A Burning Fever (The Godfatherecords G.R.717)
Olympia, Paris, France – March 8, 1982 (Second Show)
Shin Kicker, Bad Penny, What In The World, Moonchild, I’m Leavin’, Shadow Play, Louie Louie/Bullfrog Blues/Radio Outro – Bonus Tracks: (Europe 1 “Top Live” Acoustic Radio Show – October 17, 1994) Out On The Western Plains, Walking Blues, Ghost Blues, Je Veux Du Soleil (I Want Some Sun)
Godfather presents two excellent European radio documents from Rory Gallagher with A Burning Fever. Both recordings have superb sound quality and are sourced from FM broadcasts with a near perfect balance of instruments.
The main segment is taken from the second show on March 8, 1982 from the Olympia in Paris. The recording fades up at the very start with the French DJ talking over the first ten seconds of “Shin Kicker” while it takes about 30 seconds for the mix to come together. Rory is playing very loose right out of the gate with some very impressive soloing. “Bad Penny” slows it down some and is a nice contrast to the fast opener. It contains a little bass and drum break while Rory eventually injects some funky rhythm.
“Merci beaucoup” is Gallagher’s short greeting before “What In The World”. The track features horns that compliment the slow blues perfectly with the saxophone taking the main solo. Rory displays some excellent slide guitar during the second solo. “Moonchild” begins to tear things up again. Gallagher has a brief bit of trouble with his guitar signal, perhaps a bad cable, but this does little to distract from the otherwise superb performance.
“I’m Leavin” returns to a more standard blues form but Gallagher recklessly cuts loose again during the solo section. This one features the horns again including another saxophone solo. Unfortunately the sound engineer misses his cue and the first half of the solo is almost inaudible. Rory announces the horn payers (almost impossible to make out) before introducing “Shadow Play”. He breaks down the track and introduces Gerry McAvoy on bass guitar and Brendan O’Neill on drums.
They jam a bit on “Louie Louie” before seguing directly into “Bullfrog Blues”. This is slightly marred by the French DJ’s voiceover again before an unfortunate premature fade.
Bonus tracks are taken from French radio on October 17, 1994 and again are stunningly clear. The first three tracks features Rory solo where he switches between acoustic guitar and dobro. He starts with the Ledbelly song “Out On The Western Plains” and changes over to dobro for both “Walking Blues” and “Ghost Blues”. These are great intimate performances where he is appropriately heard stomping his foot along with the tracks.
The final bonus track, “Je Veux Du Soleil (I Want Some Sun)” is best described on the inner panel: At the end of the session, he joined another guest of the day (the Au petit bonheur band) for a jam. On this track we can hear Jamel, the singer, saying proudly something like “hey mum, it’s me with Rory on the radio”.
Rory, playing slide on his dobro again, joins the full band for about five minutes of up-tempo ragtime sung entirely in French. The band sounds very good with some very impressive licks from whoever is playing electric guitar.
The set comes packaged in the labels common tri-fold cardboard sleeve with some really nice photos scattered across every panel. This is undoubtedly one of the best Rory Gallagher boots I’ve seen and is a must have for any fan as it certainly rivals an official release.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)