Thin Lizzy @ Colston Hall 16/01/11

Thin Lizzy - Photograph by Gigsniper

The boys are back in town, for one night only Thin Lizzy have returned to Bristol with a very special lineup.

Entering the venue I hastily make my way through the foyer, I’m in eager anticipation to see the latest incarnation of Thin Lizzy, stepping through the curtain into the auditiorium I’m taken aback at the sight I see, a sea of seats where one would usually stand. This was reminiscent of the 70’s, where the seated gig was commonplace and Lizzy were at their prime.

Supersuckers - Photograph by Gigsniper

As the house lights dim the support take to the stage, Supersuckers, the self proclaimed “Greatest Rock n Roll Band in the World”. Although this claim can be vigourously challenged there’s somewhat of an odd appeal to this rock n roll quartet, with their constant tongue in cheek banter and rockstar posing (closing every song by hoisting their guitars by the neck in a rock n roll salute to the audience).

Supersuckers - Photograph by Gigsniper

Musically they’re like a cross between the west coast punk sound of Social Distortion and the psychobilly flavour of Reverend Horton Heat – a refreshingly unique combination. The half hour set is seemingly not enough and I constantly find myself singing to the choruses on the second or third run in each song, this is a band I’m gonna have to keep an eye out for in the future, particularly on a headline tour.

Thin Lizzy - Photograph by Gigsniper

During the break I decided to take in the crowd, as I gaze from the front row it’s perfectly clear to see the wide appeal Thin Lizzy have, from the original fan base who saw them back in the 70’s, to teenage metallers and even a toddler perched on her Mother’s knee sporting a pair of pink ear defenders; Lizzy’s songs have obviously stood the test of time and maintained a universal appeal with the youth of today.

Thin Lizzy - Photograph by Gigsniper

As the house lights dim once more the atmosphere is well and truly electric, the iconic Thin Lizzy logo begins to glow red and the guitars feedback an A minor tone, it’s time to find out of Lizzy are still Live and Dangerous. With the curtain drop comes the opening song, Are You Ready?, which is seemingly over in a few blinks of an eye.

Thin Lizzy - Photograph by Gigsniper

Lizzy were always a revolving door of incredible musical talent, former guitarists alone include Gary Moore,Brian Robertson, John Sykes and even Midge Ure, and keeping in tradition, things haven’t changed. The 6 piece lineup consists of original drummer, Brian Downey, the longest serving guitarist, Scott Gorham, the band’s one and only keyboard player, Darren Warton, Vyvian Campbell (Original Dio guitarist, now with Def Leppard), Marco Mendoza (formerly of Blue Murder and Whitesnake amongst others) and Ricky Warwick (voice of The Almighty and one time guitarist of Circus Diablo); there’s no doubting the sheer pedigree and musicianship of the band, who effortlessly work their way through a cherry picked setlist of favourites.

Thin Lizzy - Photograph by Gigsniper

With the likes of Jailbreak, Cowboy Song, Emerald, Waiting for an Alibi, Angel of Death and The Boys are Back in Town in the set, it’s hard to imagine a disappointed fan in the crowd. The band deliver each and every song with buckets of enthusiasm and by the time of the encore every seat in the house is redundant, the standing ovation remains unseated through not one, but two encores!

Thin Lizzy - Photograph by Gigsniper

It is fitting that 25 years to the month that the icon that is Phil Lynott passed away this tour is taking place. Many purists and naysayers out there were quick to condemn this lineup as a tribute band or a supergroup. I defy anyone to attend one of these shows and not enjoy themselves, the band, and the music of Phil Lynott. This is indeed a tribute, delivered with passion and enthusiasm, testament to the musical legacy of Lynott.

Jarrad ‘Nöir’ Owens

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