Its difficult to write something different about one of the most written about bands in rock history, especially when that band is Thin Lizzy, one if not the best and underrated bands of the 70’s and early 80’s. In Phil Lynott they had a talismanic songwriter / performer still very sadly missed to this day.
I know Lizzy are still gigging ( I only saw them last Xmas) and playing very well I might add. Its just not the same. Would Dave Grohl tour as Nirvana, I think not. I’d like to remember Lizzy as the band I saw in Bingley Hall on the Thunder and Lightning tour all those years ago
In ‘UK Tour 75’ we have the opportunity to catch Lizzy, warts an all, on what was the tour prior to releasing their eponymous album ‘Jailbreak’. In 75 Lizzy were almost flat broke and about to be dropped by their record company. They were a mixed success story, they could still draw in huge crowds in certain cities, and then in others only manage clubs and Uni gigs, which is where this nugget was recorded (Derby).
I don’t know who held the master for this, and why its been unreleased for so long, but whoever got it out there deserves a huge thanks. Its a fully authorised release and even contains liner notes written by Brian Downey.
The 75 tour saw Lizzy rockin it up. Out went some of the mellower songs from Nightlife but still keeping ‘Sha La La’ and ‘Still In Love With You’(a much longer version than on Live and Dangerous) which would be staples for the rest of their career, in came the harder edged songs from Fighting,‘Fighting My Way Back’, ‘Wild One’, Rosalie’, ‘Suicide’, ‘For Those Who Love To Live’. Unusual for Lizzy they even play a work in progress (Phil titles live as ‘Derby Blues’) which would become ‘Cowboy Song’ from Jailbreak. This 75 version contains one song which encapsulates the band in all their glory, the duelling guitars of Robertson and Gorham, the blues rhythm of Lynott and Downey,the fargin’ excellent ‘Me And The Boys’. Actually this is a rare opportunity to catch a great bunch of Lizzy songs that have never been previously released as live versions. Also included is a sound check jam, a 12 Bar blues riff recorded as the band jammed on stage prior to the fans being allowed in.
I’d like to stick my neck out and state that this is one of the finest live albums you will ever hear from this great band. Possibly better than Live and Dangerous? In one way, YES. This recording is untouched (no dubbing, unlike L&D) and raw and shows the definitive line up in their prime, and was recorded on one night’s performance (again unlike L&D) which makes this very special indeed.
The cd contains a 28 page booklet filled with pics form this era, and a album like picture sleeve liner, all in all a nicely designed package for Lizzy fans all over to enjoy. A welcome addition on any rockers collection
Now if theres a tape out there from the Jailbreak tour in the same condition, that would be something else. Fetch the wet wipes!