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  RORY GALLAGHER: 'KICKBACK CITY' BOX-SET
(Sony Music CMG)
Release Date: 28th October 2013


Gary 'Rockulus' Clarke

Rockulus Maximus

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kickback city

It felt like any other morning with a crisp, fresh vibe in the musty air. The dame had gone to work her dead-end job under the cover of the early morning darkness, stepping around the puddles which were the only signatures of the downpour the previous night.

Feeling the Autumnal chill, I slipped on some clothes and couldn't shake the thoughts that were in my head. There was an assignment that had to be tackled, that had to be shared with the world. An assignment like no other when compared to some of the jobs I'd had to chew on.

I sat down to write a review of a box set that initially spoke to me of pretention, but once I started to dig deeper revealed so much more. The box set was a collaborative package incorporating the varied talents of an author called Ian Rankin, an illustrator known as Timothy Truman and an actor that had paved a notable career and went by the name of Aidan Quinn.

Article continues below...

 
 


These three misfits were affiliated with a box set that came to my attention thanks to some publicity and an individual who will remain anonymous. The tip off was somehow concealed within the shadows of electronic mail, and it whispered to me.

I don't recall word for word what it said, but it contained a vague similarity along the lines of: "Gary, you're a no good waste of space who sits on his backside from morning to night. It's time for you to earn a pretty penny and wrap your eyes and ears around this collection."

They were right on a couple of accounts, and who was I to say no. I got bills to pay just like the next fella.

kickback city

Thinking back to how it all started stirs something in me, something that I cannot put my finger on. I guess I should start at the beginning.

It was a few minutes after noon as I rubbed my chin, feeling the prickles of my stubble, when the phone rang. I quietly hoped that it might be a guardian angel ready to inform me of a plan to whisk me off to 'Kickback City' to check out what others called 'The Lie Factory' but instead I heard the soft lilt of an Irish accent. The voice belonged to Rory Gallagher's brother, Donal Gallagher.

He sounded like it was business as usual, and over the course of our conversation had a lot to say. After all, he had lived and grown up with a guitarist and vocalist who shook things up and did things his own way.

Rory Gallagher was known for initially making an impact via a band known as Taste, but from 1971 through to 1990 had successfully built up a body of consistently strong work that allowed him the luxury of impressing and touching many famous hearts as a solo artist.

rory gallagher

The spell he cast reached such notable talents as Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, James Dean Bradfield from the Manic Street Preachers, Brian May and many, many others. Whether you stumbled across him through hearing a cover of his track 'Cradle Rock' by Joe Bonamassa for example, or you'd been there when the guitarist/vocalist was alive and performing emotive gigs, somehow this guy got under the skin.

"I knew my brother Rory was a great lover of crime books, and it was one of his hobbies and passions", began Gallagher's Brother as the story unfolded. He went on to fill me in on the work he was doing for an acoustic-based album by Rory and how during the mixing process the engineer informed him that the book he was reading was called 'A Question Of Blood' by Rankin. The protagonist in this book went by the name of Rebus and was a fan of Rory Gallagher.

"I thought about this idea of a crime novel", Donal advised when referring to talks with Sony about concepts and releases to do with Rory's back catalogue.

"Once I knew the record label were kind of interested in this crime idea then, I was going to Scotland, so I asked Ian if he would be kind enough to meet me and chat about the idea of; it was my son (Daniel Gallagher) actually said rather than get him to write the sleeve notes get him to write about something more specific."

With the concept of the crime theme sitting around for about two years, and with Donal accumulating around forty tracks that retained that sense of criminal character from the body of work that Rory had left behind, the plan was in motion.

"So I gave Ian these forty tracks like a jigsaw puzzle and said well actually, could you find a thread or a storyline through these songs?"

As it happens, Rankin completely got it and whilst this idea unravelled, another element to this intriguing story was taking place in the U.S.

A comic book called 'Grimjack' had an episode about a musician who carried a battered Stratocaster and resembled Rory Gallagher along with other subtle nods to the man.

