Thin Lizzy + Black Spiders + The Treatment @ The Assembly, Leamington – 15th May 2012

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Review by Paul Davis

This gig was originally scheduled for Coventry’s Kasbah, until a very public row between the venue and Lizzy’s management saw the gig cancelled, before being rearranged for the same night in Leamington Spa. With Thin Lizzy being joined by two of the finest new bands in the UK as support, this was definitely Leamington’s gain.

Cambridge based rockers The Treatment were the first of the support acts to entertain the gathering Lizzy fans. They performed a hugely entertaining set too, a young band with incredible stage presence and influences from an era way before their time. Having last experienced The Treatment at Wolverhampton’s Slade Rooms earlier in the year on an evening when attendance was affected by the wintry conditions, it was good to see the band in front of a decent sized crowd tonight. In vocalist Matt Jones, like all the best frontmen, they have someone who can really work the crowd.

As well as set opener, ‘D***k, F**k, F***t’, other highlights from their debut album This Might Hurt tonight include ‘The Doctor’, ‘Shake The Mountain’ and ‘Departed’. With Matt Jones urging the audience to ‘get involved’ throughout, a cover of ‘Get Down And Get With It’ is the perfect way to end their set.

Black Spiders are another British band that are making an impact on the rock scene, getting plenty of acclaim for their debut album Sons Of The North. Amongst the huge sing along anthems and crunching riffs provided by the triple guitar attack of Ozzy ‘Owl’ Lister, Mark ‘Dark Shark’ Thomas and vocalist Pete ‘Spider’ Spiby, the element of humour plays a big part in the Black Spiders experience. From the traditional ‘Fuck You Black Spiders’ chant during ‘Stay Down’ to ‘Just Like A Woman’ being introduced by Spiby as the best song you’ve ever heard.’ St Peter’ and ‘Kiss Tried To Kill Me’ are big favourites with the crowd tonight. Having been listening to their awesome debut album for some time, it was great to finally catch the Black Spiders live.

This Thin Lizzy line up has been touring for over a year now and with more dates booked up until December, it will be interesting to see what happens in 2013, with new material being written by the band. All of the major hits are played as you would expect, but having seen them three times over the past year and half it would be good to hear them delve into the Lizzy back catalogue a bit more. Of course everyone wants to hear ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ and ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ and the Assembly gets those and much more this evening.

The set opens with three bonafide rock classics, ‘Are You Ready’, ‘Jailbreak’ and ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ with barely a pause for breath. The important links to Lizzy’s illustrious past here are Scott Gorham, Darren Wharton and Brian Downey. The ‘new’ boys are Ricky Warwick, who continues to grow in his role and another man with big shoes to fill, Damon Johnson, following in the footsteps of the likes of Brian Robertson and Gary Moore. Darren Wharton’s role on keyboards can be a little restricted, difficult to be heard above the guitars of Scott Gorham, Johnson and Warwick. Wharton’s most prominent moments are on ‘Angel of Death’ which he co-wrote with Lynott and ‘Still In Love With You’ on which he shares vocal duties with Warwick.

After closing out their set with ‘Waiting For An Alibi’, ‘The Cowboy Song’ and ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ the band returns to encore with ‘Emerald’, ‘Rosalie’ and ‘Black Rose’. As the audience depart there are a few differing opinions, but on the whole the current line up are getting a positive reaction from the Lizzy faithful.

During ‘The Cowboy Song’ Warwick sings that ‘Phil’s still right here with us’ and while this band are still out there playing his songs the presence of Lynott will always be there too. Both of the support acts this evening look to have bright futures ahead. The Treatment may be about to get another big break, following high profile support slots with the like of Alice Cooper and Steel Panther they head Stateside in July as support on the Motley Crue/Kiss co headliner.