Black Star Riders - O2 City Hall, Newcastle 24.02.2023
It’s always a tight schedule when it’s a three band bill but the majority made the effort to get there and not miss a note from any of tonight’s sets which was great to see.
No stranger to Newcastle City Hall Phil Campbell & The Bastard Sons kick things off in true UK Rock Style with their 'We’re The Bastards' anthem giving the crowds vocal cords a good warm up! Joel Peters is a great frontman working the crowd from the get go allowing Phil to do what he does best RIFF! It’s a short nine song set but they make the most of it with the likes of 'High Rule' and 'Get On Your Knees' sitting nicely alongside Motörheads’ 'Going To Brazil' and 'Born To Raise Hell' (the latter of those featuring a guest appearance from Michael Monroe on vocal and harmonica). Of course the set ends with 'Ace of Spades' it’d be rude not to and as you’d expect it takes the roof off!
Next up it’s the wonderful Michael Monroe a total ball of energy from start to finish and then some more! It’s hard to keep with him as he darts back and forth across the stage and down onto the barrier and of course that heart in the mouth climb up to the balcony but all the while kicking out the tunes. It’s great to see his old Hanoi Rocks partner Sam Yaffa up there on bass especially during 'Motorvatin' and 'Don’t You Ever Leave Me'. Guitarists Steve Conte and Rich Jones provide the pedigree licks on the very apt 'I Live Too Fast To Die Young' and the classic 'Dead Jail Or Rock N Rol'l absolutely kicking the shit out of it! It’s great hearing a 'Demolition 23' song too ('Hammersmith Palais'). A rousing rendition of 'Up Around The Bend' closes the set but Monroe isn’t done just yet as he leads the crowd in a sing a long of the Geordie classic 'Wor Geordies Lost His Liggy' before being politely escorted off to allow the stage to be cleared, Pure rock n roller!
Black Star Riders take the stage as a four piece with Ricky Warwick centre stage kicking straight into 'Pay Dirt' from the latest 'Wrong Side Of Paradise' album and it sounds great a pure solid slice of rock pounding into your chest defying you not to bounce along to the back beat! 'Another State Of Grace' is the first of many tonight that feature that twin guitar Celtic vibe and latest addition on guitar Sam Wood absolutely shines in the role throughout the set what a player he is!
My favourite from the latest release 'Better Than Saturday Night' is up next and it’s even better live just a pure enjoyable rock n roll song and for me a bit of a love letter to the 'Black Rose' album but that could just be me! So apart from the new album it’s also the bands 10th Anniversary!!!! I know right TEN YEARS!!! So what better way to celebrate than have a new guitarist who is incredible and bring back a legendary guitarist who is also incredible.
Following a blistering cover of the Osmonds 'Crazy Horses', Ricky introduces the one and only Scott Gorham to the stage to make up the five piece for the rest of the set beginning with 'All Hell Breaks Loose' and it’s plain to see all five are having a blast on this tour with so much enjoyment on their faces! It’s spooky at times though when Sam and Scott are side by side as you could easily think you’re watching a video of 70’s Scott playing with 2023 Scott there is so much similarity in their looks and stage presence. Scott is still one of the coolest guitarists ever and his playing is as good as it’s ever been. You can see how much the guys are in awe of being in the band with him. It’s a set filled with crowd pleasers and as always Ricky Warwick is totally at home fronting the band with or without a guitar round his neck and having Phil Campbell join them for a three guitar attack on 'Don't Believe A Word' gave him the freedom to just enjoy singing it! Not content with one guest though Michael Monroe provides extra vocal on 'Tonight The Moonlight Let Me Down'.
The whole night has that last night of the tour vibe about it but it seems like it’s been like this every night they’ve been having such an awesome tour! It’s those twin guitars that get me though (and likely most of those here) and they know it, 'Killer Instinct', 'Bound For Glory' scratching that itch perfectly before delving back and giving us the classic 'Jailbreak' in all its finery.
For a Friday night of rock n roll you couldn’t really ask for more, members of Motörhead, Hanoi Rocks, New York Dolls, The Almighty, Thin Lizzy all under one roof playing their hearts out... yeah not a bad way to spend the night.
Thanks Guys here’s to the next ten!
Black Star Riders - https://www.facebook.com/BlackStarRidersOfficial
Michael Monroe - https://www.facebook.com/michaelmonroeofficial
Phil Campbell and the Bastard Sons - https://www.facebook.com/PhilCampbellATBS
Photos & Review - G's Gig Shots