Watch a triumphant Thin Lizzy play four Chinatown cuts in this rare 1981 footage rescued from VHS

Phil Lynott
(Image credit: YouTube)

Given they were rightly lauded as one of the single finest live rock 'n' roll bands of their era, any opportunity we get to cast our eyes over previously unseen live footage of Thin Lizzy is one we take gratefully. 

Imagine our delight, then, when we stumbled across this extremely rare, pro-shot footage taken from the 1981 part of Lizzy's Chinatown tour, which shows the band - magnetic singer/bassist Phil Lynott, guitarists Scott Gorham and Snowy White and drummer Brian Downey - smash through a number of classics taken from the Chinatown album during a show in France in 1981.

The set - filmed at the Pavillon Baltard in Nogent-sur-Marne, a suburb of Paris, on January 18, 1981, shows the band in typically fine form, with a sweat-drenched Lynott ever the focus point as he preens, poses and points his bass at anyone in front of him. 

Four Chinatown cuts are played - Killer On The Loose, We Will Be Strong, Genocide and, finally, the thunderous title track, guitar duels and all. It makes for an electric watch, given a touch of endearing roughness courtesy of its evident transfer from VHS.

Chinatown, the tenth album by Thin Lizzy, was released in October 1980, reaching number 7 in the UK album charts and introducing guitarist Snowy White to the fold. He would only play on one more studio album, 1981's Renegade, before being replaced by John Sykes for Thin Lizzy's final record, Thunder And Lightning, in 1983.

Watch the performance of Thin Lizzy's Chinatown tracks below.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.