"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Thin Lizzy - "Live In London" (2-CD Set)

Thin Lizzy - "Live In London" 2-CD Set cover image

"Live In London" track listing:

Disc One:
1. Are You Ready
2. Waiting For An Alibi
3. Jailbreak
4. Do Anything You Want To
5. Dancing In The Moonlight
6. Massacre
7. Angel Of Death
8. Still In Love With You
9. Whiskey In The Jar
10. Emerald

Disc Two:
1. Wild One
2. Sha La La La
3. Cowboy Song
4. Boys Are Back In Town
5. Rosalie
6. Bad Reputation
7. Black Rose
8. The Rocker

Reviewed by on October 10, 2011

"Taken for what it is — a well-meaning, ably played tribute to the songs and spirit of original bassist and frontman Phil Lynott — Thin Lizzy's 'Live In London' is a more than passable listen."

Taken for what it is — a well-meaning, ably played tribute to the songs and spirit of original bassist and frontman Phil Lynott — Thin Lizzy's "Live In London" is a more than passable listen. It's clear that the latest version of the band, which includes original members Brian Downey on drums and Scott Gorham on guitar, as well as singer Ricky Warwick of the Almighty, Def Leppard guitarist Vivian Campbell, Whitesnake bassist Marco Mendoza and keyboardist Darren Wharton, who played with Lizzy in the last few years of the Lynott era, have their hearts in the right place.

That said, the album definitely has the been-there, done-that feel of a lot of tribute discs. Warwick's singing sometimes feels as if he's doing an impression of Lynott, and the songs (particularly the big hits) have a by-rote feel rather than recapturing some of the dangerous energy of the original versions.

On the positive side, it's great to hear Campbell performing more challenging material after nearly 20 years in Def Leppard. He and Gorham work well together on tracks like "Cowboy Song" and "Emerald."

Brian Downey's drumming and Marco Mendoza's bass lay down some solid rhythms. Mendoza, in particular, has a great knack for capturing the frenetic energy of Lynott's playing on heavier tracks like "Angel Of Death" and "Jailbreak."

The disc was recorded live earlier this year at the Hammersmith Odeon. Like a lot of live discs, there are a couple cringe-worthy moments — including a particularly nasty bit of unintentional feedback. Some might criticize the band or producer for not taking it out, but you can't deny that it does add some authenticity to the experience.

Even though they're well-worn, it's hard to beat a well-played version of "Boys Are Back In Town," "Jailbreak" or "Whiskey In The Jar," and it's to the band's credit that tracks like "Dancing In The Moonlight" keep their poppy feel.

On "Live In London," the reconstituted Thin Lizzy keeps the memory and songs of Phil Lynott alive. If listening to this makes you go seek out the originals, so much the better.

Highs: Excellent musicianship, with "Emerald," "Angel Of Death" and "Cowboy Song" standing out.

Lows: Some of the songs — particularly the hits — have a played-by-rote feel.

Bottom line: A well-played, if sometimes a shade uninspired, tribute to original Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)