"We made contact with the artist, a guy called Timothy Truman, who declared his love for Rory." Truman highlighted his general love of music and how he too played guitar and had worked on cover artwork for Grateful Dead amongst other things.

"I said, look I've got this idea. Ian Rankin's going to write the story, would you perhaps do some graphics for it?" enthused Donal as he reflected over the exchange of communications.

About a year or so went by as the process came together knitting the words of Rankin with the graphic design of Truman for the main character known as a Regan, the Private Investigator, or Agatha Dempsey, Kid Gloves and Anthony Costello amongst others. Donal then explained the thinking behind bringing in Quinn to provide a voice for Regan adding another dimension to the crime-themed concept.

"We had the story formed from Rory's lyrics and the graphics formed from Ian's writing so it had become quite elaborate by then; and actually thought well a lot of people who are, to make sure they would get it I felt that it needed almost an audio book because not everybody's you know, the greatest reader, and particularly crime plots can be a little bit entangled for people.

"So we approached Aidan Quinn because we wanted a voice with a good sort of American gang, detective accent if you like, that was non-descriptive, the 40s, 50s, whether it was Chicago, New York or L.A. or whatever."

I interrupt my recollections of that fateful conversation over the phone by taking a look at the hardcover book-like presentation of 'Kickback City', with Regan's image standing in the middle of the street. This was worthy of any top quality graphic novel I could have ever laid my hands on. Truman had done good; I couldn't dispute that.

As I leaf through the pages, there is the novella by Rankin which he titled 'The Lie Factory', the name for the city that Regan chooses to give it due to the criminal and illegal nature of how the city built its way up. Slipped in amongst the pages are pockets containing three CDs.

One is a studio-based compilation that showcases fourteen tracks from Rory's solo career that are appropriate to the story. A second CD is the remastered and audio version of the 'Live In Cork Opera House' film around the time of Rory's 1987 album 'Defender', with a third CD providing the audio book where Quinn does a fabulous job of putting a voice to Regan taking us through the story of 'The Lie Factory'.

If that wasn't sufficient, I then notice some postcards adding the cherry on top.

'Kickback City' is a lavish affair providing those who take the time to not only read a crime-based novella from the mind of Rankin, but also get to indulge the eyes with a feast of graphic novel proportioned imagery. The compilation of Rory's music is the inspiration behind the novella and had to be included, but what is a real treat for those Rory fans is the live CD which is a real bonus.

I'd spent several days going to and fro in my car with the third CD playing. Watching the road twist and turn to the soundtrack of Quinn's voice narrating the words that Rankin had set out for his novella. When I'd go back to the written material and read 'The Lie Factory', interestingly enough I heard Quinn's voice in my head. They were meant for each other.

Father and son team Donal and Daniel Gallagher haven't cut any corners making this box set a comprehensive and thrilling collection. I felt like this was real value for money and an interesting collaboration bringing together top names from different fields.

Would I dare visit 'Kickback City' and survive to tell my story? A scruffy urchin like me would be murdered in cold blood and buried without anyone noticing that I was gone. 'The Devil made me do it' I guess. I'm off to face those 'loanshark blues'.

So, on that thought, I'm off to dip in to this world that's all thanks to the initial works of Rory Gallagher, and then given a new lease of life by the ever-talented mind of Ian Rankin.

CD 1.
1. Kickback City
2. Continental Op
3. Kid Gloves
4. Big Guns
5. Loanshark Blues
6. Secret Agent
7. B Girl
8. Slumming Angel
9. Barley & Grape Rag
10. Doing Time
11. In Your Town
12. Sinner Boy
13. The Devil Made Me Do It
14. Seven Days

CD 2.
1. Continental Op
2. Tattoo'd Lady
3. I Ain't No Saint
4. Off The Handle
5. The Loop
6. Messin' With The Kid
7. Loanshark Blues

