Interview By Alison Booth
Where to start with a THIN LIZZY legend! Drummer Brian Downey was a founding member of the legendary Irish rockers along with Phil Lynott, an integral part of that classic Lizzy sound with band throughout their career of twelve studio albums. Brian is now back with his new band – BRIAN DOWNEY’S ALIVE AND DANGEROUS.
Ahead of the band’s performance this weekend (Saturday 10th February) in London at Nell’s Jazz & Blues, I had a very interesting conversation with Brian about the band, their forthcoming show and the future, as well as other fascinating aspects of Brian‘s career, including THIN LIZZY and working with Phil Lynott, Gary Moore and Chris Tsangarides. Check out a few written excerpts and the full audio below:
Discussing the formation of BRIAN DOWNEY’S ALIVE AND DANGEROUS, Brian explained:
“The band was actually called The Low Riders at that time. I was actually invited down by Brian Grace our guitar player, he was playing that night. So I arrived down, I didn’t even intend to play, but they asked me to play when I got there and I got up and jammed for maybe about half an hour with the guys. And it was really an incredible experience because they knew the songs really well. It was really enjoyable to play onstage with the guys.
We got chatting about things and I didn’t really intend to ask them there and then to come on board, but over a few days I realised these were the guys I’d been looking for.”
Regarding the show in London, Brian stated:
“We also played there back in November. It really was two great nights because both nights were packed – a great atmosphere, lots of real Lizzy fans there, real Lizzy supporters as Phil Lynott used to say. So we’re really looking forward to going back there on the tenth (February).
The band is called Brian Downey’s Alive And Dangerous, we took the name obviously from Live And Dangerous, the live album, that’s forty years release this year. So we’re going to do most of the tracks off Live And Dangerous and there’s one or two other ones in there, little surprises for the fans. But generally it’s based on the Live And Dangerous album.”
Brian reflected on his THIN LIZZY days:
“It was an incredible time in my life, maybe the best time ever. When we started off, it was kinda hard, it took us a while to get a foothold in the music industry. We went to England and based ourselves in West Hampstead and luckily enough, Decca Records weren’t too far away. It was great to get signed up by Decca in the early seventies, it was a big label then.
It was a struggle for a few years and then suddenly we had a hit record on our hands with Whisky In The Jar. Decca were given the songs – one was Whisky In The Jar and the other was Black Boys On The Corner, which Phil had written as the A side. But when it went to Dick Rowe in Decca Records, he had a listen and decided to flip them around. We had a few issues about it and there was talk in the band, ‘why’s he doing this, he’s going to ruin our career!’ but that wasn’t the case at all. In fact, he made the right decision and the song went into the charts. We got the Top of the Pops slot and that really put the band on the map and we never looked back since.”
For more information on BRIAN DOWNEY’S ALIVE AND DANGEROUS, follow the official Facebook page here and check the official website at this location. There will also be a special Blackdiamond’s Metal Mayhem radio show coming up on http://www.totalrock.com – stay tuned!