Fri 16 Feb 2024
Leading UK rock band The Black Star Riders are certainly celebrating their 10th anniversary in fine style. Their debut performance in Ipswich was an absolute triumph and it was made even better by the appearance of legendary Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham who is back on board for the whole tour.
Fronted by Ricky Warwick, BSR took no prisoners as they brought us tracks from all five of their studio albums including a ferocious version of the Osmonds’ hit Crazy Horses off the latest CD Wrong Side Of Paradise. Soon after that Gorham entered the fray and it was no surprise when Lizzy favourites Don’t Believe A Word and Jailbreak were served up alongside BSR anthems like All Hell Breaks Loose, The Killer Instinct, Bound For Glory and Finest Hour.
BSR packed a punch from start to finish. They didn’t waste any time delivering some of the best melodic metal on the current rock scene. Warwick has long been one of the best frontmen in the business, having made his name with The Almighty. His vocals and guitar playing, not to mention his songwriting skills, are at the epicentre of the tour-de-force that BSR have become.
The whole night was great value for money for Ipswich’s big army of metal heads. Motörhead guitarist Phil Campbell and his sons Todd, Dane and Tyla kicked things off with a 40 minute set which, as you might expect, ended with Ace Of Spades. They were followed by Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe and his latest band. 60 year old Monroe’s energetic performance certainly belied his age. I take my hat off to any man of that vintage who can do the splits and then still be able walk off stage!
Gigs like this are to be cherished. While a large chunk of it did hark back to rock’s glory years, it wasn’t all nostalgia. It was very much a case of past and present enjoying each other’s company.