News & Reviews 2015

European Blues Awards 2015.(2)
Wow! This is fantastic news!
Congratulations Ted Mckenna!!!

Winner of Best Musician (performance) at the 2015 European Blues Awards.
Thanks to everyone who voted for the Big Beat Man.

Best Musician 2015  Ted McKenna (eu)
Best Radio Show  Paul Jones Blues Show BBC Radio 2 (uk)
Best Publication  Blues Magazine (uk)
Best Album/Recorded Session  The Blues Overdrive – Clinch (dk)
Best Solo/Acoustic Act  Seasick Steve (eu/usa)
Best Vocalist  Ian Siegal (uk)
Best Festival/Event  Ribs en Blues Festival (nl)
Best Guitarist  Laurence Jones (uk)
Best Band  Leif de Leeuw Band (nl)
European Blues Awards.

European Blues Awards 2015.
It's that time of year again, where voting opens for the European Blues Awards.
We've just found out that our very own Ted McKenna has been nominated for "Musician Of The Year"!

You're under no obligation, but if you feel like casting a vote, the link is here: European Blues Awards.

Blues in the Northwest.
Concert review from The Cavern Liverpool.
Powered by the superb rhythm section of McAvoy and McKenna, who drove the music along,
Marcel Scherpenzeel delivered some brilliant guitar, and he has a more than serviceable voice to carry off all the material.
Read the article here:

A few words from Gerry ...

"Having an honour bestowed upon myself by Belfast City council, would have been something I never dreamed of, but through the efforts of Mervyn Blair and Cllr Julie Anne Corr PUP, it came to fruition.
Many thanks guys.

The day started with much trepidation and Jangling nerves.
No guitar in my fist, I felt naked.

This was all put to rest when I eventually met the Lord Mayor - Arder Carson, in the Lord Mayors Parlour, in the City Hall.
He just had a way of putting everyone at ease, with his banter and great humour.
A great character indeed.

After the greeting, it was speech making time which I wasn’t really prepared for.

The Lord Mayor kicked off by addressing the fact that there are many talented people, in the entertainment and sports fields from Belfast, that don’t get recognition. I would second that fact.

He then gave me the coat of arms of Belfast, which was a very touching and emotional moment for me.

I was thrown in at the deep end.
I managed a few words of thanks for the honour Belfast city was giving me.
I also added the fact that there were other musicians who came to Belfast with Rory in those dark days, namely Wilgar Campbell, Rod de’Ath, Lou Martin, Ted McKenna , Brendan ONeill, and Mark Feltham.
Also all the road crews / tour managers / Lighting crews /truck drivers, who came along with us.

The afternoon was rounded of by a speech by Jim Clarke, who gave a history of the Belfast music scene from the 50’s to the present day.
Great speech James.

Lastly Phil McDonnell had the final word.
Phil was Rory Gallagher’s sound man and Tour Manager for many years. He made a very emotional speech, which brought a lump to my throat.

Lastly Thank you to friends and family who were with me at the ceremony either in the flesh or in spirit, especially my wife Regine and my son and daughter Ciaran and Niamh, and my sister, brother in law and all the family in Canada.

Also thank you to all the great messages on Facebook and on the web site.
Gerry "

Here's the official photo from Mondays Ceremony at Belfast City Hall.
In the photo L - R
Jim Ferguson /Jim Clarke / Mervyn Blair / Cllr Mervyn Jones/ Phil McDonnell / Lord Mayor Arder Carson / Ethne Ferguson / Gerry McAvoy / Libby Blair/ Regine McAvoy / Kathy Clarke.

"Live 'N' Kickin"
BOF's live album" Live 'N' Kickin" is out now!

"Live 'N' Kickin" , features 9 tracks that were recorded whilst the guys were on tour across Europe in 2014.
You can order the album through
the website.

Gerry McAvoy.
On the 5th October 2015, Gerry is being honoured by Belfast City Council.
This will take place at a civic reception at the City Hall, Belfast, N Ireland.

We must give huge thanks to Merv Blair for his part in making this happen, and Gerry extends his love and appreciation to his family, friends, and everyone else who's been a fan of the music to which he has added his magic ...

Fairport's Cropredy Festival 2015.
Festival review by Simon Dunkerly.

                   (Photo by Simon Dunkerley)

Band Of Friends are as close to Rory Gallagher as you will get, led by sometime Gallagher band-mates, bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna, with the amazing Marcel Scherpenzeel on guitar.

Kicking off with 'Cradle Rock', they were tight and enjoying the huge stage and crowd.
They were also joined for a few tracks by Dan Ar Braz and, although a welcome diversion, they didn’t get to play crowd favourites 'Messin With The Kid' or the usual set finisher 'Bullfrog Blues'.

They did manage to squeeze in a few of their new tracks including 'Leap Of Faith' and 'Sing It With The Band' which fit in well with the Rory stuff.
Source: Get Ready to Rock.

