Black Star Riders @ Wulfrun Hall, 8th November, 2017

Tonight Birmingham Live have the chance to see Black Star Riders a band we’ve followed for a long time, our reviewer/photographer Chris reports in. Entering the venue I see some regular faces, fans, security and venue staff.  Its great to be back at the Wulfrun  and I’m looking forward to seeing a great band and support line-up.

Kicking off the night is Dirty Thrills with some charismatic Blues infused Rock.  I felt they were good for an opening act. Following next was Tax the Heat, Brum Live caught these guys before where they supported Terrovision.

Wearing very much the same attire as back in 2016, however they now have a black lace neck tie and sport their support for Remembrance day with a Poppy on the guitar head.  They are very clean cut image wise, sharp and slick . Their image contrasts with expectation as you would expect a more traditional rock image.

The fans clearly are in support of Tax The Heat from the off.  We hear On The Run, though it’s a more subtle head nod.   With each track comes cheers and claps.  Then Highway Home and Stood on the Platform to Leave with solid vocals and minimalistic guitars.  Jack Taylor (drums smiles throughout) and the energetic moves come from Alex Veale (vocals/guitars.  A short but strong set was completed with Fed to the Lions (album title track) and Change Your Position.  “We are Tax The Heat We would love to see you again, Will we?” the crowd clap and cheer away. I’m sure they will.

A quick mention for Swedish rockers Blue Pills whilst the sounds were good I quite enjoyed their set and Elin Larsson (vocals) was as captivating as ever.   It seemed heavily reliant on her energy to keep the crowd entertained with little interaction or display coming from the band.  Their outfits drew some attention, for me I didnt think it was enough.

Now, the one we have been waiting for Black Star Riders. What can we say that hasn’t been said before?  Not a lot really considering that in their current incarnation they have been going a number of years now.

Opening up with some old favourites – All Hell Breaks Loose and the epic Finest Hour loudly sung throughout the venue by fans.  Rocking into their latest album’s title track Heavy Fire with vibrant guitar riffs, their skill does not fluster.

Scott is an absolute pleasure to watch. He still rocks like a younger man but with far more subtlety and he plays with great skill.  Damon on the other hand does both but has the energy to match.  Dancing with the wrong girl slows things down a bit as does Hey Judas as Ricky sings “I Still Love you Judas” as the crowd cheers and clap.  “After everything you’ve done” “I still trust you Judas” they continue to clap and cheer, then the beat kicks in and we are into another hit.


There is no disappointment watching the Riders, they deliver a solid hour and a half of belting out hits, they give their all, every time.   Ricky is a solider as he plays with such conviction, every move every lyric is played with intense emotion and this is what makes them shine.

Tracks are played that many fans will expect and we get the Lizzy cover Jailbreak which picksup the pace.  Then Ticket to Rise followed by the melodic When the Night Comes in which the rest of the band leave the stage while new recruit metal drummer (from Breaking Benjamin) Chad Szeliga gets to shine with an epic solo.  This has an array of lighting shining down on him as he belts it out to crowd,  Chad is a cool addition.

Finishing tonight in high spirits is Bound For Glory probably their best known track and equally a favourite for many, then Whiskey in the Jar going back from Lizzy days (which I cannot relate to being a touch young) but if its even half as good as this version I wish I had the chance.

I can’t wait to see Black Star Riders again, I’m sure it will be about the same time next year!


Black Star Riders- Set List

All Hell Breaks Loose

Finest Hour

Heavy Fire

Testify or Say Goodbye


Before the War

Dancing With the Wrong Girl

Hey Judas

Cold War Love

Before the War


Jailbreak (Thin Lizzy cover)

Ticket to Rise

When the Night Comes In

Drum Solo

Kingdom of the Lost

Bound for Glory

Whiskey in the Jar

Tax The Heat

On the Run


Highway Home

Money In The Bank

Stood on the Platform to Leave

Learn to Drown (You’re Wrong)

Fed to the Lions

Change Your Position

Review and Photographs: Chris Bowley

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