CD 3.
1. The Lie Factory – Narrated by Aidan Quinn


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27.10.13





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beth hart BETH HART TO RELEASE NEW ALBUM 'BETTER THAN HOME' ON 13th APRIL 2015
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asomvel ASOMVEL ANNOUNCE UK TOUR FOR MARCH 2015
With the new line-up powering the band to bigger heights, Asomvel are heading out on tour...

dr living dead DR. LIVING DEAD! LAUNCH BRAND NEW VIDEO
'TEAMxDEADx' is an example of the quality Thrash Metal displayed on the upcoming third album...

mabel greers toyshop MABEL GREER'S TOYSHOP RELEASE NEW VIDEO FOOTAGE FOR 'ELECTRIC FUNERAL'
The band which grew into Yes have reunited and will release a new album in March...

paradise lost PARADISE LOST ANNOUNCE NEW ALBUM TITLE AND RELEASE DATE
"We have written a very dark, yet melodic album, but this time many songs definitely have a death Metal edge, which is something we haven't done for a long long time ..."

ensiferum ENSIFERUM ADD MORE EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
We're really looking forward to the new Ensiferum album, 'One Man Army', here at MetalTalk...

airbourne AIRBOURNE SIGN WITH SPINEFARM RECORDS
"We're pumped up to have signed on the dotted line to the world's toughest and truest hard rock label..."

vader VADER BRING BLITZ! OVER EUROPE TOUR TO THE UK AND IRELAND IN MARCH
"We come together with our dudes from Hate. We can't wait to bring Hellfire to you soon..."

thy art is murder THY ART IS MURDER ANNOUNCE UK SHOWS SUPPORTING EMMURE
Tickets are on sale now for what promises to be the heaviest tour of the year...

horror holocaust CROSSOVER DEATH SUPERGROUP DENIAL FIEND RE-ISSUE 'HORROR HOLOCAUST' ON VINYL AND IN EUROPE FOR THE FIRST TIME
Ten tales of blood curdling horror that are anvil heavy thrashing death...

wacken EUROPE AND DREAM THEATER ANNOUNCED FOR WACKEN
The sold out legendary German festival announces more details of the mouth-watering bill...

camden rocks CAMDEN ROCKS 2015 ANNOUNCE THE FIRST ACTS
The bands include Trail of Dead, Funeral For a Friend, Heavens Basement, The Dictators, Black Spiders and more...

all that remains ALL THAT REMAINS LAUNCH #thisprobablywontendwell PICTURE COMPETITION
This unique competition marks the release of new studio album 'The Order Of Things' out on Feb 23rd...

titanfest TITANFEST ANNOUNCED FOR MAY IN LONDON - FIRST BANDS REVEALED
Titanfest now sees some of the most respected and time-hardened Metal musicians working side by side with the next generation of the emerging UK Metal scene...

joe lynn turner JOE LYNN TURNER ANNOUNCES UK AND NORTHERN IRELAND DATES THIS SPRING
Legendary rock and roll singer Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow and Deep Purple fame is pleased to confirm details of his intimate acoustic 'An Evening With...' tour...

wildfire festival EXCLUSIVE: WILDFIRE FESTIVAL 2015 ANNOUNCES FIFTY BAND LINE-UP
Wildfire is known for bringing the best in Scottish talent to Wiston Lodge, and there is one name everyone at Wildfire HQ agreed should be on the bill...

kiss KISS GET ANIMATED IN COLLABORATION WITH J-POP IDOLS MOMOIRO CLOVER Z!
Just when you thought the Metal world had gone insane enough with Babymetal...

ronnie james dio RONNIE JAMES DIO FIFTH ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL EVENTS ANNOUNCED
The weekend will include a public memorial service, a celebrity bowling tournament and the inaugural Ride For Ronnie motorcycle ride and BBQ...

walkway WALKWAY RELEASE SINGLE AND VIDEO FOR 'STREETWISE'
The single is the first release from their second studio album. Walkway will support Status Quo in June 2015...

