It’s that time of the year again where Thin Lizzy fans young and old set out on a pilgrimage to the city of Dublin for the annual Vibe for Philo concert. Now in its 27th year, this event attracts fans from far and wide as they gather together for a weekend of celebration, remembrance and of course, rock ‘n’ roll to commemorate the life of Irish rock legend – Philip Parris Lynott.
The atmosphere of the place was absolutely beautiful, with adoring Lynott fans young and old pouring into the venue with laughter and friendship.
The show started with a very interesting act, local musician Keith Grogan hit the stage with his acoustic and completely blew the audience away with a beautiful rendition of Lizzy’s “Dublin” which warmed the crowd up.
Next up, the Dubh Linn Boys (originally “The Irish Lizzy Experience”) added some rock ‘n’ roll to the atmosphere with their charismatic yet humourous set, of classic Thin Lizzy songs including a powerful rendition of the classic “Still in Love with You” had the crowd singing back those famous words of the chorus as loud as they could. A great start to the night from these boys.
With the crowd now buzzing for what the rest of the night had in store as main organised Smiley Boldger took to their stage to greet the crowd with friendly banter and to introduce the next band, The Harleys. Featuring the shred-tastic styling’s of guitarist Conor McGouran (who played his first Vibe at 11 years old) the band launched into their Gary Moore themed set which featured tunes such as “Don’t Believe a Word” and “Black Rose”, accompanied with a member of the Dubh Linn Boys. The merging of “Parisienne Walkways” into “Out in the Fields” was definitely the highlight of their performance.
With the night moving on and the crowd becoming a lot more relaxed it was time for one of the star attractions – The Low Riders. Over the years these 4 groovy lads have steadily gained popularity throughout the Vibe scene through their raw talent and passion. They performed songs from Thin Lizzy’s early stages with songs like “Black Boys”, “Little Girl in Bloom” and “I’m Gonna Creep Up On You”. I was amazed at the breath-taking hum from the audience as they joined in with lead vocalist Matt Wilson during the intro to “Vagabond of the Western World”. As they finished their set with “The Rocker” the impact which their performance had made on the crowd became very apparent as the crowd coaxed the band into an encore which featured their Youtube famous version of “Little Darling”. No one was disagreeing with the man who screamed “that was f***ing brilliant!” that’s for sure.
A slight break from all the bands as Smiley Boldger introduced local poet John Cummins take the stage with his freestyle poetry. His Phil Lynott/Dublin inspired poem which was full of random words and melodies may not have been my cup of tea but it received a great reception from the audience.
After a special video, the young 4 piece known as Sal Vitro took to the stage next with a short set of 2 songs which featured a heart-wrenching rendition “Dear Miss Lonely Hearts” which was emotionally received by the audience as lead vocalist Josh Dunford’s grungy voice flowed through the song beautifully. A well-received reception for these guys, it was a pity we didn’t get to see more of them.
With the friendly banter still continuing through-out the venue it was time for the moment everyone was waiting for, Philomena Lynott’s speech. Looking as lovely as always with a smile that could light up a darkened room, Philomena’s words sung throughout the venue as she thanked everyone for taking part over the weekend and for visiting her. Whilst reflecting on the different memories of Phil she reminded the audience of how hard she was treated by people whenever he was born. A minute’s silence followed to remember those who have lost loved ones during the year.
With Philomena’s bubbliness still flowing and her words staying in the hearts of everyone there it was time for the headline act of the night, The Thin Lizzy Experience. The 4 lads from Sheffield gained much popularity when they were introduced to the Vibe in 2012 as they hit the stage performing all the classic Thin Lizzy tunes, as well as lead vocalist Simon Kaviani and guitarist Chris Gill dressing up as Phil and Scott Gorham. A slight shaky start due to technical difficulties but that didn’t stop the lads from powering their way through all the classic Thin Lizzy anthems with the crowding helping them along. The Vibers were determined not to let the night finish as the band were encouraged to come on to perform not one but two encores, totaling up to 6 songs. “Sha La La” helped introduce the crowd to the bands brand new drummer Dave Edwards with a thunderous drum solo. In my experience tribute bands can be quite hit and miss. There are bands that have the look but don’t have the sound and there are bands that have the sound but don’t have the look – The Thin Lizzy Experience has it all!
It was another brilliant year and another brilliant show down at the Vibe. A video performance of Phil performing “Sandy” closed the night. The show may have come to an end but nothing was going to stop the Vibe spirit.
To view my photos from the concert click here
Official Vibe for Philo Website: http://www.vibeforphilo.com
The Thin Lizzy Experience: http://www.thinlizzyexperience.com/home.cfm
The Irish Lizzy Experience (Dubh Linn Boys): http://www.facebook.com/TheLizzyExperience
Marc Leach Photography Website: http://www.marcleachphotography.com/
Review & Photography by Marc Leach