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Added by Central Electronic Brain     October 17, 2018    
 
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Warwick/Johnson, Montgomery/Wood - Dingwalls, London (UK) - 02 October 2018

Gill Montgomery of The Amorettes and Sam Wood of the Wayward Sons opened this acoustic show with some fine songs plus a friendly and relaxed demeanour. Montgomery has written a number of songs with Ricky Warwick which demonstrated the connection and made this a tour of friends. Subject matter song-wise included neighbours calling the cops and the perennial obvious favourite of "Rock 'n' Roll". The job of warming up the crowd was certainly done well, and it was jam-packed at the front right from the start.


Gill Montgomery London Live

A quick perusal of the set-list before this show began had me thinking what a treasure trove of material Warwick/Johnson have at their disposal. It's no secret that Black Star Riders have a tremendous work ethic, or that Warwick loves to be on the road, and the set-list of twenty-four songs showed there is no such thing as a token performance from these guys. As Warwick opines, Thin Lizzy never wrote a bad song, and as Damon Johnson mentions that he has been in twenty-seven bands, the options are indeed endless.


Warwick Johnson  London Live 3

They did, however, manage to squeeze in all the greats and more. A big early surprise was 'Eighteen', a song that referred back to Johnson's days with Alice Cooper. It was certainly a popular choice and things got motoring early on. There are many Black Star Riders tracks, of course, and it is testament to the talent involved that these songs definitely stand up to the Lizzy classics, but at the same time also inject a fresh feel.

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It was an amazing surprise when Warwick Joked about calling Scott Gorham at home and Johnson painted the picture of Gorham sitting at home with his pipe and slippers, when the man himself burst through the curtain in person to play on 'Jailbreak' – now that was a special moment!

Other personal favourite tracks for me were 'Free And Easy' and 'Wild And Wonderful' as I was always a big fan of The Almighty. I felt 'Ace Of Spades' was less successful in an acoustic context, but it wasn't long before we were back to Lizzy and 'The Boys Are Back In Town', and all was right in the universe again. 'Sweet Home Alabama' was a more successful acoustic cover, and with finale being 'Whiskey In the Jar', it was an end to a pretty perfect evening.


Warwick Johnson  London Live 2

The energy of the music was certainly enough in itself to make this a great night but added features of this kind of acoustic night are the stories. I certainly loved the anecdotes about Cooper raising an eyebrow at Johnson because he'd never worn mascara before he joined Cooper's band, and about Warwick getting a slap from his mum for the embarrassment she felt before neighbours when he swore on BBC Radio. Another special part of these smaller shows is that both Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson stayed behind to take photos and sign stuff for everyone who stayed. This evening was tremendous in so many ways. Rock 'n' Roll is alive and well, and there's no need worry about the future as the torch was carried aloft, loudly and proudly, tonight.

Review and photos by Dawn Osborne


Warwick Johnson  London Live 1

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