Rock ‘works

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A review of Black Star Riders, Dead Daisies and Western Sand playing the Ironworks, Inverness on the 5th of December 2013. (Click for photographs of the evening )

Finally the gig I’ve been waiting for  rolled in to town.

Western Sand DSCF8038 4 300x200 - Rock 'worksBy the time all three bands had set up on-stage it was a busy place. Opening band Western Sand did well to make use of the small area they were left to work with. Hailing from the south of England, the band has a real heavy metal feel to them in the most traditional of fashions. Songs that have influences from many 1980’s bands were cranked out along with guitar hero poses, legs apart and heads down and in to full throttle gear.

Whereas Western Sand were the kind of band you would expect to see on the Black Star Riders tour, The Dead Daisies were something a bit different and a bit of a luxury filling to the evening (sandwiched between Western Sand and BSR).

The Dead Daisies DSCF8115 11 300x200 - Rock 'worksThe band have an enormous caliber of both musicianship and experience between the six members appearing on-stage, with a CV including Guns N Roses, the Rolling Stones and INXS among many others.

‘Its good to be home.’ Shouted singer Jon Stevens as he came on-stage (Jon is half Maori and half Scottish) before belting out opening track ‘Face I Love’. “I can do the Haka mixed with the Highland Fling’ he joked before powering in to  latest single ‘Washington’.

Apart from the thin sliver of stage, the guys had to work with,they were the utmost professionals and put on a gigantic performance.

Out of the ten-song set, we were treated to four songs from their  first albumir?t=wwwinvernessg 21&l=as2&o=2&a=B00FZL7HVE - Rock 'works including my personal favourite ‘Miles in Front of Me’. Along with four brand new songs, Jon’s solo hit ‘Fly’ from the Disney film ‘Planes’ and a rousing closing number of the Beatles ‘Helter Skelter’.

Hopefully we will see the guys back real soon but in their own headline show.

Black Star Riders DSCF8312 18 300x200 - Rock 'worksFinally, headliners Black Star Riders took to the stage as all the Thin Lizzy fans started to get excited for some of the classics. ‘Rosalie’, ‘Boys are Back in Town’, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ were all there for a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane.

Although the band in their original guise were in the Ironworks in 2012 delivering a rousing show and are very aware that they have a huge back catalogue of Thin Lizzy material to dip in to, they are here to promote themselves as new band Black Star Riders.

Scott Gorham is the only link to the past. With the addition of singer Ricky Warwick, not only is their a guy fit to sing Phil Lynott songs pretty close to the original, more importantly he stamps his mark on new material like ‘Hey Judas’ and ‘Bound For Glory’. Along with drummer Jimmy Degrasso, guitarist Damon Johnson and my personal favourite, bassist Marco Mendoza (and sometimes Dead Daisies member) who I had the privilege to meet earlier in the evening.

A great rock show for Inverness, lets hope we see much more in 2014!


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Mark Allison
Mark Allison
Mark has played in various bands, firstly in the late 80s to early 90s then more recently with The Wildflowerz and now 'all the Colors'. He has a media background heavily involved in music that has seen him design album covers for Charlie Landsbourgh, write articles on bands like Big Country for newspapers such as the Inverness Courier to promoting the likes of Nik Kershaw on his Scottish tour. You can contact Mark at

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