Founded from a personal request by Phil Lynott in 1981 to "Do a Vibe for me sometime" through rain, hail, and snow, the Vibe has kept the flag flying for Philo in his home town of Dublin each 4th January - the anniversary of his death.
This years theme is Black Rose - and sees the Vibe renew its association with the artist Jim Fitzpatrick who executed the classic sleeve for the album of that name. Jim has read Philo's poetry at several Vibes as well as regularly providing us with some classic original Lizzy artwork for Vibe visuals. This year he has kindly consented to give us an alternative take on The Black Rose artwork in the form of a previously unpublished poster design for the album.
The venue for the 25th Vibe will see a return to the 1500 capacity Vicar Street. Due to the unprecedented number of enquiries from overseas visitors for tickets we've taken the unusual step of making tickets available online while were still in the process of finalising the details of the show. As we are approaching Philo's birthday it seemed appropriate to tie in with the day and tickets will be available from www.tickets.ie and also through www.ticketmaster.ie from 9.00am GMT on 20th August. Already the bill is looking really exciting and as we confirm acts we will be making announcements.
When Metallica invited Eric Bell to perform with them in Dublin a few years ago, for many in the audience, it was their first exposure to the man who not only founded Thin Lizzy, but was the driving, innovative guitarist behind their first three albums. Outside of Eric's appearances at the Vibe, (including the very first Vibe in London), and the collections of traders and hardcore Lizzy fans, knowledge of his blistering guitar work with Thin Lizzy was largely limited to Youtube videos of The Rocker and Whiskey in the Jar.
Now those crucial first three albums are back in the shops with bonus live recordings and out-takes which show what a central part Eric played in the development of the Lizzy sound.
Meanwhile Eric has a new album "Lonely Nights in London" so it's never been more timely to have him back on the bill, backed by the Hoodoos with a number of very special supporters onboard, which should make this one of his most memorable performances at the Vibe ever.
The exciting news is that Brian "Robbo" Robertson will headline the 2011 event with his new band featuring Ian Haugland (Europe), Leif Sundin (MSG), Nalle Pahlsson (Treat), Chris Laney and Liny Wood.
As an 18 year old Robbo entered the world of Thin Lizzy and over four studio albums defined the Thin Lizzy twin guitar attack; wrote some of the most recognizable riffs in Rock Music (Are You Ready, Don't Believe a Word); and laid down the seminal blues guitarwork of the classic "Still in love with You."
Robbo has a long association with the Vibe having played the 5th, 9th, 12th, 15th, and 20th Vibes. His new album "Diamonds and Dirt" features 4 Lizzy era tracks and Robbo will be taking time out from promoting it to play in Dublin on 4th January 2011.
He stated "obviously the 4th January is an emotional time for me and there's no better way to commemorate it than being in Dublin with all those Lizzy supporters who love Phil so much, many of whom weren't even born when he died."
Robbo's performances at the Vibe, both on and off stage, are almost legendary at this point. His endless supply of stories and general warmth and conviviality at the after-show parties are almost as fondly remembered by supporters as his playing.
When someone can attract players from the likes of Kiss, Hanoi Rocks, Europe, Treat, and Randy Piper's Animals to play on your first solo album, you know it's someone special. When you have a deal for your own custom designed guitar - well that says it all.
Chris Laney is a multi-award winning producer/ songwriter, who also plays a mean guitar with the likes of Zan Clan among others. Recently he's produced Robbo's forthcoming album "Diamonds and Dirt" and were delighted to announce that Chris will be joining Robbo as special guest guitarist to add some "danger" to the "Live" Set.
Take some of the best players from the best bands at the Vibe over the past two decades - twist, stir, and shake them and you've got The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils.
Anchoring things as the House Band in recent times they were one of the great success stories of last year's vibe when they played the full Live and Dangerous Set - and then took it on tour to raptuous applause.
Vibe MD Brian Grace is promising to cast the net wide for their 2011 setlist and they will have a tasty choice of guests in what promises to be yet another explosive show.
When we first met Matt Wilson and Phil Edgar they were half half of the late lamented Tizz Lizzy tribute band. Currently they both play with two of the hotest indie outfits in Northern Ireland.
Phil's Bandwagon are topping the Northern Irish Charts, and Matt's Dead President's are in line to contribute to a forthcoming Jimi Hendrix Tribute Album.
a bit of persuasion from Smiley they've decided to come together again for the 25th Vibe with Gnasher drummer Lenny, and Guitar mystro Brian Grace completing the line-up.
