In recent months your reviewer has been on a trek to review, meet and interview a host of top class covers bands from across the UK and Ireland. One that kept eluding me was Dublin-based band Lixx. I had heard so much about them, but was never in the same area when they played. But this past week the stars aligned and dreams became a reality.
Where many tribute artists tackle one band Lixx have opted to take on a whole decade of hair metal instead. Their 1980s set list is a veritable who’s who of the era and has the unique ability of being able to please everyone from the most hardened metal fan to those who prefer their rock music a lot more subtle.
As a live band Lixx go all out to impress, they don wigs, dress accordingly and most of all they belt out the tunes with such ferociousness and enthusiasm that you really don’t want to miss a song at all (even if nature or a beer top-up come calling!). That is something to be very proud of indeed for a band, as it means they are most certainly entertaining their crowd to the best of their ability.The crowd in question this fine night in Belfast’s Voodoo Bar were more than up for proceedings. They covered a variety of age ranges and of course were all there for one thing, to embrace the 1980s hair metal music they love and adore.
One nice thing to notice here was that in this day and age where money is tight and many old school rockers have family commitments etc., that so many made the effort to come along and support the music they have an emotional attachment to. After all if we don’t make the effort to leave the house and attend a gig, the scene (local and beyond) will die a slow and painful death.
This was a night that could very easily have stepped out of a mid 80s flashback for many of us of a certain age. I do mean that in the very best way possible, the fond memories came flooding back as classics from the likes of Van Halen, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper, Ratt, Guns ‘n’ Roses, Twisted Sister and many others rang out across the room (in fact the set list comprised of an amazing 25 legendary tracks). Each song evoking a memory and warm feeling inside. You could feel the atmosphere in the room build and it was a very interesting thing to witness.
Lixx are doing something no one else is right now and embracing a collective of artists and not simply one. That is not to knock other tribute band son the circuit, but while they limit themselves to one artist, these guys offer up a wide spectrum of them and broaden their appeal.
Special guest band Maverick are no strangers to the pages of Fame and continue to grow in our estimations.
Their look, set-list, style and approach to the genre all paved the way perfectly for the main act.
Maverick are such a well polished outfit to witness live, their delivery and enthusiasm are infectious. The live crowd (full of fans sporting Maverick tee shirts I may add) lapped up each and every tune David Balfour and Co. belted out.
One other nice touch by the Maverick guys is that they take time to talk to their fans in person and ensure they monitor their social media accounts too. They really do appreciate the support they receive.
All in all this was the perfect night for fans of hair metal. The bands perfectly complimented each other, the set-lists impressed on many levels and no one left unhappy. In fact suffice to say this was a lot more than a gig, this was a social event.
Kudos also to the crew at Rock Radio NI for organising proceedings. They are one of the key promoters in NI and avid supporters of the local music scene through their radio shows, live events, you can also see them at many gigs throughout the country too. Without them many new acts would never get the chance to progress their career.
By Phil Allely