Spread the word around . . . guess who’s back in town. But will be this a reunion too far for their fans?
Yes, almost 25 years after the death of legendary Irish rocker Phil Lynott, Thin Lizzy are to hit the road again — this time with Co Down musician Ricky Warwick at the helm.
Warwick (43) replaces Lynott in the latest reincarnation, joining Thin Lizzy alumni Scott Gorham, Brian Downey and Darren Wharton. Also on board are Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell and former Whitesnake bassist Marco Mendoza.
The new band will head out on tour in 2011, with a huge homecoming show planned for Dublin on January 4. Thin Lizzy are not the only band to reform minus a key figure.
Queen continue to tour with Free’s Paul Rodgers filling the shoes of the late Freddie Mercury, while Paul McLoone replaced Feargal Sharkey in The Undertones. Bruce Dickinson quit Iron Maiden, rejoining the heavy metal band some years later.
But can the glory days of Lynott’s reign ever really be recreated?
Stuart Bailie of the Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast said that while it was great news for Warwick, whom he described as a “100% rocker’’, he thought the new formation’s pedigree “was suspect”.
“It’s crossing over, really, from reunion to tribute band, so it’s something of a hybrid,” he said.
“I saw the great Thin Lizzy in the Ulster Hall in 1978 and that memory is still intact. That is the way I want to keep it.
“When you see Queen perform with Paul Rodgers on vocals, it is not quite the same experience as seeing the original Queen and I’m guessing it will be the same with this line-up, although it does have some of its original line-up.
“What people will be seeing is a photocopy of a photocopy — although I wouldn’t knock the guys for doing it. Does it sully Lynott’s legacy?
“I’m not sure about that but it’s never going to be the same experience without the great man himself.”
However, music publicist James Rollins said he did not believe that this was a reunion too far.
“The band has three of its original members, all of whom played with Lynott,” he said.
“They’re getting together to mark the 25th anniversary of Lynott’s death.”
David Neely of CDC Leisure admitted Lynott would be a hard act to follow but said Warwick was a great musician who would keep the fans happy, as long as he did not try to replicate Lynott.
“It’s always going to be difficult when you take out such a charismatic frontman as Lynott, but it can be done,” he said.
Speaking about his delight at being asked to join the new line-up Ricky, from Newtownards, said: “Every kid on my street, in my school and in my city knew of Thin Lizzy. Every kid supported Lizzy. We took pride in Lizzy and what was there not to be proud of?”