Blues Train

Music of Rory Gallagher - featuring Band of Friends

In Association with Shades of Soul Ltd

Event Has Passed

Last Show: Wednesday 24 th January 2024

PizzaExpress Live (Holborn)

Irish Blues-Rock guitarist, songwriter Rory Gallagher started out in R&B power trio Taste in 1966. Taste supported Cream and Blind Faith before splitting in 1970 after their appearance at the Isle of Wight Festival. Rory starting touring under his own name alongside bassist Gerry McAvoy. Sadly we lost Rory on 14th June 1995, to his devoted fans and followers this was the ultimate tragedy. Band of Friends is not a tribute to Rory, more a celebration of his life and music featuring his long-term bassist Gerry McAvoy along with special guests.

Read more ...

“Really has the atmosphere of a Rory concert”

Gerry McAvoy (Bass guitar & vocals) formed Band of Friends in 2012, after rediscovering his love of the music he had played with the Great Rory Gallagher. Gerry played with Rory for 20 years from 1971 – 1991.

His first venture into music was when, as a young boy in Secondary school, in Belfast he was invited by his close friend Brendan ONeill to join a band, the band was to be called Pride.

Later he discovered the blues, when by accident he heard a Muddy Waters track in his local Record store. This music would stay with Gerry forever. Pride later morphed into Deep Joy, a progressive rock band. A new line up was formed and the band made the decision like so many Belfast musicians before them, to go to London. Following in the footsteps of Van Morrison and Rory Gallagher with his band Taste. 

Deep Joy ended up with same booking agency as Taste ( Robert Stigwood organisation), Who handled bands like Cream. The Bee Gees to name a few. Because they were in the same stable, Deep joy opened for Taste on a few occasions. Gerry got to know Rory as an acquaintance.
This would have been 1970. Towards the end of 1970 both Taste and Deep joy broke up. As it happened in early 1971, Gerry, who was now back in Belfast, received a phone call from Rory. Rory asked Gerry if he would like to come over to London for a jam session, The obvious answer was a resounding YES!. 

This was then followed up, when Rory yet again got in touch to make a record. Once again YES! This was to be Rory’s first album after Taste. The rest is history. Gerry left Rory in 1991 and joined Punk blues band Nine Below Zero. This lasted for another 20 years, from 1991 – 2011.Releasing 10 albums. Around this time Gerry was getting the urge to move on.

Band of friends would be the next project. Gerry contacted Ted McKenna who had played drums with Rory from 1978 – 1981.He also contacted a young Dutch Guitarist and vocalist from the Netherlands, Marcel Scherpenzeel. This was to be the first line up of Band of Friends. Sadly we lost Ted McKenna in 2019, after a simple operation went wrong. Step in Brendan Oneill on drums, who had played with Rory from 1981-1991. Once again the line-up changed, in 2021 bringing in Jim Kirkpatrick Guitar and vocals and the guitar wizard Paul Rose.