“Gig for Gary” on Friday April 12th 2019 marked another milestone in Irish rock history as the holy night of the official launch of the fundraising project for a statue for Irish guitar legend and Lord of the Strings Gary Moore in his hometown of Belfast.
Gig for Gary was a memorial concert to honor Gary, his music and to say thankyou for how his music has inspired so many great musicians through the generations.
The concert wasn’t a regular tribute show either, instead it was created as if Gary was right there in the room. Four bands and their special guests played an inspiring mix of original progressive rock and blues inspired by Gary, along with songs Gary was inspired by, and of course a great mix of Gary’s own songs.
What was unique about the show is that each band contained members who were either long-time friends of Gary’s, or close family who dedicated their music on the night to their dear brother and friend.
Robert William Gary Moore was born in Belfast on April 4th, 1952 although he played in other greatly successful bands, is probably most widely known for his role as guitarist with legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy.
Passing away suddenly in 2010, Gary left behind a legion of mourning fans worldwide, with a great many who have rallied behind the statue project with their support so far including attendance at Gig for Gary.
There was an air of positivity on the night, with a great cheer from the crowd for the opening welcome speech, as Patricia Moore and 15-year old UK guitarist/vocalist Tom Davies were welcomed to the stage to open the event with Still Got the Blues. Tom then played two more instrumental blues classics including a Gary Moore epic, The Loner to the delight of the crowd.
Next was long-running local Belfast band and festival favourites Sam Davidson’s Taste who rocked out an energetic set from Rory Taste era, along with some great Gary Moore tracks, and a selection of classic blues. Rory Gallagher was one of Gary’s favourite guitarists.
Third up were Dublin’s Gerry Quigley & his prog celtic rock and folk rock band The Nomadic Druids, playing a spine tingling mix of original prog rock and celtic blues greatly inspired by Gary. Also Gary’s song “All Your Lovin” to complete their respects to their guitar superhero.
Fourth on the bill was the main headline act and another Belfast guitar hero, Thin Lizzy founding guitarist Eric Bell and his band The Eric Bell Trio. We discovered how Eric has remained a good friend of Gary’s since a young age, as the lyrics of his 2016 released tear-jerker “Song for Gary” described. Eric also played Thin Lizzy favourites “Whisky in the Jar” and “The Rocker” along with a superb mix of his own originals and classic blues, it sure was a joy to hear Eric play live.
Last of all but by no means least, was the second headline act, the amazing Patricia Moore Band with their Gary Moore tribute, powering through a great mix of Gary’s songs along with one of Patricia’s own tracks sung from the heart for her dear brother Gary.
Patricia took the crowd by surprise in grand style when she rocked the stage with her opening track “Wishing Well”. It quickly became obvious that her deep and powerful, emotional and soulful voice is right at home with rock & blues.
Patricia showed all of us how much talent runs in her family as she put her heart and soul into a truly captivating performance to rival the best of the best!
The project at a glance: 35% of the €13,500 target for stage 1 of the statue’s 5 part construction program has been raised so far. With that figure increasing day by day as more t-shirts are sold directly from the two official project websites. Plans are in progress with an application to council for funding also in place, one thing is for certain, there will be more exciting times ahead for Gary Moore fans worldwide to celebrate.
Photography: Keery Irvine
www.gigforgary.com & www.garymoorestatue.com
Wild Frontier Memorial Project:
Patricia Moore & Sharon Quigley