Live Preview: Black Star Riders

Frontman/guitarist Ricky Warwick previews 16 co-headline dates, alongside Europe, in promotion of the post-Thin Lizzy group’s second album, The Killer Instinct.

**The new album puts a little daylight between Black Star Riders and Thin Lizzy in that band’s latter stages, but the ghost still lingers. **

We wanted the ghost to linger. Scott’s [Gorham] guitar sound was the sound of Thin Lizzy, and we’ll never lose that – ever. But knowing we were making a Black Star Riders album removed a lot of the confusion that surrounded our debut.

Was the Celtic-flavoured Soldierstown inspired by the Troubles?

On a worldwide basis it was, yeah. It’s about giving up your strongest son when there’s a knock on the door, and signing up to fight… whether that’s Northern Ireland or Afghanistan.

Until now the concerts have been fifty-fifty in terms of Black Star Riders and Thin Lizzy tunes. Will there now be less Lizzy stuff?

Yeah, but not a great deal. Maybe sixty-forty.

Will you rotate closing the show with co-headliners Europe?

Nope, we’re going on first. And we’re very comfortable with that. You know, they’ve got to follow us [laughs]. We’ll get on, get off and get to the bar.

What do you know about the band who will be opening on the tour, The Amorettes?

They blew all of us away supporting us in Holmfirth last summer. Think early Runaways meets The Donnas – great songs, musicianship and attitude.

The first two albums from your previous band The Almighty have been reissued in expanded form. What’s the chance of some reunion shows?

It’s great to have them available again, and the rest of the Almighty catalogue will also be repackaged. But while I’ll never say never and I’m still in contact with Stumpy [drummer] I’ve no real desire to put the band back together. Who knows?

You’re in the film The Bridge, along with Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Eddie Ojeda from Twisted Sister and others. Does it involve much acting?

[Laughs] I play the part of an Irish drug dealer, which isn’t too much of a stretch, but it will require acting. I liked the script and thought it could be fun, but I’ve got no real thespian ambitions.** **

The tour runs from March 2 to 21.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.