Thin Lizzy’s Brian Downey arrives in the North East for England along with his new project Alive and Dangerous for an eagerly anticipated show at the Queen Vic in South Shields.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Thin Lizzy’s seminal release Live and Dangerous; an album which is widely regarded as one of the greatest live albums of all time. To mark this incredible landmark Downey along with his new band Alive and Dangerous are currently out on the road across the UK performing Live and Dangerous in full.
It goes without saying that a packed out crowd is in attendance to witness this rare performance of Thin Lizzy’s timeless live album. From the opening bars of the anthemic “Jailbreak” and “Are You Ready”, the South Shields crowd are transfixed from the off.
Throughout their history, Thin Lizzy’s line-up featured a whole raft of world-class guitarists and became known for their distinctive twin lead guitar sound. Throughout the course of tonight’s Alive and Dangerous show, the talent, flair and quality exhibited by Brian Grace and Phil Edgar prove that they are most certainly up to the task of following in the footsteps of Lizzy greats such as Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson; they come together seamlessly throughout. From early in the set those twin part guitar harmonies can be heard prominently in tracks such as “Southbound”, “Emerald” and “Massacre”.
It’s never going to be easy taking on the role of one of the greatest Rock and Roll frontmen that ever lived – Phil Lynott. However, Belfast based lead vocalist/bass player Matt Wilson delivers the unmistakable lyrics and basslines of the great man himself with compassion and respect and does a great job in the process. Before a beautiful and heartfelt performance of “Still In Love With You” Wilson invites the crowd to raise a glass to Thin Lizzy’s legendary frontman; a beautiful moment indeed.
The South Shields crowd soak in every moment of tonight’s show and when a mid-song fire alarm breaks out during “Dancing In The Moonlight”, it doesn’t stop the fans from singing along until the band later reprise the number.
There are many stand out moments in the Alive and Dangerous set this evening including a somewhat funky rendition of “Johnny The Fox Meets Jimmy The Weed”, fan favourite “Cowboy Song” which sparks a mass singalong and the timeless classic “The Boys Are Back In Town”, to name but a few.
Brian Downey was the only constant member of Thin Lizzy until the group broke up in 1983. Perched behind his impressive red drum kit on a riser at the rear of the stage, tonight Downey proves that he’s still got that magic touch as he brings to life the music which he crafted along with his esteemed Thin Lizzy bandmates. Downey’s monumental mid-song drum solo during “Sha La La” is most certainly one of the highlights of the evening.
Alive and Dangerous brings their main set to a close with “Suicide”, which in turn leaves the crowd wanting more. A three-song encore that culminates with a crowd-pleasing airing of “The Rocker” brings the evening to its explosive conclusion.
All in attendance tonight would whole heartedly agree that the music and legacy left behind by Thin Lizzy lives on and is in safe hands thanks Brian Downey and Alive and Dangerous.