Ricky Warwick with Black Star Riders at Nova Rock 2017
|Born||11 July 1966|
Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
|Genres||Hard rock, heavy metal|
|Associated acts||The Almighty, New Model Army, Circus Diablo, Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders, Stiff Little Fingers|
Ricky Warwick (born 11 July 1966, Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Irish musician and songwriter, and the lead singer with Black Star Riders and Thin Lizzy. He is also the frontman for the Scottish hard rock band The Almighty, with whom he achieved chart success in the UK throughout the 1990s, although the band is currently on hiatus. Warwick has released several solo albums and performed with a variety of other bands and artists, and also fronts his own band, The Fighting Hearts, to showcase his solo material.
Warwick spent his formative years in Northern Irelandand got his first guitar at 14 years old. He was soon playing along to songs by various rock and country acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. Warwick quickly migrated to the music of more harder-edged acts such as Motörhead, MC5, Stiff Little Fingers and The Clash. He later reminisced that "Those artists gave me a voice", adding that "...when no one would listen to a fourteen year old boy, they gave me something important to say." A year after he moved with his family to Strathaven in Scotland. It was at his new school in Scotland that Warwick first met his future bandmates Stump Monroe and Floyd London.
Warwick got his first break in the late 1980s, when he was invited to join New Model Army as a rhythm guitarist on their Ghosts of Cain album world tour.He states that he learnt a great deal about songwriting and stagecraft during his time with the band. Warwick then left New Model Army and formed The Almighty in 1988 with guitarist Andy 'Tantrum' McCafferty and Warwick's former school-friends, drummer Stump Monroe and bass guitarist Floyd London. Warwick was the lead vocalist and played guitar in various formats of the band. Although all four founding members had a strong background in punk rock music, The Almighty took a more heavy metal/hard rock orientated musical direction.
The early 1990s saw The Almighty tour extensively throughout the UK and Europe as support to major rock acts such as Motörhead, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and Metallica.The band also later toured as headliners in their own right. Five studio albums and one live album were released by The Almighty during this time, which were well received by rock fans throughout the UK and in Europe. They were, however, unable to break through in the United States despite touring there in 1993. That same year, Warwick also performed with The Stiff Little Fingers at a gig at the Barrowlands in Glasgow. A live album showcasing that gig from March 1993, Pure Fingers , was released in 1995.
In 1996, disillusioned with the direction The Almighty were taking Warwick moved to Dublin where he formed a new band called (sic) with Ciaran McGoldrick (bass) and Gary Sullivan (drums).The band's one record – I Feel So Lonely I Could Die – was only released in Japan, although a four-track EP came out in the UK. (sic) broke up in 1999 and then Warwick returned to The Almighty. The Almighty then released two further albums before again disbanding in 2001.
After the second break-up of The Almighty, Warwick admits he felt like quitting performing altogether.Instead, he went on tour in 2002 as a solo artist and, taking on board his fondness for country music and Americana, he played acoustically. The tour reinvigorated Warwick's love of music, and he began writing songs for a new album.
Warwick's first solo album, Tattoos & Alibis, was released in October 2003. Almost entirely acoustic, it was a marked departure from the raucous hard rock of The Almighty.A follow-up album was released in January 2006, Love Many Trust Few, which was similar in style to his solo debut although slightly more hard-rock orientated.
In January 2006 The Almighty reformed with their 'classic' line-up of Warwick, Stump, Floyd and Pete for benefit shows. Later in the year, they appeared as headliners at the 2006 Bulldog Bashand then undertook a 5 show tour of the UK in December 2006. During the same year, Warwick also joined the band Circus Diablo, along with Billy Duffy (of The Cult). The band recorded one album and performed at Ozzfest during 2007, but are no longer active.
He has in the past toured the British Isles and throughout Europe supporting Bob Dylan,Sheryl Crow and Keith Caputo.
Warwick will make his acting debut in an independent film written and directed by Bobby Field. Entitled The Bridge, filming is set to begin in mid 2017. The cast features several other rock musicians including Joe Elliott, Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Joey Santiago (The Pixies).
In April 2009, Warwick released his third solo album, Belfast Confetti, continuing in the largely acoustic guitar based approach of his previous two solo albums.
In September 2009, Warwick was invited to join the latest lineup of Thin Lizzy and joined them as lead vocalist and guitarist. Warwick took part in Thin Lizzy's 2011 European tour commemorating 25 years since the death of original frontman Phil Lynott. In December 2012, he co-founded the Thin Lizzy spin-off band, Black Star Riders in order to release new material largely composed by Warwick with guitarist Damon Johnson.Black Star Riders' first album All Hell Breaks Loose was released in May 2013.
