Black Star Riders reveal pre-show rituals

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Black Star Riders guitarist Damon Johnson is sharing the band’s pre-show rituals ahead of a UK tour next month.

Currently on the road playing shows across Europe in support of second album The Killer Instinct, the guitarist gives fans a sneak peek of what happens before they hit the stage.

Johnson says: “We have a couple of rituals. We definitely like to raise a toast before we leave the dressing room. We’re pretty tight as a group of friends, so generally right before we go up the stairs to hit the stage we’ll all hug each other and say, ‘hey man, have a great show.’

“It’s just a moment to express some gratitude that we’re getting to do this, we’ve come this far and we’re doing all right. It’s good to be in a band with guys that you enjoy their company and being around as much as we are.”

Black Star Riders will join Def Leppard and Whitesnake for a 10-date UK tour next month and will perform two headline shows of their own – December 11 at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire and December 17 at The Wulfrun in Wolverhampton.

Johnson reveals the rush the group experiences when they bring their music to the fans.

He explains: “It’s just a drug. It’s just the best. I think really and truly that is one of the things that drives us to stay out here and keep doing it. We know that we have a really good band with some real quality songs and to be able to take that out to a big audience is a rush that never ceases. Even after all these years, I love it.”

It’s also been announced that frontman Ricky Warwick will release two solo albums next year.

Due February 26 via Nuclear Blast, the 2-CD set When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues) and the acoustic Hearts On Trees sees the singer joined by a host of guests including bandmate Johnson, Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott, Ginger Wildheart, Andy Cairns, Billy Morrison and SLF’s Jake Burns.

The package will be released in sync with the start of a UK tour with Warwick and his band The Fighting Hearts supporting Stiff Little Fingers.

Warwick says: “To be going on tour with Stiff Little Fingers is a dream come true for me. They’re my childhood heroes, so I just can’t wait to get out there.”