at The Winter Rock Festival, Skien, Norway, April 7, 2006

THIN LIZZY (Live at The Winter Rock Festival, Skien, Norway, April 7, 2006)
Photo: Per Olav Heimstad

There’s no need to discuss whether or not there still should be a band called Thin Lizzy, twenty years after the death of Phil Lynott, the band’s genius main composer and charismatic frontman. Just note the fact that there still are people happily showing up every time Thin Lizzy is performing the brilliant and classic Lynott compositions. Also remember that the band still contains Scott Gorham on guitar, and the man is, if not as notorious as Lynott, a freaking legend.

Even though Gorham is aging, he still delivers his riffs and licks beautifully. Back in the days he, and then fellow Lizzy axe-man Brian Robertson, made an undisputed impact on the history of twin guitar bands, influencing a vast number of Melodic Hard Rock groups to come.

Despite this, Gorham is not the one who draws the most attention on the stage. Marco Mendoza on bass, fresh out of Whitesnake, contributes with a pose parade and a pretty-boy appearance a lot of musicians, not only Gorham, would find very hard to keep up with.

Between Gorham and Mendoza, on the stage towers John Sykes, who only played on Lizzy’s Thunder And Lightning album (1983) before the death of Lynott. Still, Sykes’ career spans a real fine row of band participations; Blue Murder, Tygers Of Pan Tang, and Whitesnake. In Thin Lizzy, Sykes delivers the Lynott-like vocals with a fat grin, and plays the guitar with a rawness, edge, and feel you rarely witness.

Thin Lizzy’s live set was impressive. Notice the list below. They’ve got as many killer songs as most bands only can dream of having. To the oldest members of the audience, the repertoire is a touching walk down memory lane, and to the youngest ones, attending this evening was a journey through highlights of the band’s Greatest Hits album.

“Jailbreak,” “Waiting For An Alibi,” “Don’t Believe A Word,, “Do Anything You Want To Do,” “Cold Sweat,” “Are You Ready,” “Still In Love With You,” and “The Boys Are Back In Town” are all superb live songs. The calmness of “Still In Love With You” might suffer some from the lack of the trustworthiness in Lynott’s voice, but the overall impression was that Gorham, Sykes, & co manage to make these songs their own.

On the other side do not “Chinatown,” “Suicide,” and “Cowboy Song” hold the same live potential, even though these songs did more than their share on the albums where they originally appeared. Still, moments like “Cowboy Song” did not fail to prove that Thin Lizzy in 2006, well backed up by drummer Michael Lee, is a notably tight band. And, as the band stepped directly from the last Cowboy-chord, to the opening riff of the Rock anthem “The Boys Are Back In Town” (just like on Live And Dangerous, Lizzy’s hugely successful 1978 live recording), the band reminded everyone of how vast a entertainment potential the band still holds.

However, the evening’s encores, Rosalie and Black Rose, were not too well chosen. Especially the latter is a bit too dark to handle the job as a party closer. “Dancing In The Moonlight,” even without the saxophone arrangement, would have been a better choice. Anyway, the extras gave Gorham a final playground for his guitar talent, as the main set was, guitar-wise, mainly characterized by Sykes’ way of handling the axe.

One might had expected more than a thirteen track long set, but this package, despite any skeptic to a Lynott-less Thin Lizzy, is thrilling.


Waiting For An Alibi
Don’t Believe A Word
Do Anything You Want To Do
Cold Sweat
Are You Ready
Still In Love With You
Cowboy Song
The Boys Are Back In Town

Black Rose


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.