In 2014, Warwick recorded a second album with the Black Star Riders. Titled The Killer Instinct , the album was released on 20 February 2015.Alongside his touring commitments with Black Star Riders in 2015, Warwick toured the UK with his bandmate Damon Johnson, performing acoustic sets of Thin Lizzy and Black Star Riders songs, plus various covers and selections of Almighty and solo material. He is also recording an album of covers titled Stairwell Troubadour, again through PledgeMusic.
During 2016 and early 2017, Warwick and Thin Lizzy performed a small number of shows to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the band's breakthrough hit album, Jailbreak and the 30th anniversary of Phil Lynott's death.Black Star Riders' third album, Heavy Fire , was released on 3 February 2017 and reached No. 6 in the UK album charts.
In February 2014, Warwick launched a campaign through PledgeMusic to launch two albums later in the year, one comprising acoustic songs with the other being a hard rock record.The two albums, Hearts on Trees and When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues), were released at the end of 2014 to those who contributed to the PledgeMusic campaign, and on general release as a double album in February 2016 on the Nuclear Blast label. Guest musicians on these recordings include Damon Johnson, Joe Elliott, Andy Cairns, Billy Morrison, Nathan Connolly, Ginger Wildheart, Richard Fortus and Jake Burns. Warwick assembled a band named The Fighting Hearts to tour behind the album, featuring Gary Sullivan on drums, Black Star Riders bassist Robbie Crane, and ex-Mission guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite. Ricky Warwick and The Fighting Hearts supported Stiff Little Fingers on a full UK tour throughout late February and March 2016.
The Fighting Hearts undertook a second UK tour in November 2016, supported by Vice Squad. Filling the bass guitar role on this tour was Richard Vernon.
Ricky headlined the very first WinterStorm festival in Troon in 2016
Warwick met Vanessa Young, presenter of MTV show Headbangers Ball, in 1990, during his time with The Almighty. They married in 1991 and divorced in 2000.He is now married to Christina, and the couple live in Los Angeles with their four children.
Warwick is good friends with singer Joe Elliott,having performed backing vocals on Def Leppard albums, whilst Elliott has returned the favour recording on and producing Warwick's solo albums. Warwick also served as Elliott's Best man at his wedding in 2004.
Warwick is a fan of Northern Ireland football club Glentoran,and in 2010 he released a three track DVD in aid of the Spirit of 41 campaign to save Glentoran from extinction. In December 2014, he performed an acoustic benefit show in Dundonald (a town east of Belfast) to raise funds for the Glentoran Community Trust. Warwick wore a specially commissioned one-off Glentoran football strip for the show. It featured the logos of all his bands, including The Almighty and Thin Lizzy, and was auctioned to help raise further funds for the Trust.
Stiff Little Fingers
Black Star Riders
Thin Lizzy are a hard rock band formed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1969. Two of the founding members, drummer Brian Downey and bass guitarist and lead vocalist Phil Lynott, met while still in school. Lynott led the group throughout their recording career of twelve studio albums, writing most of the material. The singles "Whiskey in the Jar", "The Boys Are Back in Town" and "Waiting for an Alibi" were international hits. After Lynott's death in 1986, various incarnations of the band emerged over the years based initially around guitarists Scott Gorham and John Sykes, though Sykes left the band in 2009. Gorham later continued with a new line-up including Downey.
Robert William Gary Moore was a Northern Irish guitarist and singer-songwriter. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, Moore had a "restless career trajectory—taking in blues, rock, heavy metal, jazz-fusion and other styles over four and a half decades". He is often described as a virtuoso guitarist.
Philip Parris Lynott was an Irish singer, musician, and songwriter. His most commercially successful group was Thin Lizzy, of which he was a founding member, the principal songwriter, lead vocalist and bassist. He was known for his imaginative lyrical contributions including working class tales and numerous characters drawn from personal influences and Celtic culture.
William Scott Gorham is an American guitarist and songwriter who was one of the "twin lead guitarists" for the Irish rock band, Thin Lizzy. Although not a founding member of Thin Lizzy, he served a continuous membership after passing an audition in 1974, joining the band at a time when the band's future was in doubt after the departures of original guitarist Eric Bell and his brief replacement Gary Moore. Gorham remained with Thin Lizzy until the band's breakup in 1984. He and guitarist Brian Robertson, both hired at the same time, marked the beginning of the band's most critically successful period, and together developed Thin Lizzy's twin lead guitar style while contributing dual backing vocals as well. Gorham is the band member with the longest membership after founders Brian Downey (drummer) and frontman and bass guitarist, Phil Lynott.
John James Sykes is an English rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter who has played with Streetfighter, Tygers of Pan Tang, John Sloman's Badlands, Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, and Blue Murder. Sykes shared composing duties for all songs on Whitesnake's 1987 self-titled album with David Coverdale. Sykes is also a successful solo artist.
