Rock reviewers need drama lessons...
This is another in the Classic Rock series of DVD ‘critical reviews’. Essentially, they’re band/album reviews in audio/visual format.
I feel reasonably qualified to comment on the Thin Lizzy critique - I’ve been a fan since Johnny The Fox, have recently felt compelled to finish replacing my Gorham onwards Lizzy vinyl with CD (Renegade and Thunder & Lightning being the final two pieces of the jigsaw) and I read Phil Lynott: The Rocker on holiday.
The latter was a reasonable read - cheap from Music Zone - but left you saddened at the tragic loss of a great musician who wasn’t able to say ‘no’ to those who led him down the slippery slope to oblivion. A tragedy.
Anyway, I digress. As far as the ‘reviews’ on this DVD are concerned - all Lizzy’s albums are reviewed from Thin Lizzy (1971) to Thunder & Lightning (1983) which is no mean feat - 13 albums reviewed over the 70 minutes running time. And remarkably, by and large I agreed with all the ratings.
The Lizzy footage was good - much unseen (by me, at least) and was reasonably extensive given the amount of ‘critical analysis’.
The trouble with this format is that it very quickly becomes apparent why journalists write reviews and presenters appear on TV. Very different disciplines and different skills are required. While some of the critics here are clearly knowledgeable and passionate about their subject (Malcolm Dome), some look absolutely shit scared of being on camera and unable of cohesive delivery, mumbling ‘erm’ every other word. And some are almost psychopathic - the sort you’d think twice about leaving your children unattended with.
The saviour yet again, is Les Davidson who dissects some Lizzy riffs with ease, and who has a confident and authoritative delivery. A natural, who you feel has the credentials to pass opinion.
Overall, it was an interesting enough canter through the Lizzy catalogue, the archive material pretty good, but as a fan it left me thinking ‘tell me something I don’t know or shut the f*** up and let the music do the talking’. And by the way guys, get some screen coaching next time.
Review by Pete Whalley