Taste – Live Taste (1971)

FrontCover1Taste are an Irish rock and blues band formed in 1966. They were founded by songwriter and guitarist Rory Gallagher who left the band in 1970.

Taste (originally “The Taste”) was formed in Cork, Ireland, in August 1966 as a trio consisting of Rory Gallagher on guitars and vocals, Eric Kitteringham on bass, and Norman Damery on drums. In their early years Taste toured in Hamburg and Ireland before becoming regulars at Maritime Hotel, an R&B club in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the summer of 1967.

In 1968 Taste began performing in the UK where the original lineup split up. The new lineup formed with Richard McCracken on bass and John Wilson on drums. The new Taste moved permanently to London where they signed with the record label Polydor. In November 1968, the band, along with Yes, opened for Cream at Cream’s farewell concerts. While with Polydor, Taste began touring the United States and Canada with the British supergroup Blind Faith. In April 1969, Taste released the first of their two studio albums, the self-titled Taste, with On the Boards following in early 1970, the latter showing the band’s jazz influences with Gallagher playing saxophone on numerous tracks.


One performance came in 1970 as part of the Isle of Wight Festival, alongside Jimi Hendrix and The Who. According to Donal Gallagher (Rory’s brother who managed the band) filmmaker Murray Lerner had given instructions to his crew to shoot just two numbers from the new bands and to save the main film stock for Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Leonard Cohen and the other headliners but Taste’s performance prompted him to change his instructions:

“Murray didn’t know who Taste were but when he saw the spontaneity of the band and the audience and their interaction, he just told his guys keep filming and they just kept going and captured over an hour of the performance which was quite incredible.”

In the song “Sugar Mama”, a photographer can be seen hurriedly bringing his camera up from a re-load to cover another camera angle.


Later the same year Taste toured Europe but were disbanded due to numerous reasons, the details of which are still unclear; but are generally acknowledged as having been due to managerial disputes and also tensions between Gallagher and the rest of the band, who wanted to be recognised as equals with him (Gallagher having been the sole songwriter in the band). They performed their last show on New Year’s Eve in Belfast. [4] Wilson and McCracken immediately formed ‘Stud’ in early 1971, with Jim Cregan and John Weider, while Gallagher went on to pursue a solo career.

Some years after the band’s break up, earlier recordings featuring the original line-up emerged.

A musical homage to Taste and Gallagher was made by Black 47 in their song “Rory”, released on 1998’s Green Suede Shoes album.


In 1996, Richard McCracken and John Wilson reformed the band with guitarist/vocalist Sam Davidson taking over Rory Gallagher’s role as frontman, with Albert Mills replacing McCracken in 2010. The band continued in this formation until February 2017, when it was revealed that the band would tour under the name “Little Taste of Rory feat. John Wilson”, and that the line-up now consisted of Wilson, Davidson, and new bassist Alan Niblock. In 2018 John Wilson retired from the band due to ill health but Sam Davidson continues to perform as “Sam Davidson’s TASTE” with Albert Mills back on bass and Lyn McMullan taking over from Wilson on drums.


Live Taste is the third album and first live album by Irish rock band Taste, released in 1971. It was recorded live at Montreux Casino and released shortly after the band broke up. (wikipedia)


To many thousands of people, Taste meant hours of enjoyment in small-packed sweaty clubs up and down the country. They meant that three piece group from Ireland, who did what few groups ever do by making the top on merit of their music. Taste meant three brilliant soloists who, together, formed one of the tightest groups around. But above all, they simply meant Taste the magic of whom it was impossible to catch with words.

Listen … close your eyes and let your imagination run. This, their third release -and first live album-, is what Taste were all about.

Live Taste’ as the title implies was recorded live in Montreux by the technical department of Swiss Radio. Broonzy and Jackson were heavy influences on Rory’s guitar playing and song writing. The LP was released after Rory went solo and was an attempt to ride his coat tails as he was becoming very popular in Europe at this time. (unknown source)


Rory Gallagher (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Richard “Charlie” McCracken (bass)
John Wilson (drums)

Alternate frontcover:

01. Sugar Mama (Traditional) 8.10
02. Gamblin’ Blues (Jackson) 6.19
03. I Feel So Good (Broonzy) 7.38
04. Catfish (Traditional) 10.35
05. Same Old Story (Gallagher) 5.47



More from Taste:

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