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Darren Wharton's Renegade

Artists: Darren Wharton's Renegade

Venue: Bury, The Met

Date: 9th June 2024


"The fact everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves was not lost on the enthusiastic crowd, who managed to provide the requisite backing vocals when needed."

 
© Dave Bott
© Dave Bott

When Darren Wharton announced a series of shows performing Thin Lizzy classics, with what is essentially the Dare line-up, I was unsure about attending. There are a host of Lizzy tribute bands doing the rounds, and we have also had various “original” versions of the band during the last thirty years or so. Being a huge Thin Lizzy fan, not to mention being a lover of all things Dare, I decided to give it a whirl.


I have visited The Met in Bury many times, but this Sunday night (despite the horrendous weather conditions) was the busiest I have ever seen it. There was no support, so the band took to the stage at 8pm and launched straight into ‘Angel Of Death’, which is the opening song on the ‘Renegade’ album; one of three featuring Darren Wharton. It was great to see Wharton use his keytar for the intro, before the song began for real. The six-piece Renegade band was completed by Vinny Burns (guitar), Nigel Clutterbuck (bass), Greg Morgan (drums), Andy Moore (guitar) and Marc Roberts (keyboards) and from the start it was obvious everyone in attendance was in store for something special. Taking in the first four or five songs at the barrier (before removing my large frame to a spot nearer the middle of the room) allowed the energy levels to wash over me, whilst trying to get some decent photos, and the ever-smiling Darren Wharton took on the role of ringmaster with ease, even taking time to ask members of the audience how the Bury name should actually be pronounced. All the songs you would expect to be played were, though it would have been great to hear some of the deeper cuts from the aforementioned ‘Renegade’, ‘Chinatown’ and ‘Thunder And Lightning’. Andy Moore and Vinny Burns made light work of the twin guitar roles, reproducing many of the solos faithfully, yet still managing to give them their own identity. Nigel Clutterbuck and Greg Morgan made a fierce rhythm section, and Marc Roberts underpinned the sound with some subtle keyboard textures. The fact everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves was not lost on the enthusiastic crowd, who managed to provide the requisite backing vocals when needed.


It would be pointless to go through the setlist song by song, as every single one will be regarded as classics by Thin Lizzy fans. It is even impossible to pick out individual highlights as the full two-hour show was one long highlight. Darren seemed to be having a great time straight from the off, and one Philip Parris Lynott could only have been looking down with a big smile on his face. As I headed out into the torrential rain, with the strains of ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ echoing from the packed room, I couldn’t help but feel I had witnessed something special. There are more shows planned for 2024, and I will be taking in at least one more. Fantastic!


 

Review & Photos: Dave Bott

 

Gallery: All photos © Dave Bott (used with kind permission)

 

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