Tonight there was going to a jailbreak, somewhere in this town, and for once it wasn't going to happen around the corner at Wormwood Scrubs but right here at the Shepherds Bush Empire as the Thin Lizzy boys were back in town, supposedly for the last time under the iconic Thin Lizzy banner as the band had billed this tour as a 'Farewell' before they move onto to their new venture under the guise of Black Star Riders.
You can read more about that in the news article (here) and in our exclusive interview with Damon Johnson (here).
Having already seen Thin Lizzy perform two fantastic intimate shows just four months earlier at the nearby Under The Bridge venue I was pleasantly surprised by their quick return, but when it's on my home soil it would've been rude not to return for a third helping.
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The Quireboys were added on as support for the London show which made up all the right ingredients for a strong cocktail of rock 'n rolling fun.
The O'Neils pub next door was doing good business before the show with a lot of familiar faces. Merv Goldsworthy from FM, who had supported Lizzy on the rest of the UK dates, drummer Clive Edwards from Wild Horses and Laurence Archer, both now of X-UFO who formerly played with Phil Lynott in Grand Slam, Dave 'Bucket' Cowell, Tank's Cliff Evans, Nigel Mogg and Guy Bailey joined their former buddies as the whole of the Quireboys who were busy knocking 'em back right up to five minutes before they were due on stage... Now that's a true rock 'n roll band... It was certainly a time for a party.
The Quireboys rocked this theatre giving us a bit of what we fancy with some of the best tunes from their classic debut with two new songs thrown in for good measure from their yet to be recorded next album. The sound was great and the beer was going down fine.
Spike was on good talkative form and the band were clearly enjoying themselves finishing off a successful touring year in style. I would love to see the Quireboys headline this place one day. On this evidence it would be one helluva party.
Opinions have been divided on Thin Lizzy carrying on without the much missed Phil Lynott but there's now two generations of rock fans who were too young to have seen him in action and these past 15 years or so the various incarnations of the line up have been winning new devotees to the sound of Lizzy and that can only be a good thing. With Belfast born Ricky Warwick out front the band have grown immensely these past couple of years and have become a formidable live act.
The Empire was rocking from the very moment the sound of police sirens were heard for the intro and Ricky Warwick asks "Are You Ready" which piledrives into 'Jailbreak'. The duo guitar of Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson was clinical and precise. Brian Downey at the back is the master of rhythm from a missed bygone age when simplicity was an art form.
'Still In Love With You' with shared vocals from Warwick and Darren Wharton is a song that bring tears to the eyes of a grown man. Not only are the extended guitar solo workouts divine and beautiful but they also remind us of what a unique and wonderful band Lizzy were at their prime. The ballad smoothly segued into a delicate piece from Johnson before the roof was ripped off for a jolly sing-along of 'Whiskey In The Jar'.
The gig just got better and better and how could it fail with such gems as 'Emerald', 'Cowboy Song' complete with coyote calls and 'The Boys Are Back In Town' sending the Empire into a free for all karaoke session.
An excellent night out which turned Monday evening into the first night of the weekend.
Are You Ready
Don't Believe A Word
Killer On The Loose
Dancing In The Moonlight
Waiting For An Alibi
Angel Of Death
Still In Love With You
Whiskey In The Jar
Boys Are Back In Town
Tramps And Thieves
There She Goes Again
Too Much Of A Good Thing
Roses & Rings
Mona Lisa Smiled
This Is Rock 'N Roll
For a review of Thin Lizzy at Under The Bridge in August 2012, click here.
For a review of Quireboys at the Borderline May 2012, click here.
You can see MetalTalk.net's Mark Taylor's many reviews and interviews right here. It's an impressive list...