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Black Star Riders

De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill - 22nd October, 2019

Written By Andy Gunton

  • Photograph by Sara-Louise Bowery

  • Photograph by Sara-Louise Bowery

  • Photograph by Sara-Louise Bowery

  • Photograph by Sara-Louise Bowery

Supported by Stone Broken and Wayward Sons.

The last time I saw Scott Gorham play live was way back in April 1979, when Thin Lizzy played at the old Hammersmith Odeon as part of their Black Rose tour.

Although he's had his problems over the intervening years, thankfully Scott Gorham has managed to come out the other side of those issues.

Sadly two other members of Thin Lizzy that night, namely Phil Lynott and Gary Moore, haven't made it this far.

So it was good to see him back on stage again, but more of Scott Gorham and Black Star Riders later.

Firstly we had the small matter of two other fine rock bands gracing the De La Warr Pavilion stage, part of a mouth watering triple bill.

First up were Wayward Sons, who I saw in the summer and who impressed me then.

Fairly bouncing onto the stage and straight out of the starting blocks all guns blazing, these guys were determined to put on a good show, and enjoy themselves as well.

Fronted by the amiable Toby Jepson (ex Little Angels), Wayward Sons blazed through their 30 minute set with high energy, and barely time to catch a breath.

Something made even more impressive when you realise that the band had had to pull out of the previous two shows on the tour due to Toby Jepson having a lung infection!

You certainly wouldn't have known it judging by this performance.

Definitely a band to see again.

 

Walsall's Stone Broken, a band towards the start of their career, but with the confidence of older hands, were up next.

With a hint of grunge at times, and a rockin' female drummer with a huge smile on her face, we were once again provided with another band having a good time.

Their less dynamic performance, occasional use of backing tapes, and single vocalist, which for me limited their sound, meant that they didn't grab me as much as what had gone before.

I was left feeling that maybe they should have opened the show?

 

There were no such 'issues' with the main act though, Black Star Riders.

Once again a band starting as they meant to go on, the first three songs being played without a break.

Starting with the title track from their new album, 'Another State of Grace', and ending nearly 90 minutes later with probably their best known song 'Bound For Glory', it was obvious from the outset that these guys exuded both confidence and quality.

There are naturally comparisons made between Black Star Riders and Thin Lizzy, and many of the bands most memorable songs do seem to contain that classic Lizzyesque twin guitar attack, but that would do the guys a disservice.

Ricky Warwick, an old school rock and roll frontman, is his own man, with his own musical pedigree dating back to The Almighty.

And Black Star Riders are now onto their fourth album together, and have found their own sound.

Those three songs in a row, at the start of the set, set the scene for the rest of the show.

The gap between songs were barely long enough for Ricky Warwick to change his guitar, which he did with amazing regularity, or for drummer Chad Szeliga to show off his drumstick twiddling skills.

As Warwick said himself, the good thing about a gig, especially a rock gig, is that you can close the doors, shut out all the many problems in the world, and just forget about them for a couple of hours, and have a good time in the company of like minded souls of all ages.

That was something that came across very well on this night.

So what of Scott Gorham?

It's nice to report that he looks in great shape, in good health, and that his guitar playing seems just as good as it's always been.

And he has a big smile on his face too. What more could you ask for?

 

One quick thing to add.

This was easily the loudest gig that I've ever attended at the De Law Warr Pavilion. 

Those amps were definitely all turned up to 11, a la Spinal Tap.

I'm pleased I took my ear defenders with me.

 

So, all in all a great night of rock music.

You certainly can't argue about the quality of the bands, and the value for money this gig delivered.

It's good to see such acts coming to the De La Warr Pavilion, and the fact that we have Glenn Hughes and Uriah Heep coming up over the next couple of months, bodes well for the future.

There's definitely an appetite for rock music in this area, so let's hope those bands keep on coming.

Here's to the next time.

Find out more about tonights bands here:

Black Star Riders: blackstarriders.com

Stone Broken: stonebroken.com

Wayward Sons: waywardsonsband.com

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