|When I was growing up in Stratford-on-Avon there were no music venues of worth. We had to go to Coventry or Brum to see bands. But now what I knew as the timber yard, where I’d go with Dad to buy bits of wood for his latest DIY project, is ‘Cox’s Yard’, Stratford’s premier music venue, and they get some great bands through.
Also when I was growing up in Stratford-on-Avon there were no such thing as tribute bands. Now there are loads and many have been playing the circuit for some years. If they weren’t any good the fans would abandon them. Limehouse Lizzy is a Thin Lizzy tribute band which has been going for 13 years now. Our Best Man, Alun, used to play in the band and so Moth had seen them a number of times, but I never had.
I wouldn’t call myself a Thin Lizzy aficionado (Moth is) but I know that when I hear songs like ‘Whisky in the jar’, ‘The boys are back in town’, ‘Johnny the fox’, ‘Rosalie’ and ‘Dancing in the moonlight’ they make me smile and want to sing-a-long. Since being with Moth I have been exposed to lots of Thin Lizzy (pictured) and I have grown to like their music very much. So when on Wednesday evening Moth said: “Hey! Limehouse Lizzy are playing in Stratford on Friday”, there could be only one response: “Great! Let’s go!”
To be a good tribute band you have to be true to the original band’s vibe and crucially note perfect. And if you’re a Thin Lizzy tribute, you’d better have a front man who can sing and play bass like Lizzy’s frontman and driving force behind the band, the late Phil Lynott. Fortunately Wayne Ellis (pictured below) can, as well as bearing a slight resemblance to Phil – and I don’t just mean they both have a beautiful skin tone.
No need for a warm up for Limehouse Lizzy! From the first note they showed they’d got the energy which for me was Thin Lizzy’s hallmark. Unlike many rock bands of the time who concentrated on albums and tours, Lizzy released a torrent of successful singles and in the 1970s and early 80s. That sweaty, hot-leather-scented energy combined with some of the sweetest melodies produced hit after hit for the band. Limehouse Lizzy worked their way through this back catalogue with power and enthusiasm. They even played the hauntingly beautiful Parisienne walkways! See paragraph four.
The crowd were mad for it, howling along like wolves and jumping about like they were 17 again, even though I’d guess the average age of the audience was late 40s.
Limehouse Lizzy are about the best tribute I can imagine to the once great masters of melodic rock. It will be interesting to compare Limehouse Lizzy to the band currently calling themselves Thin Lizzy who we have tickets to see in April.