Known for their larger than life, high energy interpretations Philo's back catalogue, the boys promise a set that will excite, delight, and impress even the purest of hardcore Lizzy supporters. Welcome aboard boys - the bill just got so hot it's like a furnace.
The Pat McManus Band are a powerful three piece Blues/Rock Trio, headed up by the former Mama's Boys and Celtus guitarist/violinist Pat McManus (AKA 'The Professor'), Who is joined on drums by Co.Tyrone man Paul Faloon and Dublin bassist Gordon Sheridan.
Pat McManus is perhaps best know for his previous band Mama's Boys, which he formed with his brothers John and Tommy in the eighties.
Mama's Boys although very young, soon proved to be a great success in the Rock World and were one of the greatest rock bands to come out of Northern Ireland, with Pat being the writing and driving force behind the band. In Ireland the band are prehaps best known for their No.1 hit Needle in the Groove and during the eighties and nineties toured the world working along side such acts as BonJovi, Sting, Ratt, The Scorpions, Hawkwind, Rory Gallagher, Thin Lizzy -Thunder and Lightning Tour, Wishbone Ash, Deep Purple, Marillion, Rush, Twisted Sister and so, so many more.
They held the house record for the prestigious Marquee Club in London and were the only unsigned act to play the Reading Rock Festival. During their career the band recorded eight albums and scored hits both at home, as well as in America and Japan.
Now is your chance to see Pat & the boys plus special guest Bat Kinane at the Vibe...
On his newly released solo album A lifetime to Kill Bat has guest musicians working with him including Rob Strong, Dave Roe (Johnny Cash/Kris Kristofferson), and Pat Mc Manus.
Don't miss this chance to see Bat tread the boards as special guest of the Pat McManus Band.
The latest addition to the Bill for the 2011 Vibe is Conor McGouran. Conor made his Vibe debut around the age of 12 and gave us regular progress reports up to the age of 16. His tour de force playing at the Vibe while still at school made many an up and coming guitar hero return to the day job having being exposed to Conor's youthful virtuosity. From the start it was obvious he was a genius/wizard on the fretboard, although Smiley lost a lot of hair during that period as he tried to convince him that less was more and he needed to slow down. He was last seen at the 15th Vibe when his mile-a-minute, Bach-ian rendition of Emerald brought the house down.
Now Conor is 26 and it seeemed right to get an update on his progress.In the meantine he's played and toured with the likes of Bobby Kimball (Toto), Riccardo Cocciante, Brian Robertson, Noel Redding (Jimi Hendrix), Bagatelle, Springbreak, Groove Epidemic, Big Digger, Rereleased, Knucklehead.... to name only a few. When not touring Conor does demonstrations for Mesa Boogie, Peavey and Line 6. He may have slowed down but he's still got a take on Lizzy that is bound to delight, excite, and enthrall even the most diehard supporters.
The Band are:
How high can the bar go? Through the roof we think! Well, it is the 25th anniversary - so we thought why not start off the way we mean to continue.
Vibe regulars need no introduction to Paul Toal and Jimmy Coup's Lizzy alter ego - Gnasher. Jimmy's exploration of Lost Lizzy Recordings, and Gnashers trawl through the Vagabonds Era have been a number of the highlights they've provided us over the years. From their explosive last appearance at The Button Factory in 2009 they guarantee a Live and Dangerous Ride on the Lizzymobile like no other band can do.
Last seen at Philo's Surprise Birthday Bash out in Howth last year, (check out the Bootlegs on Youtube), the Boys will be the opening act at the 25th Vibe. That's right! Gnasher will be opening the show - Are you ready for it? They are, and they're not taking any prisoners!
Now based in America, singer-songwriter Mark Dignam has been compared to the likes of Van Morrison, Elvis Costello, and Billy Bragg.
From the same school of Grafton Street Buskers as Glen Hansard and The Hot House Flowers, Mark is an old friend of The Vibe and remembered for some rather powerful interpretations of "Sarah."
He's been described as delivering "powerful, three-dimensional performances, a songwriters songwriter, and yet an accessible gem". Welcome home Mark.
Fifteen-year-old Leanne Harte took to the stage and wowed the crowds at the 17th Vibe for Philo in Vicar Street. A year later Leanne formed her first band, and had written, recorded & released her critically acclaimed debut EP 'Eradication'.
