GIG: Band of Friends - A Tribute to Rory Gallagher
DATE: Friday 11th October 2013
VENUE: The Borderline, London
COST: £17.50 plus a small booking fee
OUR VERDICT:Top Priority..Do not miss!

Minty had an email alert about a gig in the Borderline featuring Band of Friends. This was a band featuring Gerry McAvoy and Ted McKenna, long-time members of Rory Gallagher’s band. With The Beeb being such a big fan of Rory’s music, this was one he didn’t want to miss.

We made an afternoon of it so that Denmark St had the chance to tempt the Beeb to open his wallet again. This gave us plenty of time to get to The Borderline early. In fact, we were just about first in and managed to blag seats at the edge of the bar, right in front of the stage.  This was definitely a male-dominated gig, and as the place began to fill up the men far outnumbered the gals, who we counted only 43!!!!

There was no support act tonight, so it was straight into the show with the band kicking off with “The Last Of The Independents.” Having had the good fortune to see Rory live, it was going to take someone special to fill his boots. Marcel Scherpenzeel on guitar was just terrific and was up for the job.

Within minutes he was soaked in sweat as he put so much energy into his playing. “Continental OP” followed, before being treated to a great set featuring some of Rory’s best songs.  It was obvious that Marcel was steeped in appreciation of this music. At times it was quite uncanny listening to him sing, especially on songs like “Follow Me” and “Tattoo’d Lady”.

Marcel didn’t use the stage as much as Rory, but part of that would be because of Gerry McAvoy managing to run around what little space there is on the Borderline stage. Gerry was also acting as the MC tonight, often taking the chance to tell great anecdotes about being on the road with Rory, even if he did have to handle some hecklers!
Gerry McAvoy

Ted McKenna’s drums were built around what looked like scaffolding. It may be a good job that they were! The energy level and power behind the drumming for most of the night was astonishing. Apart from the odd quiet moment, Ted provided a high testosterone show of drumming all night.

Tonight’s gig also provided some fantastic air guitar playing from the audience. One guy in particular down the front, cleverly managed to switch from air guitar to air drums in the same song, without missing a beat!
By the time we got to “A Million Miles Away” and “Shadow Play” we were heading to the two hour mark. Of course, the place went daft when “Bullfrog Blues” was played for the encore. This was definitely the quickest two hours we’ve spent in a long while.

Marcel Scherpenzeel
Although Marcel’s obvious love of Rory’s guitar playing shone through, he still managed to put his own style on show too. Ted and Gerry made the best drum n’ bass outfit we’d seen in quite some time. That’s what all those years on the road can do for you.

This was far removed from being a tribute band. What we saw tonight was a genuine celebration of the life and music of Rory Gallagher.

We managed to have a chat with Gerry and Ted afterwards too. Ted and The Beeb actually come from the same town and shared some memories from away back in the 60’s and early 70’s.

Ted McKenna and The Beeb could be brothers!

The band has a string of dates all over Europe now, and if you can you should go and see them.


  1. See for more info re. upcoming concerts of Band of Friends on Facebook ( and/or their website on

  2. Band of Friends return to the Borderline on May 9th, 2014. Details here: