Black Star Riders, The Dead Daisies and Western Sand live from Limelight, Belfast on December 15th, 2013

Apparently its not just on stage where "All Hell Breaks Loose" but also off it as well!!!...

Black Star Riders_3

© Colin Patterson

Photos by Colin Patterson



Live Gig Review by Mark Dean (Journalist/Writer/Contributor) Myglobalmind Webzine




Editor’s Note: One’s opinion should be treated as exactly that, one’s opinion, you may not agree with it but the least you can do is respect that person’s point of view. 

Constructive criticism from journalists is vital in this industry and a crucial part of providing one’s perspective uniquely honest and just. With that I leave you with this quote.


“A true artist willingly removes their heart, allows constructive criticism to stomp it, then puts it back–bruised and aching–to continue improving due to the all-consuming obsessive love for their art.”

H.G. Mewis


How do you define controversy?I guess everyone has different views and opinions of same. However since a comment i made on this gig appeared in the world of social media-I have been subject to a campaign of personal slander and insults. Even receiving direct communication from one of the bands road crew members, stating to”F**k off dude. You won’t be getting into anymore gigs

Do NOT reply to me.”

Apparently its not just on stage where “All Hell Breaks Loose” but also off it as well!!!


When I write reviews its just one persons opinion and as such should be viewed as exactly that. I am neither preaching or offering criticism to attract controversy. The fact that I have been a part of the scene and indeed a fan for over thirty years means that I am writing from a fan-based perspective. I assume, maybe I am wrong in this that bands currently playing do take an interest in the views and opinions of their fans. That is exactly the viewpoint that I am writing from. Indeed do bands and fans just want to read positive and glowing reviews all the time, I think not-perhaps a fair and balanced critique of certain aspects can be equally accepted and taken on board. Well after getting that off my chest, here is the review, you may agree with my opinion and indeed you may not-that’s what makes us all individuals with the ability to think, view and perceive things in different ways.

New fresh and just out of the starting blocks Western Sand were the opening band on the bill. Unfortunately they suffered a familiar fate of many support bands in that many people missed their performance due to remaining in the bar next door. I had the pleasure of interviewing lead singer Tyler Hains several months ago ,and it was great to witness the songs from their debut ep in a live setting. Particularly strong were “A place called home”and ” Broken Bones” . While being severely restricted by a lack of stage space the band did their utmost to deliver a powerful live performance. Energy was running at a premium with all band members as they strutted through a heavily classic sounding musical styled set. By the end of an all too brief set they had succeeded in winning over a larger portion of the audience. A band surely destined for bigger and brighter things, I am predicting great things for them in 2014.

 Western Sand


Next up were The Dead Daisies, and while singer Jon Stevens did his best to deflect the “supergroup”label in a pre show interview-for many people that is exactly what the band represents. Indeed Jon actually referenced the phrase “with floating members” during that interview. Ok lets not focus on the bands musical pedigree, which is unquestionable but their own identity. I had read reviews which stated they generally appeared disjointed and not operating as a band unit while performing live. I definitely didn’t feel that this came over, I observed good and regular interaction and camaraderie between the individual band members sharing the Limelight stage. In a varied set which took in album tracks, some new songs and also some covers they generated a fantastic audience reaction and response.Vocalist Jon had a great stage persona finely crafted with many years of both band and stage musicals experience. The other band musicians performed admirably as befitted their individual status. I did however feel that playing a cover version in a hybrid of the Stones/Zeppelin was a mistake but the audience seemed to revel and delight in hearing it.

 The Dead Daisies


Show headliners were Black Star Riders formed from the ashes of Thin Lizzy they have remodeled and branded themselves as a new band. They have had a great year from their very first gig which as a fan I had endured major travelling to attend in Milton Keynes at the Marshall Factory over six months ago. Their debut album was recently voted number one of the year by established and much revered printed magazine Classic Rock. I was therefore keenly anticipating what changes the subsequent months of touring had brought to the band.

While there is certainly no faulting the individual musicianship or the pedigree of the band members I felt slightly disappointed by the set list played. True for many of the audience it was their first time witnessing the Black Star Riders live, but I felt that perhaps their set could have been less of a 50/50 split between new and Thin Lizzy songs. To avoid using the Lizzy name on the album was a sensible option to create a separate musical identity. However perhaps those Lizzy songs could have been left for the predicted return of that band in 2014. While I do recognize that Black Star Riders don’t have a vast musical back catalogue to their name , perhaps a clear differentiation between the two bands could have been set out. Even perhaps if Lizzy songs had to be included maybe some other long lost relics could have been brought to the forefront. I know that both Ricky and Damon are very prolific songwriters and that I’m sure other Black Star Riders songs exist. Perhaps a rejigging of some new numbers to replace the well worn Lizzy standards may have been a good idea. The band are at a point where yes they recognize their past through their collective work as Thin Lizzy, but for a new band as their marketing suggested, maybe it is time for them to look positively to the future of Black Star Rider sand not dwell romantically in the past of another band.

 Black Star Riders


The live show outside my set list criticism was its usual high octane, high energy and passionate rousing self. Ricky Warwick as I personally told him back at their debut gets better as a front man every time that I see him. Marcos bass and interaction with the audience especially the ladies is second to none. The twin guitars of Scott Gorham and Damon Johnson combined and gelled exquisitely. All under pined with the rock solid power of legendary drummer Jimmy De Grasso. So certainly no complaints in that department-they delivered entertainment in spades.

2014 will be interesting to see how the Black Star Riders move forward, will they maintain their current upward momentum or revert to the Thin Lizzy brand. I await with keen interest to find out!…!/WesternSand08…

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Live GigPhotos


Photo Credit: Daisy Robinson

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