At 19 Leanne went to the UK to record her self titled debut album 'Leanne Harte' with legendary producer Chris Tsangarides (Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, Free, Joan Armatrading, Depeche Mode). Gary Moore's band performed on the album, which is now considered by music critics to be one of the best debut albums ever released by an Irish artist.
Leanne surprised everyone a year later (2007) by travelling to Paris to record a live solo acoustic version of her debut album along (with some new songs) and the result was the much loved 'An Irish Girl in Paris'. It was a risk that paid off as the album was very well received by the fans and music critics alike.
Shortly after that, and still in her teens Leanne decided to take a break and go to college for three years to study & qualify in multimedia. She was never comfortable with the early 'fame' and needed some timeout. Whilst in college she continued writing and played the occasional gig.
She is now ready to take centre stage once again, has formed a new band, written a lot of new material - is recording again and is headed back to where she is happiest - onstage.
It's fitting that Leanne's return for the 25th Anniversary Vibe for Philo will complete a full circle and see her return to prominence once again. Are you ready? Leanne is!
Tony Powell is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, who has been playing, performing, and teaching music over 25 years. He is a founding member of the rock band "Animal Grace" based out of Ohio in the United States. His influences range from rock, blues, folk, country, and gospel. He has performed in various clubs and venues all over the Midwest in the States and occasionally performs as a solo acoustic act. His all time favorite artist and influence is Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy. Ever since his uncle bought him "Johnny The Fox" for Christmas one year, he has been hooked.
Tony has also had the pleasure and opportunity to see some tributes to Philip and the band over the years as well. He has traveled to Wolverhampton in England in 1994 and 2 Vibes in Dublin, Ireland in 1998 and 2006. He has also had the ultimate pleasure of meeting Philomena Lynott and visiting the room at White Horses on 2 occasions. He is planning to return to Dublin in 2011 for the 25th Vibe.
This past spring, Tony recorded an acoustic tribute to Philip and Thin Lizzy. The 7 song EP is available to download on his website for FREE!. It has been well received from listeners all over the world. You can check out the web page devoted to the project at: www.animalgrace.com
Oscar Winner, Movie Star, Multi-award winning Singer-songwriter, and he's featured in The Simpsons, Glen Hansard has his own anniversary this year as The Frames celebrate 20 years on the Road. We haven't seen Glen at the Vibe since the 10th but he's back as a special guest.
The bill is starting to reach boiling point!
Over the years, given its brief, the Vibe has necessarily been a mixed affair. This, the 25th such event, was a 6 hour extravaganza, undoubtedly one of the best since its inception.
Gnasher (featuring Jimmy Coup from Andrew WK's band) kicked off the evening with a belter of a set, including a stellar 'Baby Face' and a beguiling 'Showdown'.
Other early highlights included the Conor McGouran Quartet who blasted through a high octane 'Bad Reputation' and 'Opium Trail'. Conor and Mark Bolton's twin guitar attack was certainly a sight to behold.
During quieter moments Mark Dignam admirably tackled 'Fatalistic Attitude', Leanne Harte charmed with 'A Tribute to Sandy Denny' and BP Fallon recited his spoken word tribute to Philip.
Mama's Boy Pat McManus stole the show however, with his eyewatering guitar work on 'Parisienne Walkways' and 'Róisin Dubh' (Complete with fiddle intro). His mile wide grin and obvious enthusiasm whipped the crowd up into a mini-frenzy. He bid us adieu with his own 'Needle in the Groove'.
The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils took to the stage next and treated us to an array of classics which also included Glen Hansard guesting on a powerful 'Jailbreak'. Hats off to axemen Brian Grace and Phil Edgar and vocalist John Conlon (an uncanny Lynott sound-alike). If you closed your eyes you could have been in the Rainbow in 77!
Eric Bell arrived to effusive applause. A surprisingly adept vocalist, he wowed with several Decca-era favourites such as 'Ray Gun' and 'Look What The Wind Just Blew In'. 'Whiskey In The Jar' caused a mass singalong and a boisterous 'The Rocker' illustrated his masterful guitar prowess.
Following an address by Philomena, Brian Robertson's band showcased some songs from their new album (a choice that was decidedly not popular with some of the audience) before switching to Lizzy mode. A raucous 'Don't Believe A Word', 'Rosalie' and 'Are You Ready' brought the evening to a close.
A fitting tribute.
Images thanks to: