Anticipation is high as the ever increasing main stage crowd eagerly await Black Star Riders to appear, following the most critically acclaimed new album by a classic rock band in years and no one is left wanting.

Opening with the title track ‘All Hell Breaks Loose from their recent release the band hit their stride immediately, Ricky Warwick grabbing control of the audience from the first line whilst looking almost 10 years younger with his cowboy hat and facial hair, Marco Mendoza (bass) instantly starts working the crowd with poses and singalongs, Scott Gorham and his leather trousers ooze “legend” for the entire set and sort of new drummer for this sort of new band Jimmy DeGrasso just fits right in like this isn’t his first tour with them.

Once we’re under way the tunes keep coming with the likes of ‘Jailbreak’, ‘Bloodshot’, ‘Hey Judas’ and ‘Rosalie’ all going down a storm, which makes you realise just how much better these songs are live. I have to admit it took a couple of listens for me to get into the album and I’m still not completely sold on it, but I enjoyed each and every one of those songs so much it made me want to listen to the album again.

The second half of the show seemed to be a little more Thin Lizzy in feel, in terms of the song choices, ‘Kingdom of the Lost’ being the most “Oirish” song on “All Hell Breaks Loose”, which was then followed by ‘Whiskey in the Jar’. Many people are bored of that song, many people slated MetallicA for covering that song, my own girlfriend’s dad when I told him I played a Thin Lizzy tune said, “not ‘Whiskey…’ I hope”, yet somehow when the original guitar player is stood in front of you as part of what is essentially a supergroup and starts that hook in the blazing sunshine, there isn’t a single person who isn’t enjoying themselves.

Ending on a double hitter of ‘Bound for Glory’ and ‘Boys Are Back in Town’, there is no denying that Black Star Riders are planning on being around for a while longer yet and that performance more than likely sold a few more tickets for the UK tour in November, I know I’ll be there.

Black Star Riders – Facebook Page

Download Festival –  Official Website