This one is interesting. By looking at the photo and seeing who is interviewed it seems that Mr. Lizzy himself, Phil Lynott, took a backseat in the early days of the band. Strange for someone who was so important to this band. The other thing is the fact that this was the last album that Mr. Bell would feature on, even if he talked about “things working out nicely” and so on… That`s how fast things can change in rock and roll and in life itself.
Lizzy`s coming on real strong
By Ray Telford
“A group like Slade have the power to change an audience around to their way of thinking whereas most other bands are happy to go the way audiences want them to without really making too much of an effort to keep their identity.”
So says Thin Lizzy`s quiet spoken guitar player Eric Bell and that`s the conclusion he came to after Lizzy`s recent UK tour with Slade during which they played most of the country`s prestige gigs. Eric reckons the experience the band culled through the tour to be priceless, both in terms of audience exposure and learning how to handle capacity audiences – and no one draws bigger and more enthusiastic audiences than Slade these days.
There`s little doubt, too, that Thin Lizzy`s jaunt round the concert halls with Slade gave their current single, “Whisky In The Jar”, the push needed to make it a top ten entry. In fact the song, a traditional Irish drinking ballad, was recorded by Lizzy some time before Christmas and lay dormant for about three months, despite relentless plugging, Eric says, on Kid Jenson`s Radio Luxembourg show, and only started its climb up the charts about midway through the tour: “I think it`s pretty obvious that it was the tour that finally got the single in the charts. We`d thought that it could be a hit record at the time we recorded it but then we were in a kind of rut, gig wise. I mean we were just playing the normal rock circuit and we were doing the number on stage and it always got good reactions but not enough people heard it at one time. The tour definitely gave it the exposure it needed.”
Thin Lizzy were formed in Belfast around two and a half years ago and their story is a familiar one to almost every rock band who ever came out of Ireland. The group, apart from Eric, comprises Phil Lynott, bass and vocals and drummer Brian Downey, all of whom served their time with various showbands and other non-descript rock bands before getting together.
The group came to London for the first time around eighteen months ago to record their first album for Decca since when they recorded a second and infinitely better album, called “Shades Of A Blue Orphanage”, released in April last year. Both records received cool reviews from most critics and Eric says the criticisms levelled at them were in many ways justified:
“Everything we`ve recorded to date has been done in one mad rush and we just haven`t been given the time to really put down on an album all the things we wanted to. I think, too, in some ways the group have suffered in the past because we couldn`t afford the time to rehearse.”
Lizzy`s third album, which they`re due to begin work on within the next couple of weeks, Eric says will certainly be more carefully put together than the other two and they have also been more selective in their choice of material.
“Another thing that touring with Slade taught us was the importance of a strong stage act. When we first came to London we tended to just get on stage and play for ourselves. We`d get into long free-blown things which sounded nice to us but that attitude doesn`t really wash any more. It used to but not now. We weren`t communicating with the people we played to though there was communication enough in the band. There`s a lot more to rock and roll than just playing it.
“We`ve been together long enough now to get the energy of the band across and I know we`re doing that OK. It`s just a case of getting together a strong stage presence and combining it with what`s already there. It`s working out nicely, too.”
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Darryl Way (Curved Air), Sounds staff analyse David Bowie, Nazareth, Steve Marriott, Average White Band, Elton John, Geordie, Status Quo, Slade, Stackridge, Peter Gabriel, Mike Heron, Jesse Winchester.
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