a release that otherwise might be a bit lacking, as the video included here isn’t exactly the most brilliantly crisp production to arrive on DVD. Taking into account its age, however, it’s not too bad to look at; there are some VCR scan line type issues to worry about, but thankfully the remastered audio here sounds a hell of a lot crisper and cleaner than the video looks.
I will say that the menu system, in which you have to navigate the streets of Cork to find the right area you want to go to so you can watch something (“Cork Opera House” is the concert) and the rest of the stuff is…well, it’s kind of a confusing menu system. Kind of too clever for its own good as it’s kind of aggravating to navigate through things and watch a transition just to get to the concert. So…that’s pretty much it. No documentary, no nothin’. Just some photos and text.
Overall a slightly disappointing DVD release if only because of the awkward menu system. Other than that it’s a decent release and one fans of Rory will no doubt appreciate.
Rory Gallagher – Live in Cork arrives on DVD on March 17th.