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Glasgow Barrowlands, 19 January 2012

Photo Gallery by Steve Goudie

Thin Lizzy, photo by David Wilson

Thursday night, and the boys are back in town! The Barrowlands was the venue for the first date of the latest Thin Lizzy UK tour and anticipation was high. This show, as well as being the first of the tour, was also a hometown gig for new front man Ricky Warwick, couple this with the sold out signs that met us at the door and you had all the ingredients for a cracking night.

By the time we got into the hall the first band on tonight's menu were just entering their stride. Triggerfinger are a Belgian trio who play a mean blues/ rock fusion and have a stage presence that soon won the crowd over.

Their music is reminiscent of Queens Of The Stone Age with a bit of Led Zep added for effect. Dressed in sharp suits, the guys looked like a mixture of geography teachers and Mafia henchmen.

Their short set was bass heavy, and very tight with some fantastic playing from all three. Guitarist and vocalist, Ruben Block, never stopped moving throughout the set whilst larger than life bass player Paul Van Bruystegem and drummer Mario Goossens laid down a rock solid beat.

By the end of their allotted thirty minutes, an appreciative Glasgow crowd was on it's feet and the band left the stage to resounding cheers with mile wide smiles on their faces.

As soon as Triggerfinger had finished their slot there was an influx of bearded men with checked shirts to await the arrival of Maryland's finest Clutch.

Clutch, photo by David Wilson

I first came across Clutch at the Download festival last year and absolutely loved their performance that day and tonight proved to be more of the same.

Clutch are a utilitarian band, no frills, no fancy get ups or stage gimmicks. What you get is four guys playing heavy rock music infused with a bit of funk and blues, no more, no less, but the performance is stunning.

The focal point of the band is bearded front man Neil Fallon. His distinctive vocal delivery, which is almost rap like at times, coupled with Mr Bean like facial expressions and posturing, are more than enough to hold the crowd's interest.

Add in songs the calibre of 'The Mob Goes Wild', '50,000 Unstoppable Watts' and set closer 'Electric Worry' and it added up to another amazing performance. By the end of the set, if you didn't know better, you would have sworn that Clutch were headlining the night such was the reaction. Hopefully this tour will increase the band's already large cult following because they definitely deserve the success.

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There was no doubt who tonight's headliners were though as cries of 'Lizzy, Lizzy' filled the air. The band wandered on to the darkened stage and fired straight into 'Are You Ready' to which the answer was an emphatic 'yes'. Continuing with 'Jailbreak' and 'Bad Reputation' the band looked to be in their element, especially Ricky Warwick who later said that the Barrowlands held a special place in his heart as he saw many a gig there in his youth.

Thin Lizzy, photo by David Wilson

The show proved, unsurprisingly, to be a greatest hits set which was exactly what the sold out masses had come for.

The highlights kept coming, an amazing 'Angel Of Death was followed by 'Still In Love With You' with both Warwick and Darren Wharton sharing vocal duties to great effect.

Being the first night of the tour there were a few gremlins about, half the lighting rig failed at one point and sound wise the mix was a bit muddy but these things didn't detract from on-stage performance.

Thin Lizzy, photo by David Wilson

The twin guitar delivery of Scott Gorham and the newest member, Damon Johnson was spot on during all numbers and as backlines go, they don't get much better than Marco Mendoza and Brian Downey.

Thin Lizzy, photo by David Wilson

The main set was rounded off with 'Cowboy Song' and the inevitable 'The Boys Are Back In Town' which was turned into a mass singalong.

The band then returned to the stage for three encores 'Emerald', 'Rosalie' and they final rounded off the night with a stunning run through of 'Black Rose'.

Thin Lizzy, photo by David Wilson

This was my first gig of 2012 and what a way to start. This is a fantastic package with three top class bands on the one bill.

Being the first night things probably weren't 100% perfect, but it was damn close, I can only imagine how good the show will be two or three gigs in, and if you are going make sure you get there early!

Review and photos by David Wilson

Photo Gallery by Steve Goudie

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