Dead End Drive-In: Now Showing - ‘Taste: What’s Going On Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival’ Print E-mail
Written by Johnny H   
Sunday, 20 September 2015 03:20



Taste: What’s Going On Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival (Eagle Rock)


I remember quite vividly my first… errr…. taste of Taste. Me and my best mate at the time were so hungry for rock (well Y&T were possibly our favourite new band back then) that we used to go and raid his step father’s record collection for stuff we hadn’t yet discovered. It must have been around 1981 or early ‘82 because I distinctly remember that next to his copy of Taste’s ‘Live At The Isle Of Wight’ he had a pristine copy of Rory Gallagher’s ‘ Stage Struck’, so we duly “rescued” both for a quick listen, and if I’m totally honest, both confused the hell out of me.


And so it came to pass that Rory Gallagher’s music became our gateway into a whole new world of music, a world full of Jimi Hendrix and back to front guitars, of Cream and Eric Clapton, plus of course we finally discovered Led Zeppelin…and by that I mean we properly discovered Led Zeppelin…not just ‘Stairway To Heaven’. I seem to remember we even went so far as to go out and buy ourselves Afghan coats. Yup in Abertillery the hippies had finally arrived…a decade or so too late.


Here in 2015 I can of course look back at those days and marvel at the wide eyed naivety of it all, the fact that we had suddenly discovered the blues rock generation of our elders was hardly revolutionary, but now I can see just how much it opened me up to accepting new music, and as a result a whole avalanche of great stuff, that didn’t simply have to come packaged up in denim and (studded) leather to get my attention, came into my life.


‘What’s Going On Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival’ then is the first commercial release of Murray Lerner’s film of the band’s final show, recorded at the legendary festival on Friday 28th August 1970, in front of an audience of 600,000 people. This is Gallagher's fans first chance to relive the magic of that day in in all its remastered crystal clear audio and gloriously restored 16mm celluloid glory.


Taste DVD


Simultaneously released on DVD (which is what I am reviewing here), Blu-ray, CD and 2LP, the package has the same air of Eagle Rock class about it that the superb Rolling Stones live releases they have been putting out recently all have. In fact I’d love to get my hands on the vinyl of this, just so I can finally own the set “without” the burn your retinas out Orange sleeve of the Polydor original, plus here that six track original is expanded to (I think) the full ten track set.


The DVD comes with eight of those tracks plus a 20 minute introductory film that traces Taste’s history from their show-band-land origins through to their final show in almost the blink of an eye. It’s all done through the usual talking heads format that this time around includes (amongst others); The Edge, Bob Geldof, and Rory’s brother Donal. It is Brian May’s testimonial that is perhaps the most telling…I’ll not reveal it here, largely because it’s worth the admission price alone.


Of course you wouldn’t shell out just for that, it’s the music of Gallagher, Wilson and McCracken that you will really want to hear, and here the friction that existed in the band’s final days seems to seep out of the screen almost like you are watching your very own Ring tape. It’s amazing to finally be able to see what I always imagined the likes of ‘What’s Going On’ and ‘Morning Sun’ might have actually looked like played live.


Elsewhere on the DVD you get the band’s Beat Club three track performance shot in black & white for German TV and a set of three conceptual music videos that have to be seen to be believed…seriously the word surreal does not do these visuals true justice.


Watching this set really has made me realise once again just how much of a true ground-breaking talent Rory Gallagher was - especially around the time of the band’s sophomore release ‘On The Boards’ where he took up playing saxophone too. I think I’ll have to dig out my Afghan coat and start shouting “Power To The People” at the top of my voice outside Tooting Broadway tube station…or at least the bus stop on the Foundry Bridge in Abertillery.


This really is a “great” stuff…..


To pick up your copy of 'What's Going On Live At The Isle Of Wight' - CLICK HERE