Reformed rock band Thin Lizzy are to pay an emotional tribute to their former colleague Gary Moore in Belfast next week when they play in the late guitarist’s home town.
Ironically the concert will be staged in a venue that Moore hated — the Waterfront on the banks of the River Lagan.
Moore (58), who was raised only a few miles from the Waterfront, died on Sunday after suffering a massive heart attack at the start of a holiday on the Costa del Sol.
Moore was a member of Thin Lizzy for three spells after teaming up with Dubliner Phil Lynott, who died 25 years ago.
Gary organised a memorial concert for Lynott in Dublin in 2005 but decided against joining ex-members of Thin Lizzy when they revived the group for a tour of the UK, which arrives in Belfast next Wednesday night.
Drummer Brian Downey, an original member of Thin Lizzy, and guitarist Scott Gorham said the Belfast show will be dedicated to Gary, who left the city for Dublin at the age of 16 to join Lynott in Skid Row.
The guitarist in the new Lizzy line-up is Lisburn man Vivian Campbell, who’s taking a break from his regular band Def Leppard to play on the tour. He admitted he was a huge fan of Moore.
“Another of my guitar heroes has died. First Marc Bolan, then Rory Gallagher. And now Gary Moore,” he said.
“At one stage in my life he was a huge guitar influence. I probably ripped off Gary Moore more than any other guitar player. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I was a fan, certainly in my teenage years.
“I was really, really impressed with the roads he was forging in the blues world.”
Vivian admitted that it was difficult to play the Thin Lizzy classic Still In Love With You in Austria after hearing about Gary’s death. The song is credited to Lynott but Moore is said to have helped him. And it was the Belfastman who played the famous guitar solo which has made the song so popular down the years.
Thin Lizzy were about to go on stage in Vienna when they heard about Gary’s death.
The band’s singer Ricky Warwick — who is also from east Belfast — said: “Gary was part of the Thin Lizzy family and we are saddened by the news. We dedicated the show to him but our thoughts were with his family.”
Moore played the Waterfront Hall several years ago — but he didn’t like it.
“It was very sterile and formal” he said.