O2 Academy, Bournemouth

Black Star Riders

Black Star Riders have been described as “the next step in the evolution of the Thin Lizzy story”, which started back in 2012 when members of the most recent line-up of  ‘Thin Lizzy’ decided to record new material. The band has recently released their 4th studio album entitled “Another State Of Grace”, which has been wholeheartedly welcomed by their now considerable fan base. As in previous years, there have been some changes to their line-up with Chad Szeliga (Breaking Benjamin/Black Label Society) on drums and Christian Martucci (Stone Sour) joining on guitar. They arrive in Bournemouth tonight, partway through a UK/European tour which features two stellar support acts in the form of Stone Broken and Toby Jepson’s Wayward Sons.

Kicking off the night in style Wayward Sons show they mean business from the start, with an injection of grade A Rock n’ Roll. Starting with “Any Other Way” from the newly released 2nd album “The Truth Ain’t What It Used To Be”, the band put this old venue’s great acoustics to good use. Considering just a few days ago Toby had to cancel a show on this tour in Nottingham with a lung infection; tonight I can tell you with the utmost certainty he is back firing on all cylinders, sounding as good as ever. The band combines some seriously well put together guitar riffs; with melodic Keyboards, punchy rhythms and vocal hooks. The audience lap up everything they deliver, from their fist-pumping “Ghost” to new single “Little White Lies” and willingly clap along enthusiastically. Leaving the stage after dealing the killer blow with a tower of a song “Until The End” the audience shows plenty of positive appreciation; though you cannot help being disappointed they did not get longer, as they still all had plenty more left in the tank.

Wayward Sons
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Stone Broken with the help of plenty of Planet Rock radio play, support slots with Black Stone Cherry and a host of festival appearances have been slowly but surely building a loyal fan base. This is evident tonight as when they arrive on stage; having never played in Bournemouth before, they are greeted with a truly warm welcome. The West Midlands four-piece have proven with their first two albums that they are adept at producing great wholesome Rock music, which is delivered with a ferocious passion. The opening number “Stay The Night” sees much of the crowd joining the band singing the choruses and the bands body language shows they are delighted by this reaction. You cannot fail to be drawn in by the infectious nature of the twin-guitar melodies and the rock solid, powerfully executed rhythms. With tunes like “Heartbeat Away” and ground rippling “Let Me See It All” the band soon have the place rocking and are a perfect warm up for the main attraction. With the only let-up being a slight diversion in the form of Rich Moss’s beautiful acoustic number “Wait For You”, the band’s heavy momentum soon returns for a strong ending and one that tonight’s audience thoroughly enjoyed.

Stone Broken
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I personally go to hundreds of gigs each year and the Black Star Riders are one band that has me excited every time they roll into town. They just have all the perfect ingredients for a great evening of Rock music; the legend Scott Gorham, whose guitar playing makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. They also feature one of the best frontmen in the business in Belfast son Ricky Warwick and a whole host of fantastic songs. As frontman Ricky says “you can just shut the venue’s door, forget about all your own struggles along with all the political shit going on currently and just enjoy a great night”. As the lights dim and the band’s Celtic intro starts up to signal their arrival, you can just feel the atmosphere in the place; showing me I am not the only one that feels this way about this band. Launching into the title track off the new album Another State Of Grace the band powerfully start stretching the PA system almost to its limit.

Their set comprises of plenty of new material from the new record, which stands together really well with the older material. The new recruits have certainly injected some rejuvenated power to the band’s sound and it is a joy to watch how easily they fit in with this line-up. Christian’s combined work with Scott is a sheer joy to watch and just by the looks on their faces they are really enjoying performing together.

Black Star Riders
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The show certainly pans out how I’d hoped with a high momentum throughout, with tune after tune keeping this Bournemouth crowd fully entertained. Songs like the epic “Soldierstown”, along with the heavily radio played “Ain’t The End Of The World” are all delivered perfectly. The band don’t bother with encores, they just carry on playing through without wasting time leaving the stage and returning. Gone are the shackles of the “Thin Lizzy” tunes as the band have their very own compositions, including Celtic masterpiece “Kingdom Of The Lost” and “Bound For Glory”; which send the audience home with ears ringing and their hearts full.

Set Lists
Black Star Riders
Another State of Grace
The Killer Instinct
All Hell Breaks Loose
Testify or Say Goodbye
Tonight the Moonlight Let Me Down
Ticket to Rise
Hey Judas
In the Shadow of the War Machine
Why Do You Love Your Guns?
Ain’t the End of the World
When the Night Comes In
Underneath the Afterglow
Dancing With the Wrong Girl
Finest Hour
Kingdom of the Lost
Bound for Glory

Stone Broken
Stay All Night
Doesn’t Matter
Heartbeat Away
I Believe
Let Me See It All
The Only Thing I Need
Wait for You
Worth Fighting For
Not Your Enemy

Wayward Sons
Any Other Way
Don’t Wanna Go
Little White Lies
Small Talk
The Joke’s On You
Until the End







Words, Pictures & Video by David Chinery.
Additional Media by Joshua Chinery.

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