motley crue MOTLEY CRUE REVEAL DATE OF FINAL SHOW AND FINAL TOUR LAST LEG DETAILS: NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO OUT NOW
Motley Crue are also in the process of putting together the ultimate collector's album package...

art of anarchy PRESENTING ART OF ANARCHY FEATURING SCOTT WEILAND, BUMBLEFOOT, JOHN MOYER OF DISTURBED AND JON AND VINCE VOTTA
Poised to become one of the biggest new bands of 2015, Art Of Anarchy is redefining the rock supergroup...

jettblack JETTBLACK RETURN WITH A BRAND NEW SINGLE AND VIDEO
Jettblack get serious in 2015, kicking things off with a headline tour and new single in February...

dead kennedys DEAD KENNEDYS FANS PERFORM PUBLIC SEX ACT LIVE ON STAGE
"This was something definitely different to see at a punk concert..."

evil scarecrow EVIL SCARECROW'S MISSING TRACK FINALLY RELEASED! A MESSAGE FROM DR HELL!
Evil Scarecrow have just released a new, old version of 'Robototron', which they feel is the definitive version of their most popular track...

eddie and the hot rods BREAKING NEWS: ORIGINAL EDDIE AND THE HOT RODS LINE-UP REFORM FOR 40th ANNIVERSARY
This will be the first time all original members have played a full show together for over thirty years...

carthagods CARTHAGODS TO RELEASE DEBUT ALBUM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS INCLUDING TIM "RIPPER" OWENS, RON THAL AND MARK JANSEN
"It's been a long time that we look for this occasion to finally satisfy our fans..."

paddy goes to holyhead EXCLUSIVE: PADDY GOES TO HOLYHEAD ANNOUNCE FINAL CONCERT FOR ST PATRICK'S NIGHT
Sadly it's the end of an era as Paddy Goes To Holyhead have announced that they are to play their final gig...

grateful dead BREAKING NEWS: GRATEFUL DEAD TO RE-UNITE FOR 50th ANNIVERSARY FAREWELL CONCERTS
The reunion, billed "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead", will feature the band's surviving members...

nazareth BREAKING NEWS: VOCALIST LINTON OSBOURNE LEAVES NAZARETH
"I am no longer a member of Nazareth. It didn't work out, for me, or for the band..."

lordi LORDI ANNOUNCE UK DATES FOR TOUR FORCE ONE
Lordi bring 'Scare Force One' to the UK for ten dates in the Spring...

nightwish NIGHTWISH REVEAL TRACKLIST & FORMATS OF 'ENDLESS FORMS MOST BEAUTIFUL'
The new studio album, released on 30th March, is available in several tasty formats...

iron maiden IRON MAIDEN LEADER STEVE HARRIS' MANSION BACK ON THE MARKET AT KNOCKDOWN PRICE
The mansion boasts its own pub called the Horse and Cart as well as an indoor swimming pool...

pete way EXCLUSIVE: ALL PARTIES IN BATTLE BETWEEN FIN MUIR AND PETE WAY OF WAYSTED GIVE A RESPONSE
"I can confirm that this appalling defamation is completely without foundation..."

death angel DEATH ANGEL ANNOUNCE UK HEADLINE SHOW AND DATES WITH QUEENSRYCHE AND ARMORED SAINT
Los Angeles Heavy Metal legends Armored Saint will join both acts for a special London show at the Electric Ballroom...

udo dirkschneider U.D.O. TO PLAY ENGLAND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN DONKEY'S YEARS
Germany's favourite rock god Udo Dirkschneider has announced three exclusive shows for the UK...

california breed CALIFORNIA BREED HAS GONE THE WAY OF BLACK COUNTRY COMMUNION
After a great first album, the departure of a superstar drummer, and very little touring, California Breed is extinct...

kamelot KAMELOT SIGNS TO NAPALM RECORDS; NEW ALBUM AND TOUR DATES ANNOUNCED
In support of this highly anticipated release, Kamelot will hit the road for select UK shows, followed by a massive North America Tour...

