Thin Lizzy Reading triumph 1977 and Newcastle City Hall 1977 & 1978

Thin Lizzy Reading triumph 1977 and Newcastle City Hall 1977 & 1978
thintix 771977 was the year of punk, but it was also another very successful year for Thin Lizzy. Lizzy’s attitude transcended the barriers between heavy rock and punk. Phil Lynott speaking at the time: “I could feel it, at the time there was three bands: Dr Feelgood, The Heavy Metal Kids (Gary Holton had that real front y’know) and there was ourselves y’know? And all them bands were quite aware that the kids wanted something different, wanted to be attacked again, wanted aggression and stuff like that. And like within that period we were away, it really got its image with the ‘New Wave’ and the papers really gave it its image. Now I knew the punk thing was going on before I went away, but it really took off.” Phil fitted the image of the street punk, and even played with Jones and Cook of the Sex Pistols in an occasional band “The Greedy Bastards”. So they sort of fitted with the mood of the time. reading1977Phil again: “I just like blood and guts….I’ve seen every Clint Eastwood movie goin’. I get off on aggression. One of the main reasons I get up on a stage is to let the aggression out, to put the aggression to a good purpose like rock and roll. I’m sure I’d be f**kin’ locked up now if I didn’t play in a group. I’d be in this jail I’m always singin’ about.”
Thin Lizzy returned to the Reading festival for a triumphant headlining Saturday night performance. This was the year when the festival site became a mud bowl, with a lake of mud in front of the stage. “1977 The festival officially became ‘Reading Rock ‘77’ this year and an almighty downpour turned the event into a sea of mud. 1977 also saw the first appearance of punk at the festival in the form of The Electric chairs, who were pelted with mud and bottles.” (gigwise). We needed a great band and a great performance to cheer us all up, and Thin Lizzy gave us that. They played a classic set including: Jailbreak; Dancing in the Moonlight; Still in Love With You; Cowboy Song; The Boys Are Back in Town; Don’t Believe a Word; Emerald closing with The Rocker as encore. This was Thin Lizzy at the very best, the classic line-up of Lynott, Gorham. Robertson and Downey couldn’t be beaten.
thintix78I saw Thin Lizzy again later in the year, touring in support of the “Bad Reputation” album. They played at Newcastle City Hall on 11 November 1977, supported by Irish punks Radiators from Space. They were back again on 20th June 1978 at the time of their classic “Live and Dangerous” lp. Both shows were excellent. The set that these guys had at the time was simply amazing, including straight-on rockers Jailbreak and The Rocker; the hits Dancing in the Moonlight, The Boys Are Back in Town and Don’t Believe a Word; ballads like Still In Love With You, mysterious celtic tales like Emerald and my favourite at the time Cowboy Song. Great stuff.
Phil would say: “Are there any cowboys out there?” [massive roar from the crowd]…”this is for all the cowboys…”
[cue the quiet guitar intro]
“I am just a cowboy, lonesome on the trail.
The starry night, the campfire light.
The coyote call, and the howlin’ winds wail. [wah wah]
So I ride out to the old sundown.”
[…and the full band comes in, the familiar twin guitar riff starts and away we go…..]
“Roll me over and turn me around, let me keep spinning till I hit the ground
Roll me over and let me go, riding in the rodeo
Roll me over and set me free, the cowboy’s life is the life for me”
You just couldn’t beat it. Pure class. 1000%.
(Thin Lizzy, 1976)

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