There's a little West Cork town famous for its blues, the: Bantry Blues. They are a Gaelic football club. On Saturday night (last night) I ventured out to Bantry to see Eric Bell, the legendary guitarist and founder of Irelands' greatest rock group: Thin Lizzy.
I had seen Thin Lizzy in 1981 in Manchester, but alas, not with Eric Bell. In 1986 I saw Gary Moore at Milton Keynes Bowl, along with Magnum, Mamas Boys, Jethro Tull and Marillion. Last night I finally got to see the legend that is Eric Bell.
How many times had the kids and me and the wife travelled over the tunnel road from Glengarriff to Kerry, singing 'Whiskey in the Jar'?
It was one of my rare nights going out for a drink last night, and me and the missus walked through the door at nine o'clock, half an hour before we should of done. Well, we had been brought up to be punctual in England, hadn't we? Anyway we walked up the stairs and walked into a bar with a wooden dance floor and a small stage. We purchased a couple of drinks and noticed the great man (Eric Bell) setting up and tuning and doing the old:
"One two, One two."
Mr Bell was deadly serious and he tuned his two guitars and his fuzz box and all the other P.A equipment for at least half an hour. I know - I timed it. We realised we were watching a professional. The room filled up a bit more and the drummer talked to us about Neil Peart, Neil Young and working with the legend that is Eric Bell.
Something passed ten. The Eric Bell band came on stage. They played lots of blues, the Shadows and Rory Gallagher and of course, 'Whiskey In the Jar'. I was in my rock and roll heaven. The blues reminded me of the guitar duel in the fantastic film: Crossroads. Wasn't it Steve Vai who played the devil playing guitarist? Coincidentally my old friend Pat, who regular leaves comments on here, is going to see Steve Vai tonight in Warsaw. Small world eh?
Pat always says the small venues are best. I couldn't agree more. If you're ever in West Cork check out: The Mariner and it's down stairs restaurant: The Brick Oven. It's a great venue, and the natives are really friendly and it was FREE to get in You never know you may see a legend like Eric Bell. There is a great video of him and the late, great Gary Moore playing 'Whiskey in the Jar in Dublin. Check him out on You Tube or better still go and see him and the band!
Here's the guitar duel from Crossroads featuring Steve Vai.
See you later!