11/11/2023 Band Of Friends Review by Kev White

Long-time backing band of the late, great, Irish Blues/Rock guitarist and songwriter, Rory Gallagher, Band Of Friends made a welcome return to The Flowerpot tonight. Respect to original bassist and band leader Gerry McAvoy for his commitment and determination to keep the music and legacy of Gallagher alive. Rory's untimely death in the 1990s robbed the industry of an absolute genius, a loss still felt all these years later.

Gallagher was a powerhouse with a formidable reputation in his day with a relentless work ethic who was one of the rarities in music who was as good in the studio as he was live. Gallagher is an influential musician who has made such an impact on many contemporary guitarists, Jim Kirkpatrick who is the current incarnation of Band Of Friends front man included. The current line-up features original members Gerry McAvoy (bass), Brendan O'Neill (drums), who are joined by Paul Rose (guitar) and Jim Kirkpatrick (guitar/vocals).

Tonight was the third time this writer has seen the group. The current version was incendiary the inclusion of the twin guitars of Kirkpatrick and Rose is a masterstroke. The set was leaning more towards. The band is really tight and was clearly having a great time on stage. The four piece band did the songs justice and right from the start really got the crowd involved, singing and clapping along.

Band Of Friends are a fantastic band live, their passion and enthusiasm for the music of Gallagher and keeping the flame alive is very clear. Band Of Friends pay homage to this wonderful legacy and at the same time breathes new life into these incredible songs.

The tracks played tonight spanned the career of Gallagher. Highlights of the set were Continental Op, Moonchild A Sense Of Freedom, A Million Miles Away, Tattooed Lady, Bad Penny, Shadow Play and Bullfrog Blues.