Gig review: BLACK STAR RIDERS – Tivoli, Buckley, 6 August 2014

Black Star Riders - Tivoli, Buckley, 6 August 2014

Do you dream?  Red spotlights bathe a small stage, dry ice drifts into an audience who dream of the 1970s.  Scott Gorham, backstage, dreams of glory days and friendships lost.  Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax … the boys are back in town.

He may be an elder statesman, but Gorham’s presence is enough to give a band of rock ‘n’ roll soldiers of fortune the credibility to carry the Lizzy legacy forward.  Wearing his years with distinction – freshly pressed black shirt and pants, a neatly trimmed goatee and fresh blow dry – his effortless ‘cool’ and personal grooming was in sharp contrast to the tattooed and denim renegades of his co-conspirators in the Riders.

Black Star Riders - Tivoli, Buckley, 6 August 2014

There are no slouches in this band – co-lead guitarist Damon Johnson having plied his trade with Alice Cooper between 2004 and 2007, Ratt bassist of 15 years Robbie Crane and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso (Megadeath, Alice Cooper) form an incendiary rhythm section and then there’s vocalist Ricky Warwick.

Again, Warwick is long time served – the vocalist with The Almighty – he puts more effort in on stage than most heavyweight boxers over 15 rounds – I don’t think I’ve seen sweat spray quite so impressively.

Black Star Riders - Tivoli, Buckley, 6 August 2014

With his tattooed ‘sleeves’, denim and studded leather, his performance is possessed – close your eyes on ‘Southbound’ and Phil Lynott is present.  It’s eerie, and strangely at odds with Warwick’s natural style.  But he’s been standing in Lynott’s boots for so long now that it’s unthinkable of anyone else fronting the band.

With their own material blending seamlessly with that of Lizzy, it will be interesting to see how the band grow with their second album due in Spring of 2015.  The greatest omission from the current tour is their own ‘Blues Ain’t So Bad’ which would have broken up a singularly paced set, but no one was complaining as a two hour plus set ended with raucous versions of ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ and ‘Rosalie’.

One wonders what Lynott would think?  You can’t help think he’d be smiling.

Review by Pete Whalley

Set list: All Hell Breaks Loose /Are You Ready / Bloodshot / Bad Reputation / Before The War / Jailbreak / Hoodoo Voodoo / Suicide / Kingdom Of The Lost / Hey Judas / Southbound / Kissin’ The Ground / Valley Of The Stones / Emerald / Bound For Glory / Cowboy Song / The Boys Are Back In Town / Encore: Damon Johnson guitar solo / Whiskey In The Jar / Rosalie

Black Star Riders - Tivoli, Buckley, 6 August 2014

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