Friday 27 April 2018

Review: Philo’s back in town after 30 years

Rock: A Vibe for Philo, Vicar St, Dublin

Giant of song: Phil Lynott, who died 30 years ago on Monday.
Giant of song: Phil Lynott, who died 30 years ago on Monday.
Eamon Sweeney

Eamon Sweeney

Thirty years to the day since his premature death, Phil Lynott's family, friends and fans gather for a poignant yet euphoric celebration of his tragically short life, which left a musical legacy that will live forever.

This year's landmark anniversary results in a much brisker box office than usual. As Lynott's old friend, organiser and customary MC Smiley Bolger announces, last year's 29th Vibe was an all-seated affair due to a lack of demand. 2016 is a complete sell out.

The Hoodoos featuring Johnny 'The Fox' Conlon blast out of the traps with a rip-roaring set of classic Lizzy rock 'n' roll. Conlon's voice is a dead ringer for the great man himself and a brilliant way to kick-start the night.

Local Liberties singer-songwriter Fiach Moriarty offers an acoustic counterpoint to a raucous electric guitar-driven evening. Moriarty introduces his own special guest, Brian 'the Pigeon' for a lovely rendition of Running Back.

The Low Riders are a Vibe for Philo institution, annually kicking out the jams every January and anchoring the show. A no-nonsense rock quartet, their singer boasts an afro Philo would be proud of.

They're joined by original Thin Lizzy drummer Brian Downey for a bumper selection of hits including Jailbreak, Don't Believe a Word, Dancing in the Moonlight and of course, The Boys Are Back in Town.

Philomena Lynott takes to the stage for a few words about her late son, recalling a woman she met who was pregnant when Philip died.

The same woman's son is now in a band, so Philomena urges the audience to love our children and help foster an appreciation of music.

Mongoose, original Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell, Soul Brothers and Parris, keep the party rocking into the wee hours.

A black rose is placed on the microphone stand; a small but powerfully significant sign that Philo's spirit hasn't left the building.

Phil Lynott is 30 years dead. Long live Philo.

Irish Independent

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