Pat McManus to play at Rory Gallagher tribute

Pat McManus
Pat McManus

Northern Ireland musician Pat McManus is to perform at the Belfast City Blues Festival as part of the line-up’s annual tribute to blues legend Rory Gallagher.

Gallagher, who made Belfast his second musical home, will be remembered by some of the country’s top musicians at the Black Box on Saturday June 30 at 1.30pm.

The guitarist, famed for his charismatic performances and dedication to his craft, was a frequent visitor to Belfast, first with Taste and then with his own band, throughout the 1970s and 80s.

So far Gallagher’s albums have sold in excess of 30 million copies worldwide.

This year’s tribute to Gallagher, ‘A Taste of Rory’ will feature The Pat McManus Band, The Willie Byrne Band and Blackwood.

McManus said he looked forward to paying his own personal tribute to Gallagher.

“Over the years and all through my career, Belfast has been a city that welcomes me,” he said.

“Likewise with Rory Gallagher, as the people of Belfast welcomed him in, supported his style of music and gave him room to grow musically, Rory never forgot that.

“He always came back to Belfast and the wider Northern Irish community even through the dark days. For me it’s still an immense pleasure to play to the people in my home land of Northern Ireland.”

Although born in Ballyshannon, Co Donegal and brought up in Cork, music fans across Northern Ireland have always had an affinity with the star.

Gallagher was an almost annual visitor to Belfast, where his Ulster Hall shows are the stuff of legend. Remembered fondly for his immense skills on guitar, the musician died June 14, 1995 aged 47.

The festival which is celebrating its tenth year with 60 gigs across 22 venues from June 29 to July 2 has once again been sponsored by American Holidays in partnership with Brand USA, as well as United Airlines and Belfast City Council.

lFor more information visit www.belfastcityblues.com. Tickets for A Taste of Rory are priced £12 and are available from www.blackboxbelfast.com.