As an adjunct to my Rory Gallagher Peel session post the other day, I thought I would run this concert from his band just prior to his solo venture. Taste were a (relatively) short-lived trio. Initially formed by Rory Gallagher in 1966 as The Taste, but disbanded in 1968 before a new incarnation of Taste (dropping “The”) with new drummer and bass was formed, this 1968 version was signed to Polydor and were one of the opening acts for Cream’s farewell concerts. When their debut album, On The Boards was released in 1970, they embarked on a tour of the U.S. and Europe, primarily as opening act to Blind Faith, another Polydor (in the UK) band. Sadly, I missed the tour when they came to L.A. – or maybe I did see them and, like much of that period of the 60s, it’s a haze that rolls into one large grey sonic area.
But the plain fact is; Rory Gallagher was an astonishing artist, and this concert along with several of the other live Taste concerts (along with the Taste Live At The Isle of Wight album) reveal this to be a band who won the attention and respect of many of their peers for very good reason. Jimi Hendrix has been quoted as considering Rory Gallagher one of the best guitarists of the period.
That we’ve been lucky enough to get a glimpse of this band in a live setting more than substantiates the claim. One of the biggest problems for many bands during the 1960s was “capturing their live sound in the studio” on vinyl – bands who weren’t recorded live we’ve often been left wondering what might have been, or relying on a memory for a sound that wasn’t the same when we put the needle on the disc. Taste were a Power-Trio, much like Cream. And like I said in an earlier post regarding Blue Cheer (another Power Trio), the dynamic presence of the band was hard, if not impossible to capture during this evolving period in recording technology – how do you capture that power and range and cram it on a disc without turning everything into a mush of distortion and impossible tracking?
So Taste may have been short-lived, but they left a legacy – and Rory Gallagher went on to achieve greater heights in his solo career. And as a reminder, here is that concert from Swedish Radio (not quite complete and fading out before the end) as it was broadcast in 1970.
You don’t need any prompting to play loud – you’re just going to do it anyway.