28th Vibe - 'Fight or Fall' - 2014

Original PR from the 28th Vibe
Vibe for Philo 2014 Artwork

1976. A thumping great riff kicks in as the needle hits the groove, and 9 classic tracks later you know those twin-guitars have irreversible change the aural-landscape forever. Jailbreak really was something special - all dressed up in a sleeve which saw Jim Fitzpatrick in the form of his life. This was rock music as you'd only dreamed about, then track two, side two, came the curve ball - a country/soul tour-d-force called Fight or Fall. It's a bit like the Vibe really. We love those curve balls! When someone takes a different direction and after the journey's over your left wondering just how they navigated there in the first place.

You probably don't watch the news anymore, but apparently, the recession is officially over. So it's time to come out of those dark days into the light again. Like everyone we have been cutting back in recent times but we fell now is the time, as we head towards the 30th anniversary, to take up the challenge and go for the big one. It's a time to take risks - to 'Fight or Fall' if you like. In the company of Aiken Promotions we're heading back to Vicar Street - scene of some of the most memorable vibes of the past decade - and were already looking for that Curve Ball that will send you all home sated, satisfied, and sweatin' after a spectacular 5 hour extravaganza.

Brian Grace is back in the Musical Directors chair - who apart from performing with The Low Riders will provide musical accompaniment to our Special Guests.

Jim Fitzpatrick

Jim Fitzpatrick. For some it was Che Guevara. For others it was those extraordinary Celtic Women. However, for many of us it was a fusion of the Celtic with Marvel Comic Strips, into an extraordinary series of artworks for Whiskey in the Jar and Randolph's Tango which started a partnership which would change our Rock 'n Roll landscape forever. By the time of the Vagabonds album, Jim Fitzpatrick's artwork was like an extra member of Thin Lizzy as it visually defined what Philip Lynott was writing musically.

Since Philo's sad passing Jim has been an important supporter of The Vibe - not only supplying rare artworks on numerous occasions for us to use but performing Philip's poetry at a number of Vibes. Jim has graciously supplied us with stunning artwork for the 2014 Vibe which has already got the inspirational juices flowing, and is guaranteed to become yet another classic collectors item.

Do yourself a favour - drop by Jim's website and check out the incredible artwork on offer. The Thin Lizzy section will be of particular interest to vibers, but there's a wealth of jaw-dropping artwork available to own today!

In addition to the Main Vibe for Philo gig in 2014, a YOUNG ROCKERS VIBE (Matinee for younger Vibers) took place on 5th January 2014.

Unfortunately I'm short of info on all of the acts who played the Young Rockers Vibe on the day. If you see yourself or anyone you might recognise in the gallery below please contact me and I'll update the this section! In the meantime, I have added the YRV images to the main gallery below.

Contact pastvibes @ vibeforphilo.com (without the spaces obviously!).

Vibe for Philo 2014 Lineup

Smiley Bolger

For 27 years Smiley Bolger has been the genial host and MC of the Vibe for Philo. Smiley is so inextricably linked with Lynott that it is often overlook that he was a campaigning DJ, Promoter, Journalist and TV personality promoting new Irish musical acts. His Saturday Live at Three Sessions gave a platform for many young bands to get a break, while the New Inn Gig will forever be associated with legendary shows with A & R men jumping over each other to sign new acts. Smiley's association with Philo pre-dates Thin Lizzy and ranges from acting as on tour DJ to actually playing support as The Half Mad Irishman at Slane Castle (Ireland) in 1981. The latter came out of the infamous Alternative Song Contest, which so impressed Philo that he asked Smiley to "do a vibe for me sometime." The rest as they say, is history...

Brendan Bonass - The Fight Begins!

Stepaside Legend and Composer Brenny Bonass has kindly given us a short but beautiful piece of music called "The Fight Begins" which will kick off the 28th Vibe. Written specially for the event the piece draws on the "Mythological, Celtic undertone in Lizzy music inspired by Phil's writing and Jim Fitzpatrick's unique artistic contribution" according to Brenny. It's a while since we have had a world premier but this short but stunning overture, played by Brenny and producer Shea Fitzgerald, is the perfect start to what is shaping up to be a cracking show!