Bospop 2015.
Festival review from Bospop 2015.

Rory Gallagher was by his spirit in the tent for the Irish-Dutch three-guys unity of Band Of Friends.
BOF started by “Cradle Rock” and the rhythm aces of Gerry McAvoy and Ted McKenna played some dynamite grooves which made the fire of passion to sparkle immediately between the musicians and fans.

Marcel Scherpenzeel proved what hell of a guitar wizard he is whilst “Philby”, playing his solos singing his own kind of way, not only a mere copy of Rory’s unique starry style. The freaks in the packed tent agitated as hellhound background-choir.
Extraterrestrial top was the version of “Bad Penny”.
Band Of Friends kicked out the jams!

More reviews from Bospop 2015.

All in Dutch.
The Blues Alone
Blues - Rockreview
Festival Info
VPRO 3voor12

A nice piece of History!

Rory with Jerry Lee Lewis "The Session"
Picture: Michael Ochs Archives.

Get Ready to Rock.
Concert review from The Robin 2.
Review by Simon Dunkerley.

...Listening to the crowd response and the quality of the new music I can see that Gerry, Ted and Marcel have hit the right balance of old and new and with a summer of gigs and festivals booked Blues Rock is going to be taking the crowds by storm.
Read the article here:
Get Ready to Rock.

Dirty Rock.
Concert review from Antzokia Bilbao Spain.
Read the article here:
Dirty Rock Magazine.

Concert review from The Globe.
Energetic bassist Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna have the rhythm and beat that made Rory so fabulous as he flew with the guitar.
Dutch guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel fronts the band with stylish guitar playing and vocals that make every song sing and the interaction and energy between Marcel and Gerry makes this into a show of verve and drive....
Read the article here:

Onyx Metal.
Concert review from Easter Rockfest Leffrinckoucke.
Read the article here in
Or here in
English (Google-Translate)

Get Ready to Rock.
Band Of Friends, the band featuring long-time Rory Gallagher bass player Gerry McAvoy, hits the road from 15 April for a series of dates.

Gerry McAvoy and drummer Ted McKenna worked together with Rory Gallagher on the three albums 'Photo-Finish', 'Top Priority' and 'Stage Struck' whilst McAvoy appeared on all of Gallagher’s studio albums. Together with Dutch guitarist-vocalist Marcel Scherpenzeel they transcend a mere tribute act and have now released a collection of their own songs.

Says McAvoy: "Too Much Is Not Enough" is a line in the sand for us. We’re always going keep Rory’s songs alive – but we’re creative artists too and it’s time to make that point.

"The tracks came about when we did a writing session in Cumbria last year…I think you’ll see a direct line from the DVD (also included in the package) through our cover of 'If I Had A Reason' to the new tracks.
We’re looking forward to discovering where it'll take us."
Get Ready to Rock.



Rory Gallagher Int. Festival 2015
"Remembering Rory - 20 Years After"
Superb programme announced for Rory Gallagher Festival 2015 in Ballyshannon, Ireland

This year's Festival is set to be very Special in remembering Rory Gallagher, 20 Years after his sad passing.

Gary Jackson Radio.
Interview with Gerry McAvoy.
Listen the interview here: Gary Jackson Interview.

The Irish Rock Story:
A Tale of Two Cities.

A 60 minute musical celebration of Irish rock.
This 40 year old musical journey charts the lives and careers of some of the biggest selling acts in Irish rock and how they helped to change the island along the way.

The programme will be aired:
-Friday 13th March 2015, 9pm, BBC4
-Thursday 19th March 2015, 10.15pm, RTE ONE
-Monday 23rd March 2015, 9pm, BBC NI

Concert review from Harmonie Bonn.
By 3songsbonn.
If I was given a seat directly in front of Ted McKenna’s drum-kit and unable to look at anything other than his face for the entire show know what?
I would come out with a big and happy grin on my face...

Read the interview here: 3songsbonn.

General Anzeiger.
Interview with Gerry by Cem Akalin.
-20 Jahre nach dem Tod der Gitarrenlegende lässt sein langjähriger Wegbegleiter Gerry McAvoy die Musik wieder aufleben-

Roger Glover, Bassist und Produzent von Deep Purple, hatte also recht, als er sagte: "Mit seiner zerschundenen Stratocaster sagte er derWelt alles, was er zu sagen hatte."
War Rory so ein Einzelgänger, der seine Gefühle ausschließlich auf der Bühne auslebte?
McAvoy: Ja, Rory lebte wirklich nur für die Musik. Das war das, was ihn im Leben umtrieb.
Alles wurde der Musik untergeordnet, sogar seine Beziehungen zu Frauen.
Musik floss durch seine Adern. Nichts war wichtiger. Vielleicht noch Filme...
Read the article here:
General Anzeiger (PDF in German)

Celtic Music Radio.
Concert review by Tom Hamilton.
Have you heard the one about the Dutchman, the Irishman and the Scotsman…joined by a Frenchman that rocked out and blew the roof the ABCO2 Glasgow...
Read the articel here: Celtic Music Radio.

