One of the true legends of Irish rock music is set to grace a stage in Castlederg next month.
Eric Bell, one of the founding members of Thin Lizzy, will be performing at the Townhouse Bar on Saturday, October 12.
Possibly best known for his blistering guitar action on two of Thin Lizzy’s early chart hits namely, ‘Whiskey In The Jar’ and ‘The Rocker’ as well as their first three albums, Eric Bell has also worked with some of the world’s most prominent artists including Van Morrison and Bo Diddley.
In this 50th anniversary year of Thin Lizzy, the legendary guitarist and founder member will play early ‘Lizzy’ classics – such as the aforementioned tunes and others, plus choice cuts from his two acclaimed albums ‘Exile’ and ‘Standing At A Bus Stop’. Bell has always pursued a solo career since leaving Thin Lizzy and has recorded some five albums, with fine self penned songs. He has toured all over the world playing his own, inimitable brand of what some people have described as ‘Celtic tinged blues.’
He began his career with local groups around the Belfast area, including the last incarnation of Them to feature Van Morrison, between September and October 1966.
He also played with a number of other bands including Shades of Blue, The Earth Dwellers and The Bluebeats, before joining an Irish showband named The Dreams.
He left in 1969 having tired of the showband format, and at the end of that year he formed a band with local musicians Phil Lynott, Eric Wrixon and Brian Downey. Bell named the group Thin Lizzy, after Tin Lizzie, a robot character in The Dandy comic.
Although Thin Lizzy gained in popularity during the early 1970s, the pressures of recording, touring and the excesses of the rock star lifestyle began to take their toll.
He left the band after a New Year’s Eve concert in 1973, after throwing his guitar into the air in the middle of the concert, pushing the amplifiers into the audience and storming off stage.
He stated later that he had no regrets about leaving. He was temporarily replaced by Gary Moore.
In 1980, Bell reunited with Thin Lizzy to record a tribute song to Jimi Hendrix, ‘Song for Jimmy.’
Bell has continued to perform and record with the Eric Bell Band throughout the 1990s and 2000s, releasing several albums.
In 2005, he joined Gary Moore on-stage to perform “Whiskey in the Jar” at the Phil Lynott tribute concert ‘The Boy Is Back in Town’ in the Point Theatre, Dublin. This was released on a DVD called One Night in Dublin: A Tribute to Phil Lynott.
• Tickets for Eric Bell at the Townhouse are available from TicketSource, or on the door priced at £15 plus booking fee.