The Lizzy Experience

Song for Song, "Fighting" has to be one of the all time favourite Lizzy albums. For the past few years we've had the idea of performing the full album track by track, back to back, unfortunately the timing wasn't always right, or the bill too full, or other projects got in the way. Then we saw our old friend Keith Grogan fronting The Lizzy Experience and we thought this is it. Regular Vibers are in for a shock and a more than pleasant surprise as Keith, normally seen playing the more folksy, ballad numbers, is now a fully fledged Rockgod - and a rather good one too. Backed up by some rather tasty guitars and a hot rhythm section, Fighting, courtesy of The Lizzy Experience will be the opening act of the 28th Vibe. Visit the bands FaceBook page.

The Band are Keith Grogan - Vocals, John Nesbitt - Lead Guitar, Phil Kennedy - Lead Guitar, Noel O'Brien - Bass & Vocals, & Stuart Burke - Drums.


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Neither apparently. Smiley is keeping tight-lipped about his Special Guest slot - even the web department don't have any details on what he has lined up!

If you have any idea what he's up to, put your answers on the back of a ten euro note and send it to:

The Vibe web dept.,
Craggy Island Community Hall,

Sal Vitro

Veterans of the 27th Vibe still have vivid memories of the powerful, soul-dripping, journey Sal Vitro took "Dear Miss Lonely Heart" on. The boys were one of the real revelations of last year and we couldn't resist the temptation of bringing them back for a more extended set just to see where they might take us in 2014.

The Boys are a pretty handy little combo in their own right, fusing soul with indie-guitar driven rock, all held together with the hypnotic lived-in vocals of Josh Dunsford. They have a huge reputation from last year and their set is bound to be one of the most anticipated of the 28th Vibe.

Pat Coldrick & Dick Farrelly

We like to do things different at the Vibe and over the years we have explored the Lizzy genre through Dance, Trad, Jazz, Rap, and beyond. So, when we came across Pat Coldrick, the light bulbs went on, the alarms went off, and we thought we just had to get him for the 28th Vibe.

Something of a Guitarist's Guitarist, Pat is one of Ireland's leading exponents of the Classical Guitar and in recent times has been gathering rave reports for his interpretations of more modern musical genres. He's gracefully offered to play a two song set which is already shaping up to be one of 2014's highlights. First up is the Philo/Gary number, “Spanish Guitar” one of the very few Lynott numbers yet to be attempted over the past quarter century of the Vibe. The wonderful “Sarah” is also included in Pat's set and he's looking forward to teaming up with legendary guitarist Dick Farrelly for special acoustic arrangments of these tunes. Visit Pat's website here

The Low Riders

It's a fairly open secret at this stage but the Les Pauls are polished down and restrung, the Marshall amps cranked up, and the Low Riders are back onboard one more year. The Low Riders - Matt, Phil, Brian, and Flamin' Eamo's exploration of the Lizzy Power Trio Era over the past couple of years have been astonishing and demonstrate just why those early albums were worth re-releasing.

Their Live and Dangerous is untouchable, and with Matt obsessing over those rare, soulful, lesser know jewels from the Lynott song catalogue, these boys are guaranteed to excite, delight, and mesmerise your senses.

As James Bond once said “nobody does it better” and these guys are the one Lizzy Tribute you really have to see before you die.

Philomena Lynott

Author, Celebrity, Social Commentator, and Philo's Ma.

No Vibe is complete without a "word" from Philomena Lynott. Probably the coolest Rock 'n' Roll Grandmother on the planet, Philomena's energy levels continue to astonish those a third of her age, as she has tirelessly promoted her sons legacy over the past three decades - one of the highlights of which is the statue on Harry Street Dublin.

Musical Youth Foundation - Charity Raffle

When we came across the Musical Youth Foundation we felt we just had to make them the object of our charity fundraising raffle at the 2014 show. With a simple motto of “making a musical education available to all children on the island of Ireland” we feel it's a really worthwhile cause. Check out their website for more on the amazing work of this wonderful organization. For more see: musicalyouthfoundation.org

Dizzy Lizzy

Formed in 1994, Dizzy Lizzy dedicate themselves to bringing the classic twin-guitar sound of Thin Lizzy to a modern audience. No strangers to The Vibe, the UK midlands four-piece have been “spreading the word around” from Los Angeles to Dubai with their classic, foot-stomping, anthem driven, live shows. Those who attended the 2013 Young Rockers Matinee will have vivid memories of front man H mentoring some rather tasty new kids on the block through their Lizzy guitar-paces. So 2014 seemed the perfect time to bring all the Boys Back to Town as the dynamic closing act of the 2014 Vibe.

