Montreau, France, 07/13/03
Blues-Rock Festival with Status Quo & ZZ Top!

written by Robert Nestor

Wow people, I don't know what the rest of you have seen before now but I have just seen a top class rock star in action and his name happens to be Barry Mc Cabe! I kid you not, this was the real deal. I had no idea Barry was this good a performer.

I'll try to remember as much as I can of the trip/festival. The weather was glorious and perfect for an outdoor festival. There seems to be some sort of artist's strike or something like that going on in France at this moment. Some people tried to explain it to us but I didn't really understand it fully. They said it had affected the size of the crowd quite a bit as a lot of people thought the festival was actually cancelled. Some other festivals have been cancelled.

Well all I can say is that they were probably lucky because if there had been more people there the Commitments would never have been able to take the stage. We arrived on Sunday in time to see Elliott Murphy perform. It was quite nice music, a little laid back. Probably more suitable to a club that a festival but it matched the mood as the weather stopped anybody from freaking out too much. Chris Spedding was next and he did quite a few well known cover songs. He played nice guitar and overall it was a nice set. However we were there to see Barry and could hardly wait until they announced Mr. Barry Mc Cabe and his band.

Francis came out first and played some slow music on his Irish pipes.
Very beautiful and haunting music and then the rest of the band walked on. The crowd cheered already, but where was Barry? Suddenly the music got louder and there he was, striding on playing his guitar already. The crowd loved it. The stage was so big that they all looked quite small, but they moved around a lot so Barry came over to our side of the stage several times. By the end of the first song he had the crowd on their feet and all waving their hands in the air. I felt so proud!

I can't remember all the songs they played (it went so fast) but Barry
switched to acoustic guitar and just before he played the Emigrant he showed a picture of Rory to the audience. He then went on to explain that they had presented it to him backstage when he arrived, and the  photographer who had taken the photo was taking photos of Barry & band that night as well. I think Barry was quite touched to have been presented with the picture. The crowd cheered immediately when he held up the picture but got really quiet when Francis started playing his whistle. Barry followed that with Adam & Eve (just himself on the acoustic guitar) and it was the most beautiful song of the evening (imho). He explained beforehand what the song was about. The sound was immaculate and he held the complete crowd spellbound. This really was in the Bruce Springsteen league!!!!!

Then the band came back on and played a few more songs. All too soon it was over, but not quite. The crowd kept cheering and were rewarded with Barry coming back on with slide guitar at the ready. He had quite a long speech about peace in the world (and said how nice it was that both the French people and the French Government were at one in their opposition to war) and then he played the Peace Within. What a fitting song for the occassion, both lyrically and musically. It rocked, with Barry's slide flying up and down the neck like a rocket out of control. Barry was the first artist to get an encore and well deserved it was too. The crowd kept cheering but I think they had a tight schedule to keep because roadies ran on immediatley and started
changing over equipment.

ZZ Top were a bit disappointing the following night. I think they may have been expecting more people because they didn't really seem to care that much about the people who were there. What a contrast to Barry the night before. He really involved the crowd and I seen him and the band signing autographs for nearly an hour after his show!

So that's my report. I am so happy I decided to go over and catch the festival. We had a great time, everyone was very friendly, we heard some great music, but most important of all, I finally got to see Barry play with his band. It was well worth the wait and now I'm looking through his schedule to see if i can take in another show soon.

Barry Mc Cabe, a world class rock star!!!!!!!