THE legacy of Irish singer/songwriter Rory Gallagher is celebrated at one of the Capital’s newest live music venues this week when Barry Barnes and his band Sinnerboy - named after Gallagher’s 1971 release - tour to Smash on Grindlay Street, this Friday.
Born in County Donegal in 1948, the blues and rock multi-instrumentalist reached the height of his popularity throughout the 1970s and 1980s, selling more than 30 million albums worldwide.
He died in 1995, having developed complications after receiving a liver transplant, at the age of just 47.
On the first anniversary of Gallagher’s passing, Barnes promoted the first ever tribute concert to his lifelong hero.
He recalls, “As the months went on, I had it in my mind that something should be done to commemorate Rory’s death, and to celebrate the huge contribution he made to the rock and blues scene.
“The place was rammed, I couldn’t believe so many people remembered Rory and his music. It was so moving.
“Then the next day, I woke up to a message from Donal Gallagher, Rory’s brother. He was lovely, and said how grateful he was that Rory’s music was living on in this way.”
In 2000 Barnes formed Sinnerboy, and the band have been keeping the music of Ireland’s first real ‘rock star’ alive ever since.
Gallagher composed highly original soulful blues and blazing rock. Sinnerboy recapture that vitality.
Barnes says, “I may have driven all day, humped amps up stairs and feel completely shattered, but as soon as I plug in my Strat, hit the first chord and see the smiles on people’s faces, the weariness falls away.”
Sinnerboy, Smash, Grindlay Street, Friday, 7pm, £10 on the door