Mark Evans.
Here is an extract from Mark Evans former bass player with AC/DC.

...My first conversation with the guys, Malcolm asked me what my thoughts were on bass playing, and I said that I just wanted to tie it down.
I pointed to my favorite bass player at the time, a guy named Gerry McAvoy, who was Rory Gallagher's bass player. He just played it straight, you know? And that definitely struck a chord with Malcolm, so to speak.
Source: Guitar World.

Ted McKenna.
A wee reminder of the first time Ted met Rory Gallagher in1967.
His band The Rare Breed supported Taste in The Place, Edinburgh.
The band signed a promo pic for Ted...


"The Great British Rock & Blues Festival"
Concert review by John Knighton.

For sheer gutsy blues and a high-energy performance, you'd have to go a long way to beat the Band of Friends.
Formed to keep the wonderful music of Rory Gallagher alive,with Rory's former bass player Gerry McAvoy, they drew a huge crowd to the Rock stage on Saturday afternoon, the powerhouse trio, which includes Alex Harvey's former drummer Ted McKenna and guitarist Marcel Scherpenzeel, put on a wonderful show.
It's no wonder they were European Blues Award winners in 2013.

Marcel's lyrical guitar playing was simply brilliant as Gerry worked the crowd.
Songs included Leap of Faith, a great Tattooed Lady and Shadow Play.
They packed so much energy into their set.
A deserved encore saw Come Back Baby merge into Bullfrog Blues and the crowd went bonkers.
In my notes I wrote "Rory would have approved". I'm sure he would.

Get Ready to Rock.
"The Great British Rock & Blues Festival"
Concert review by Pete Feenstra & Simon Dunkerley.

Back in Reds, Gerry McAvoy and Ted McKenna revisit the Rory Gallagher back catalogue with Band of Friends.
McAvoy has been reborn as a front man who is clearly at ease conducting a number of call and response moments and they take the audience to fever pitch on favourites like 'Shadow Play', 'Philby' and 'A Million Miles Away'.

                   (Photo by Simon Dunkerley)

Simon Dunkerley writes: "I unfortunately missed seeing Rory Gallagher live, so to get to see Band of Friends is as close as it gets.
Gerry McAvoy and Ted McKenna both performed with Rory, Gerry for some 25 years in total, and have been touring with Marcel Scherpenzeel on guitar as BOF for a number of years now.
They pulled one of the biggest crowds so far this weekend and with good reason: Rory’s music crosses so many barriers.

Kicking out tracks like 'Cradle Rock', 'Wayward Child' and 'Philby' the showmanship and absolute quality of the playing shines through and the band interaction evident throughout the set. Without doubt this was the highlight and set of the weekend for me."
Get Ready to Rock.

Concert review & interview:"De Boerderij" Zoetermeer.
Wat ooit door twee van de voormalige begeleiders van Rory Gallagher, Gerry McAvoy en Ted McKenna, is begonnen als een goh-wat-leuk-die-muziek-van-Rory-daar-moeten-we-eens-wat-mee-gaan-doen is na enkele jaren uitgegroeid tot een band van naam en faam....
Read the article here:
Barnowlblues (in Dutch).
here in English (PDF).

Read the interview here: Band of Friends interview.(in Dutch)

Blues Magazine.
Interview met Marcel Scherpenzeel.
Text:Jeroen Bakker.
Deze week werd bekend dat Band Of Friends is toegevoegd aan de nu al indrukwekkende line-up van Bospop 2015 dat komende zomer te Weert zal plaatsvinden.

"Ik was al op jonge leeftijd bezig met muziek en ging vooral met jongens om die zich volledig richtten op rock ’n roll en rockabilly”, aldus de sympathieke frontman van de band."
Ik besloot al snel dat ik mijn horizon wilde verbreden......
Read the complete article here:
Blues Magazine.

Celtic Connections.
Live at Celtic Connections 2015
Band of Friends with Dan Ar Braz.

Full set.

BBC Radio Scotland.
Celtic Connections.

Band Of Friends will be performing live on BBC Radio Scotland, as part of "The Jazz House" - Celtic Connections Special show, with Stephen Duffy.
The show goes out between 8pm and 10pm.
Celtic Connections BBC Music.

Follow Band of Friends on Twitter.

Rock Overdose.
Live report Shadow Play Vol.6
Read the article here: Rock Overdose.

Shadowplay Festival.
The final Shadowplay festival in Kytarro club,
Athens,Greece was dedicated to a fan of the band,
who could not make the show because of Illness.
Sadly Dimitris passed away today.
Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

Fairport's Cropredy Convention.
Band of Friends are one of the first bands to be announced as part of the 2015 line-up.
Early Birds Tickets are on sale now.
Fairport Convention. Facebook: Fairport's Cropredy


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