I’ve been very lucky recently, in that last month a friend won tickets to see Thunder play an acoustic show at PMT (which stands for Professional Musical Technology) store in Manchester and then only last week another friend, Arwel, won tickets for the Black Star Riders acoustic show at the same venue. These select shows are only for around 100 winners and are held inside the store, which is a reasonable sized Warehouse packed full of guitars, drum kits and all sort of musical paraphernalia.
A small stage is set up at the rear of the shop with standing room in front for the select few who have been lucky enough to win tickets. With these event being held at lunchtime it’s even feasible to nip out of work in a lunch hour, I was out just over an hour but luckily I work flexible working hours.
Black Star Riders were formed in 2012 by members of Thin Lizzy who wanted to record and release new material but under a different name. It’s a stellar line-up including guitarist Scott Gorham who, although not a founder member, has been in Thin Lizzy since 1974 and vocalist Ricky Warwick who was guitarist and vocalist in The Almighty, a band I have seen many times, only once on a headline tour but also supporting such varied acts as Motorhead and Faster Pussycat.
Local DJ Steve Berry was host at the event and he said what a great place PMT was to hold a gig as, if any of the kit failed, they could just pull something off the walls. He then asked us to ‘Please welcome Black Star Riders’ who were met with a round of applause. Ricky dressed all in black and sporting a black beanie hat said it was good to see us all and thanked everyone for coming down. He said they were going to start with the title track from their latest album The Killer Instinct (links to our two reviews below) and Ricky did sound very similar to the late Thin Lizzy front-man Phil Lynott, and drummer Jimmy DeGrasso was drumming out a rhythm on a handy amplifier. Then Ricky said from something new they were going to play something a wee bit older then I think he said ‘Go Australia’ I’m not sure but AC/DC also do their version of the song they chose Jailbreak so it could have been a reference to that. Ricky has some powerful vocals and the acoustics in the warehouse are excellent for an acoustic show. A request of ‘Clap your hands’ from Ricky got everyone clapping to this classic song which got lots of cheers. whistles and a hefty round of applause from the small audience.
The band all looked really happy to be playing and Ricky announced that the last one they were going to do was the current single Finest Hour. Played acoustically the intro reminded me of Lynyrd Skynrd’s Freebird. A short but sweet set from Black Star Riders who were then heading to Manchester Academy to play a full electric set co-headlining with Europe. The band stayed a while for fans to get pictures and, whilst I used to think I was way too cool to ask for pictures with band members back in the days I saw The Almighty, I’ve grown out of being up my own____ so I finally got a picture with Ricky Warwick and although I would have looked better back then that’s just tough! See our review of the gig at Corn Exchange, Cambridge on 11th March below.
I would advise anyone who lives close enough to get to one of these PMT acoustic shows to enter these competitions run by Real Radio XS. An up close and personal acoustic show with any great band is an experience worth winning.
The Killer Instinct
Ricky Warwick – Vocals/Guitar
Scott Gorham – Guitars
Damon Johnson – Guitars
Robbie Crane – Bass
Jimmy DeGrasso – Drums
Review of The Killer Instinct: http://planetmosh.com/black-star-riders-killer-instinct-first-opinion/
Review of The Killer Instinct: http://planetmosh.com/black-star-riders-killer-instinct-second-opinion/
Review of Corn Exchange, Cambridge: http://planetmosh.com/europe-black-star-riders-corn-exchange-cambridge-11th-march-2015/
NOTE: The picture of Ricky Warwick and I was taken after the show, all other pictures are ones PlanetMosh have taken at Black Star Riders shows