Situated in the County of Hertfordshire County, United Kingdom, and just 20 miles away from London, St. Albans has long been a commuter town for Britain's capitol city. Originally a Celtic village, the Romans gained control over the settlement in 43 AD and named it, Verulamium, becoming the 3rd largest city in Roman Britain. With the departure of Roman soldiers in the 5th century, the town was largely abandoned until the late 8th century when the Mercia King, Offa, founded the Abbey of St.Albans there. The town quickly grew up around the St. Alban Abbey, named after the Roman soldier (and Verulamium resident) who was Britain's first Christian martyr.
Present day St. Albans has a population of 82,000 and vies with other such notable cities as Nottingham and Edinburgh for having the most pubs per square mile in the country; indeed, they lay claim to the most pubs per person ratio in all of Europe. The town is full of historic pubs; such as, The White Hart, Tudor Tavern, The Boot, and "Ye Olde Fighting Cocks" which currently holds The Guinness Book of Records title for oldest pub in England.
Rory played at the City Hall in St. Albans on December 2, 1988. Considered the premiere venue for the city, City Hall was an 800-seat capacity theatre style venue in the heart of the city. It played host to the likes of T. Rex, Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, The Clash and many more of the popular bands during the 70s to mid 80s. In 1990 City Hall was newly renovated adding a front extension that now houses the box office and a cafe. The facility was renamed, the "Alban Arena".
So stroll down the streets of historic St. Albans, where the first shots of the War of the Roses was heard, and the Magna Carta was drafted, and have an ale at the Blacksmiths pub where "all the musicians used to drink before (their) gigs at City Hall." Our very own 'Sinner and Saint', Rory Gallagher is in town on a 20-gig UK tour and the show should make a little history of its own.
Click HERE to read a pre-concert article for the December 1, 1988 'St. Albans Review'.