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Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thin Lizzy - Live in Concert 1983 DVD review

Thin Lizzy – Live in Concert 1983 DVD
Released on: XXL Media. Release date: Available now.

Thin Lizzy, yes one of, if not possibly my favourite bands of all time.
Regulars at the site will know my Lizzy background on how fortunate I feel I am to have seen this band live in the past, with Phil Lynott around ten times. Sadly of course, Phil lost his battle against pneumonia and other things …, back in 1986.

This show was recorded on Thin Lizzy’s farewell Thunder and Lightning tour, one of the few bands that actually did a farewell tour and not like six or eight or ten or more farewell tours like so many big bands, still going in one shape or form.

Although, it’s been well documented over the years that the likes of Scott Gorham (Guitars) admitted his problems with addiction and told Phil, that he could no longer continue with Lizzy anymore. Brian Downey (Drums) was getting tired of all the years of touring and seeing Phil and Scott getting so messed up and that was his reason for agreeing with Scott that Lizzy call it quits. Poor Darren Wharton (Keyboards) had got himself involved with Lizzy, originally on the Chinatown album in 1980 and written some great material with Phil, to sadly have to face the reality that Lizzy was folding up.

John Sykes, the young hotshot guitarist Phil talked into joining Lizzy was formerly with the Tygers of Pan Tang, but then once Lizzy folded, became much in demand and went on to more success with Whitesnake (Briefly), co-writing probably the bands two best known songs in ‘Is This Love’ and ‘Still of the Night.’
Anyway, I digress … This show was recorded in Phil and Brian’s home city of Dublin, unfortunately though it caught Phil on a rough night, where the guy is clearly sick with a bad cold. His voice is rough in places.
He was also looking pretty rough – drugs – too at this stage … Seriously sad.

This DVD, I believe has been put out before and I wish I had a copy of the original one, as this is clearly badly thrown together and who knows what generation recording (Copying), it is at? Fourth? Fifth? Tenth???!
It’s very grainy indeed, none of the close up or even the distance shots are clear, even though it was shot with a couple of cameras at least. Very blurry indeed …
The sound levels aren’t the best either … If you wanted something good from the farewell tour, for me the ‘Sight and Sound’ gig – A BBC series of live shows at the time. – recorded at the Regal, Hitchin in the UK on the opening night of the tour, is still pretty good.
You can actually get that as part of the 'Live and Dangerous' repackaged DVD set released a couple of years back, that also includes a live CD from a Derby gig in 1975.

I’m guessing this was one of the last shows, if not the last show on the tour or on the final leg of the European part of the farewell tour.

Opening with ‘Thunder and Lightning’ and the traditional flashbomb entrance that was always Lizzy, it was possibly the heaviest track Lizzy ever recorded. To be honest, never really a favourite of mine as Phil is basically belting out the lyrics as fast as he can and when he’s not 100%, unfortunately it makes them harder to make out.
They stop for a breather and Phil struggling announces next track, ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ and again, while the rest of the band is doing OK, the sound levels don’t help this presentation, although I really like the song, from the last Lizzy studio release.

‘Angel of Death’ next starts with Brian Downey, not Darren Wharton and so it’s the shorter version … I really love the album version with the eerie keyboard intro, then the hi-hats come in, Phil’s rumbling bass and then the band proper. This version, kind of pales to that … Pretty sad to see Phil struggling as much as he clearly is here.
As the song is finishing, the band launches into ‘Are You Ready,’ a regular classic in any Lizzy live set and Sykes and Gorham are in their element and of course Brian Downey gets a brief spot in here too.

Phil says before the next song, ‘This is for anybody that has the flu ... A song called Cold Sweat!’
Yes, Phil, you are clearly suffering from ‘the flu …!’
It was John Sykes first (And last ...) song written with Phil, that got many people’s attention and yes, it rocks!

Possibly my favourite from the last Lizzy album, ‘The Sun Goes Down’ is next and sadly Phil’s condition doesn’t help it and although it’s a great song, it kind of sounds like it’s dragging a little.

‘Emerald’ follows, which was always kind of Lizzy’s trademark live song, then it’s ‘Still in Love with You.’

Things draw to a close with a ‘Rosalie’ medley that includes snatches of ‘Dancing In the Moonlight’ and ‘Whiskey in the Jar,’ before closing out by returning to ‘Rosalie’ but the DVD ends very abruptly.

This concert really is not and wasn’t a good representation of Thin Lizzy live and in a sense it only being just under an hour long – Clearly edited or should that be butchered!  - is possibly a blessing.
This is really for die hard Lizzy fans only, who insist on wanting everything ever released.

Thin Lizzy were an absolutely killer band live when they were on form and with Phil, the current line up I must say, seems to be way ahead of the lineup that John Sykes toured alongside Scott Gorham with, in the last decade or so.
This release though … Not so good!

Rating: 3 out of 5 and that’s being generous because it’s Lizzy.


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