the gentle storm ARJEN LUCASSEN AND ANNEKE VAN GIERSBERGEN'S NEW BAND THE GENTLE STORM REVEAL TOUR DATES AND ALBUM DETAILS
"We'll perform some Ayreon classics together and premiere a couple of songs that will be on our upcoming album..."

jimmy page JIMMY PAGE IN FIGHT WITH ROBBIE WILLIAMS OVER HOUSE RENOVATION
The pair are neighbours and have fallen out over Williams' plans to revamp his multi-million pound mansion...

hard rock hell SAXON ANNOUNCED FOR HARD ROCK HELL 9 WITH ROCK GODDESS, PIG IRON AND MORE
Hard Rock Hell, aptly titled 'House of Horrors', are pleased to welcome Heavy Metal Titans Saxon back into their realm...

dark funeral DARK FUNERAL TO RELEASE 7INCH & DIGITAL SINGLE 'NAIL THEM TO THE CROSS' IN FEBRUARY
The single is available as a hand-numbered 7inch limited edition of which 500 copies are on black vinyl and 500 on blue vinyl...

santa cruz SANTA CRUZ TO RELEASE BRAND NEW SELF-TITLED ALBUM ON MARCH 9th VIA SPINEFARM RECORDS
Santa Cruz will also play five UK dates as main support to Amaranthe...

tygers of pan tang TYGERS OF PAN TANG TO HEADLINE GARAGE DAYZ RE-VISITED ALL DAYER IN LONDON
A mouth watering bill not only from bands that were a huge influence to bands like Metallica and Megadeth....

truffle TRUFFLE TO PLAY SPECIAL SOUTH COAST GIG WITH SIEGE, TOLEDO STEEL AND KODIAK JACK
Tickets are priced at only $7.50 for a night that promises to be full of faces from the area past and present....

ensiferum ENSIFERUM UNLEASH TWO NEW VIDEOS ON EVE OF LAUNCH ON NEW ALBUM
Today Ensiferum unveils the official new video for 'One Man Army''s title track as well as an in-depth "making of" clip...

autograph AUTOGRAPH RELEASE FIRST NEW SONG IN OVER 25 YEARS
Simply put, a reunion was both inevitable and essential...

steve hackett STEVE HACKETT ANNOUNCES NEW SOLO STUDIO ALBUM 'WOLFLIGHT' OUT ON 30th MARCH
The ten tracks take the listener through a journey in space and time looking at the different faces of the endless fight for freedom...

adrian smith IRON MAIDEN'S ADRIAN SMITH ROCKS UP IN CHISWICK WITH DOOGIE WHITE, ANDY BARNETT AND DAVE 'BUCKET' COLWELL
MetalTalk's first Gig Of The Week for 2015 turned up two major surprises as a great night was had by all...

sabaton SABATON ANNOUNCE "SABATON OPEN AIR" WITH POWERWOLF AND CIVIL WAR
Tickets are on sale now for this special event in Germany in July...

pig iron PIG IRON ANNOUNCE RELEASE DATE FOR FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM
'Sermons From The Church Of Blues Restitution' will be released worldwide via OYR on 2nd March and will be preceded by a high value four track EP...

sonata arctica SONATA ARCTICA ANNOUNCE EXCLUSIVE LONDON SHOW FOR 'ECLIPTICA OVER EUROPE TOUR 2015'
"On these shows we'll perform 'Ecliptica' in its entirety as well as assorted hits from our catalog..."

skalmold SKALMOLD UNVEIL NEW SPRING TOUR DATES WITH ELUVEITIE AND WIND ROSE
For those who didn't catch the Viking/Pagan Metallers live on tour, here's another chance...

tony iommi BLACK SABBATH LEGEND TONY IOMMI TELLS ALL ABOUT HIS CANCER BATTLE
"In the good old days there was cocaine everywhere. This time we had tea and coffee and health drinks..."

def con one DEF CON ONE ANNOUNCE CRUSHING HEADS TOUR
British Metallers Def Con One can be seen across the UK in 2015...

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