William Henry Duffy is a British rock musician, best known as the lead guitarist of the band The Cult.
The Almighty were a hard rock/heavy metal band, from Glasgow in Scotland who formed in 1988. Three of the founding members, Ricky Warwick, Stump Monroe and Floyd London were friends who met at school. Although the band members musical roots were in punk, The Almighty adopted a more heavy metal/hard rock oriented musical direction in their early years. Later albums saw the band's musical style move towards the band members' original punk roots.
Brian Michael Downey is an Irish drummer. He was a founding member of the rock band Thin Lizzy and the only other constant in the band aside from leader Phil Lynott until their break-up in 1983. Downey also co-wrote several Thin Lizzy songs. Allmusic critic Eduardo Rivadavia has argued that Downey is "certainly one of the most underrated [rock drummers] of his generation".
Darren Leigh Wharton is a British keyboardist, singer and songwriter. He has fronted his own band, Dare, since 1985, but first came to attention as a member of Thin Lizzy. His son, Paris, is also a musician.
Marco Mendoza is an American rock musician who is best known as the former bass guitarist for The Dead Daisies, the reformed lineup of Thin Lizzy, and of the Thin Lizzy spin-off Black Star Riders.
Damon Rogers Johnson is an American guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, currently a solo artist and member of Thin Lizzy. In the 1990s he co-founded Brother Cane, and later joined Alice Cooper's band as lead guitarist. He was also the lead guitarist and co-songwriter for hard rock group Black Star Riders from 2012 to 2018. Johnson has also released several solo albums and his songs have been recorded by many artists including Stevie Nicks and Carlos Santana.
Mark Gemini Thwaite also known as MGT is a British musician, and has been the guitarist for a number of rock bands and artists over the last two decades, including The Mission, Tricky, Peter Murphy, New Disease, Spear of Destiny, Theatre of Hate, Mob Research, and Canadian band National Velvet plus various live and recorded appearances with Gary Numan, Al Jourgensen of Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Roger Daltrey of the Who, P.J. Harvey, Alanis Morissette, Primitive Race, Ricky Warwick of Thin Lizzy, Ginger of The Wildhearts, Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, Franz Treichler of The Young Gods, Miles Hunt & The Wonder Stuff, Ashton Nyte of The Awakening, Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, Laurence "Lol" Tolhurst and Porl Thompson of The Cure and Ville Valo of Finnish band HIM.
Belfast Confetti is the third solo studio album by Ricky Warwick, the frontman for The Almighty and Black Star Riders. It was released in May 2009 on DR2 Records, and was produced by Warwick, Tim Boland and Tom Vitorino. It takes its name from the slang term "Belfast confetti", referring to the large screws, bolts, and metal shop scrap used by rioters.
Black Star Riders is a hard rock band formed in December 2012. The band is fronted by Ricky Warwick, and features lead guitarist Scott Gorham, and bass guitarist Robbie Crane. Drummer and founding member Jimmy DeGrasso left the band in March 2017, and was replaced a few weeks later by Chad Szeliga. Another founding member, lead guitarist Damon Johnson, left the band at the end of 2018 to be replaced by Christian Martucci.
All Hell Breaks Loose is the debut studio album by hard rock band Black Star Riders, released in May 2013. Black Star Riders evolved from the touring version of Thin Lizzy, assembled by guitarist Scott Gorham after the death of Thin Lizzy's leader Phil Lynott.
The Killer Instinct is the second studio album by hard rock band Black Star Riders, released on February 20, 2015. Black Star Riders evolved from the touring version of Thin Lizzy, assembled by guitarist Scott Gorham after the death of Thin Lizzy's leader Phil Lynott. The band's first album, All Hell Breaks Loose, was released in 2013.
The Amorettes are a hard rock band formed in Scotland in 2009. They have performed in support of Black Star Riders, Europe, W.A.S.P., Ash, The Dead Daisies, Black Stone Cherry, Gun and Thunder among others, and have toured across the UK, and performed in several countries throughout Europe.
Heavy Fire is the third studio album by hard rock band Black Star Riders, released on February 3, 2017. Black Star Riders evolved from the touring version of Thin Lizzy, assembled by guitarist Scott Gorham after the death of Thin Lizzy's leader Phil Lynott. The band's first two albums, All Hell Breaks Loose and The Killer Instinct, were released in 2013 and 2015 respectively.
Another State of Grace is the fourth studio album by hard rock band Black Star Riders, released on September 6, 2019. Black Star Riders evolved from the touring version of Thin Lizzy, assembled by guitarist Scott Gorham after the death of Thin Lizzy's leader Phil Lynott. The band's first three albums, All Hell Breaks Loose, The Killer Instinct, and Heavy Fire, were released in 2013, 2015, and 2017 respectively.