Black Star Riders, Backyard Babies and Gun at London's Kentish Town Forum

Triumphant St Patrick’s set from former Thin Lizzy-ites

Press shot of black star riders

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Hats off to Gun and Backyard Babies for their well-received support slots, the former managing to squeeze seven songs into their allocated 30 minutes, including She Knows, a preview of a brand new album due in September.

No one, however, is stealing Black Star Riders’ thunder on St Patrick’s night and the 66th birthday of guitarist Scott Gorham. After five years together and with three albums and numerous tours under their belt, Gorham, Ricky Warwick and company have found a sound of their own. Understandably, it’s unmistakably indebted to that of Thin Lizzy, but a notch or two harder; the two bands will always be neighbours, but those positive reviews for BSR’s new record Heavy Fire and its No.6 chart placing confirm this theory.

Kudos go to the band for including one solitary Lizzy classic – The Boys Are Back In Town, what else? – in a rapid-fire, tight-as-fuck, 18-song set, although an argument could be raised for them to play only BSR originals on their next tour. Lynott’s old warhorse still elicits such a euphoric, nostalgic tidal wave of approval that it exerts an anti-climactic effect on the rest of what is an undeniably marvellous set. But that hardly matters, and tonight Black Star Riders have every right to be pleased with themselves.

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’.