Vibe 2014 Review - Fight or Fall

By Colm O Hare - Hot Press Magazine

The 28th Vibe saw the annual, commemorative Philo-fest return to Vicar Street - a move more than justified by the huge crowd that turned out on what was a very stormy night indeed.

The atmosphere on approaching the venue was palpable; while in the bar before the show, giant video projections of both Thin Lizzy and Lynott solo films, whetted the appetite for what was to come. The merchandise stalls did a steady trade in t-shirts, posters and even belt buckles! Rockers and rock chicks of all ages from across the continent and across the world mingled excitedly, with more than one Black Rose tattoo on display and a few impressive (if incongruous) Mohicans.

MC for the evening was, as ever, the indefatigable Smiley Bolger, long time friend of the much-missed Dublin legend and the instigator of the annual Vibe for Philo. The theme of this year's Vibe was “Fight or Fall”, a call to arms if ever there was one.

Without fanfare, first act of the night The Lizzy Experience took to the stage for a complete performance of the Fightin' album. It was a popular choice and tracks like the opening salvo 'Rosalie' along with Lizzy live favourites 'Suicide' and 'Wild One' were performed with an impressive power and glory.

Next up was young Belfast troubadour Conor Scott, introduced by Smiley thusly: "Every year, Philip sends us something special and this year is no exception." Praise indeed and with just an acoustic guitar and voice, Scott delivered in spades with his own interpretations of a handful of Lizzy tunes the absolute highlight being a terrific crowd-participating version of the Nightlife track 'She Knows'.

Billed as "Smiley's surprise guests", Age, as their name suggests, were the youngest musicians on stage tonight by a long shot. And with the imprimatur of Philomena Lynott herself, who told the crowd they reminded her of seeing an 11-year-old Philo in Mount Argus Church Hall they played a stormer putting in tremendous versions of 'Dancing In The Moonlight' along with a killer run through AC/DC's 'Highway to Hell'.

Not quite as young, Dublin outfit Sal Vitro were one of the big hits of last year's Vibe and they received a rapturous welcome for a brilliant set that included a rocking version of the Vagabonds Of The Western World track 'Song For While I'm Away' and a soulful slow-burning 'Dear Miss Lonely Hearts'.

Meanwhile, Pat Coldrick and Dick Farrelly promised "a distortion free zone" for the duration of their performance and offered a sublime acoustic classical take on the gorgeous 'Sarah' with the crowds joining in on the chorus. They also performed a lovely, classically-inspired 'Whiskey In The Jar' (Their set was er, enlivened considerably by the appearance of a beautiful young lady onstage who flashed her “thigh tattoo” of Philo to huge cheers. It was that kind of night!)

Meanwhile, another Vibe favourite The Low Riders delivered a punchy electric mix of a set that included a blistering pair in 'Angel From The Coast' and 'Black Boys On The Corner'. A glowing Philomena Lynott returned to the stage for the now traditional address to the faithful: “Thank you all, thank you all, for coming tonight and to those who were at the cemetery earlier today," she beamed, while also informing the crowds of the details of the forthcoming limited edition Book Of The Phil Lynott Exhibition.

It was left to UK outfit Dizzy Lizzy (who looked and sounded scarily like the real thing) to bring the night home and they did so with an incendiary set that included favourites such as 'Killer On The Loose' and 'Don't Believe A Word', the highlight arguably a stunning, emotion-packed 'Still In Love With You'.

What a night!
- See more at the Hot Press website.

Vibe for Philo 2014 Gallery

Images thanks to:
Darragh Owens
Raymond Wright
Simon Peare

The Lizzy Experience
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Conor Scott
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Musical Youth Foundation
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Sal Vitro
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Pat Coldrick / Dick Farrelly
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The Low Riders
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Young Rockers Vibe
Afternoon Matinee - Jan 5th 2014
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