Friday, 27 January 2012

Gallagher & Lyle Edinburgh 1979

Gallagher and Lyle Edinburgh 1979
6th November 1979

Edinburgh Usher Hall

Compromise, so they tell me, is the key to any successful relationship.  Thus it was, in the spirit of this particular C word, that I acquiesced when Wife-to-Be asked me to take her to see Gallagher & Lyle in concert.  Not that I had anything particularly against Benny & Graham you understand.  They were Scots after all – generally a Good Thing.  And although I felt their music was perhaps a bit "girlie", they were very clearly talented songwriters and musicians both.

I knew they had, after spending a couple of years propping up the ailing careers of Tom McGuiness and Hughie Flint, struck out on their own, releasing a series of folksy-tinged efforts prior to hitting gold with their 1976 album Breakaway.  This collection had produced two UK hits for the pair: I Wanna Stay with You and Heart on My Sleeve; whilst Art Garfunkel had taken the title track into the US charts.

And yet the duo had been, somewhat bafflingly, unable to build on this success and had we but known it, this tour (promoting their Lonesome No More album) would be their last together for 30 years.

Two things brightened up the prospect of the concert as it approached.  Firstly I noted Judie Tzuke (a young lady who had made me late for work one day – more of which, in her own entry), had been lined up as support for the tour.  The other was I discovered a former musical hero of mine would be in the backing band: former King Crimson sax player Mel Collins.

Now I was not so na├»ve to think we may be treated to an impromptu version of The Sailor’s Tale here, but I did hope Mr Collins may be given the opportunity to puff and parp in his inimitable manner at some point during the evening.  And puff and parp he did, to great effect, during Every Little Teardrop which I am slightly ashamed to relate, is pretty much all I can recall of the whole concert.

I am sure G&L would have performed the three aforementioned biggies from Breakaway album, but the old ROM has long since been wiped I’m afraid.

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