Live Reviews

Thin Lizzy Live

Hammersmith Apollo

Lager without alcohol, guitars without strings, Lizzy without Lynott, whats the point? It’s like listening to music with the bass and treble turned down, not just something missing, something very very important missing. Phil Lynott was, and still is, such a crucial part of modern rock music that the thought of a Lizzy without him is just, well, plain unthinkable!

I was lucky enough to see Thin Lizzy fronted by the great Lynott on 2 occasions, once at Hammersmith Odeon as the Apollo was once called, and to say tonight’s performance was missing something is a understatement to say the least. Ok we still have the songs, played by Scott Gorham and Jon Sykes, two ex-members of Thin Lizzy and two who have probably only ever played them in their car on the way to rehearsals, and at times once the sound had settled down, during the instrumental breaks, if you closed your eyes it was as if you were back at the old Odeon itself. But I don’t wanna go to a gig and close my eyes and pretend!

OK, it was all done for a good cause to commemorate 20 years since Lynotts passing, and judging by the crowd reaction they may well be back for more before the end of the year. The set was tight and they played all the songs you wanted to hear all in the right order with a nicely placed drum solo half way through for a quick pee break and another trip to the bar.

Lynott always had a twinkle in his eye, he was the heart and soul of Thin Lizzy, he lived and breathed is role on and off stage, a larger than life character born to front a band, his smooth enigmatic delivery, knack of a great tune and provocative lyric writing earned him legions of fans in Europe, America and beyond. He is still greatly missed 20 years on. I’ve no doubt if he were alive today Lizzy would be playing Wembley Arena and not the Apollo.

To be honest I just couldn’t get my head round this well intention tribute to a man who practically invented the twin guitar break and changed rock for the better. If you really want to close you eyes and relive the glories of old, go see Limehouse Lizzy, their best tribute act; if you can’t see them, go see Thin Lizzy, they’re the next best thing!

Nelson Bibb