Brauweiler, Cologne / Germany

Thanks a lot to Bep Stam for the help and
Karin Rouwen for the English translation!

Freitag, 28. Januar 2005

Rockmusic in a school? It can’t be? It can!

Friday January 28th, Barry Mc Cabe in a somewhat unusual location: the Abtei-Gymnasium in Cologne Brauweiler. This became possible only due to the fact that the teacher Brigitte Meurer had the courage to try something new after several classical period concerts and with Barry Mc Cabe booked somewhat "stronger" music for this evening.

Unfortunately this enterprise stood under no good star, because due to a quite short "starting time" and other internal difficulties sufficient advertisement for this concert could not be made. Consequently then also unfortunately only approx. 40 - 50 visitors were present, among them some teachers and pupils of the High School. It really is a shame, because the band was, as usual, absolutely worth hearing and seeing.

The concert began with a Bagpipe intro of Francis McIllduff, at first alone on stage. One by one the other musicians entered the stage with their instruments - just Barry Mc Cabe wasn’t there yet. Then strong guitar music was heard and he came, while playing his guitar, as the last man on stage
Who ever saw the Irish guitarist Barry Mc Cabe before, knows that he and his band are playing an absolutely high level. Those guys present Rock and Blues, mixed with Celtic influences, which by mixing in the bagpipes and Low Whistle (that is a celtic flute) by Francis Mc Illduff are even stronger.

Francis doesn’t just play quick solo’s with the pipes, he makes it sound great with Rock and Roll and colours the music Irish in a miraculous way. The line up is completed by drums and bass as well as keyboard (the names of these gentlemen are unfortunately unknown to me, due to recent changes). The whole set is clean and professionally played. In addition comes the joy of playing, a joy that is soon shared by the audience.

Despite the fact that on this evening only few people were present, the band played like it was a full house. The first piece, "Pick A Bale O ' Cotton" was a dedication to the guitar and down to earth Rock and set the mood right for the rest of the concert. Then it changed directly with a kind of medley "You Don't Love Me" into quite speedy Rock 'n roll. And in this style it continued! Fast Rock and Rock 'n roll, with great keyboards and guitarsolo’s by Barry, who made it very clear that not only was Rory Gallagher his rolemodel, he also had his own style of playing, was played just as often as slow and sensitive Blues, with "Full Moon on Mainstreet" (of F. James) as absolute highlight – chicken skin all over! Somebody had brought along miracle candles, which were ignited and waved over the heads.

A further highlight was "One Of these Days" (no, not the Pink Floyd version), which came with a thriving and continuous bass which could be felt all through the body and ended wit a great keyboard solo. In between Barry Mc Cabe played an acoustic set, which began with the piece "The emigrant" which Barry wrote after the death of Rory Gallagher and dedicated it to him. It is a thoughtful, very emotional and sensitively played instrumental song with a fantastic "Low Whistle" - melody. One must hear it, because it’s impossible to describe how much feeling there is in this song. Simply ingeniously!

After the acoustic part there was music for the legs, with "Oh Well " and "Kissin ' in Your Sleep". The concert ended with "The Peace Within", a heavy played Rock and Roll where the band again took off for the last time. Barry played his solo’s partly with his teeth, then with the Slide and then some exchange with key board and bagpipe. There were two further additions, altogether the Gig took about two hours. It is quite unbelievable: here is an absolute professional with a great band and plays in a school for an admission fee of 7, - (!!) euro for perhaps 50 spectators “the soul from his body” – playing on a level that lots of so called “well known bands” never will reach. Barry Mc Cabe deserved more - much more. He is the best. How unfair is the music industry!
Peter Rodenbüsch