Words by: Robert Sutton
Images by: Robert Sutton Photography
As a promotion tour for their current album ‘Heavy Fire’ Black Star Riders has just finished a run of sixteen dates across the UK with the London date being at the O2 Forum Kentish Town on the 17th March.
Support for the evening was from “GUN” and “Backyard Babies”.
GUN: This Glaswegian band has been around since the 1980’s and are probably best known for their single ‘Better Days’ and also for a cover version of Cameo’s ‘Word Up!’, both of which were played as part of their seven songs set list tonight.
Dante (vocals) did a great job leading the band and looked genuinely appreciative of the audience’s response to the band’s performance. They played a super set of great sing-a-long heavy rock songs that was just right to get the crowd warmed up.
Backyard Babies: This Swedish ‘sleaze’ rock band are back! Having originally formed in 1989 the band are now back, since taking a five-year hiatus in 2010, with their original line-up (actually their lineup hasn’t changed since they were formed..).
Now with seven studio albums to their name, their last one being titled ‘Four by Four’ was released in 2015 to mark the band’s return. They played a lively set of nine songs and opened with ‘Th1rt3en or Nothing’ from their latest album and (of course) included the song ‘Minus Celsius’, which was made more popular as a bonus track on Guitar Hero 3 game.
Black Star Riders: Formed at the end of 2012 from the most recent members of Thin Lizzy, they now have a third album ‘Heavy Fire’ , which was released at the beginning of February this year and this reached the number 6 spot on the UK album charts. Just after GUN had finished their set Dante and Jools came back on stage where Ricky was then presented with a Planet Rock ‘The Rocks’ award for Best British Album for ‘Heavy Fire’. Not only was it St. Patrick’s day to keep Ricky happy, it was also Scott Gorham’s birthday, so it was a double celebration for the band members and one that we could also participate in tonight.
Not so long ago a Black Star Riders set was really a Thin Lizzy tribute band set, but not anymore…Black Star Riders now have the three albums to their name and only one song from their set tonight was a Thin Lizzy one, That is how far they have come in the last four years and quite frankly can now hold their own as a great heavy rock band. They opened their set tonight with the title track of the new album (Heavy Fire) and followed this with a song from each of their last two albums ( Bloodshot and The Killer Instinct), before then going back to play the softer ‘Dancing with the Wrong Girl’ from the new album.
They played all of their released singles ( except one) and of course did an excellent cover of ‘The Boys are Back in Town’ after which Ricky said a few words about it being Scott’s birthday and a cake with ‘few’ candles on it was brought onto the stage and the whole crowd sang ‘Happy Birthday to Scott’….
The band really didn’t let up all night and pounded out great track after great track. They finished the night off with the super ‘Testify or Say Goodbye’, ‘Kingdom of the Lost’ and ‘Bound For Glory’, Ricky then took a moment to remind us that we had been watching and listening to Black Star Riders before launching into their final track of the evening ‘Finest Hour’.
1: Heavy Fire
3: The Killer Instinct
4: Dancing with the Wrong Girl
6: Hey Judas
7: When the Night Comes In
8: Cold War Love
9: All Hell Breaks Loose
10: The Boys are Back In Town ( Thin Lizzy cover)
12: Who Rides the Tiger
14: Thinking About You Could Get Me Killed
15: Testify or Say Goodbye
16: Kingdom of the Lost
17: Bound For Glory
18: Finest Hour