Gallaher’s Green are the four piece rock band hailing from the UK and Ireland consisting of Jon Olphert on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Tom Stretton on lead guitar, Ian Gallagher on Bass and Tom Leather on drums.

The band first formed in 2017 when Jon and Ian (who both formerly served in the RAF together in Iraq) met up again at a Guns n Roses concert. Realising they had a shared love of similar music and both finding themselves currently without bands to play with, they decided to start their own!

The band name of Gallaher’s Green comes from an old cigarette brand called ‘Gallaher’s De Luxe Green’ which was made by the Gallaher Tobacco Company in Northern Ireland. As a child Jon would hear local people refer to the cigarettes as ‘Gallaher’s Green’ and hence where the band got their name from!

The band’s first album ‘Lucky 13’ was released independently in February 2021 and to date it has received over 100k streams on Spotify alone.

Gallaher’s Green have had a productive 2022 so far, seeing them recording their follow up album ‘Dare To Dream’ at Voltalab studios in Rochdale (which is due for release at the end of 2022). The first single off the album ‘Catch The Sun’ was released in July and the second single ‘The Way We Used To Be’ was released in August. The third single off the album ‘Memphis’ is due for release this Friday 7th October.

Memphis’ is a an extra special and personal release for the band as it’s being released by them as a charity single to raise funds for The RAF Benevolent Fund.

The band were inspired to write the track ‘Memphis’ when a close friend and former colleague of Jon’s, Mick McConnell, shared his experiences of being very seriously injured after stepping on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) whilst serving as a military dog handler while on duty with his dog named ‘Memphis’ in Afghanistan in 2011.

Mick recalled the horrific moment when he stepped on the IED, to his emergency and lifesaving treatment on the battlefield, to the helicopter rescue and ensuing attempts by medics to try and save him. Tragically, Mick ultimately had to have his lower leg amputated and in turn was forced to leave the military.

From this tale of heroism and tragedy while in service, Gallaher’s Green were moved to write and dedicate the song ‘Memphis’ to all wounded veterans who feel that they no longer have a voice and are somehow forgotten and cast aside. From the date of the track’s release on the 7th October up to and including Remembrance Day on the 11th November, the band intend to donate all profits to The RAF Benevolent Fund, including all profits from iTunes, merchandise sales and any physical copies sold.

As I sat listening to ‘Memphis’ for the first time it was with a certain trepidation knowing the subject matter and inspiration behind the track, I felt a sense of forbidding and unease. Whilst this track is undoubtedly emotionally evocative and raw, its also nothing short of a little piece of musical brilliance.

The opening sounds of a distant helicopter coupled with pounding drums, haunting guitars riffs and radio transmissions set the scene for the story as the realism of the lyrics kick in …. “August 4 2011, the day my world turned upside down” As the track progresses its carried along by loud, energetic guitar riffs and frenzied drumming. It races along at speed building into a mighty crescendo of the chorus lines. Its a defiant tale being played out through the medium of song. The lyrics, while heartfelt and poignant are pared back to allow their starkness to contrast magnificently with the complex and intricate guitar riffs, and wow is there some impressive guitar work at play here!

The full throttle, high octane storytelling concept really grips you…..and then just like that, when you’re really in the throes of it all, it simply fades away into an abyss of loaded silence. Powerful stuff indeed!

Memphis’ is undoubtedly an extremely hard hitting and powerful track that will resonate with many. It’s absolutely jam packed with passion and raw emotion. Well done lads on taking on such a dark subject matter and doing it complete justice, but doing it in such a way that its a track to fire you up rather than bring you down.

Gallaher’s Green are staging and performing at a special one off CHARITY GIG 12th November in Oldham. There will be other acts performing alongside Gallaher’s Green on the night including The Superlatives, who have all agreed to waiver their fee in support of the charity. More details on this will be released in due course.

Find out more about The Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund HERE




Words by Sally Newman