Rory Gallagher in town

Without doubt guitarist Rory Gallagher was one of the hardest working musicians in the UK, a fact backed up by his having appeared under his own name over a dozen times at Sheffield City (Oval) Hall! We have yet to do a “most appearances” at the venue (sounds like a project) but he cannot be far off the top. Rory also appeared at the Polytechnic (as Hallam Uni was still known then) in 1981 at the Phoenix Hall but his career hit a lull until he got back on tour at the end of the decade with his final show at the City Hall in 1987.

We thought this was his last show in the city, but Simon just dug out this ticket from a show at the Lower Refectory at the Sheffield Uni students union in late 1988. “The Union had changed to these quite nice larger tickets by this time, paper but with a two colour print. The red was I suppose a security pattern! £6.00 looks so cheap now but was probably quite a lot at the time. I always liked the refectory as a venue. Firstly it felt a bit special to us as in the Seventies it was hard to get in as a non-student, and also while it was just standing only the stage was quite high, so you could usually get a good view. If you were sneaky you could get upstairs to the walkway and have an excellent view. “ As it is 34 years ago on Saturday we thought we would mark the anniversary.

We didn’t know at the time but Rory was already quite poorly though he continued to tour but played less often in the UK, so when he announced some shows in 1990 Simon got over to see Rory at the International 2 in Manchester at the end of the year. “It was a great concert as always, Rory went on and gave everything on stage as he always did. But for those of us who were fans he really did not look in great shape.” He became seriously ill on a European tour in 1995 and was eventually properly diagnosed and admitted to hospital in the UK but contracted MRSA and died. He was only 47.

If you know of any other Sheffield shows we might have missed, let us know. Our listing is here. Photo below taken by Nick Robinson.