2021 vibe

Spirit Slips Away

Realistically, as we said some months ago, there was no way that the 4th January 2021 would pass without a Vibe in some shape or form, the question always being what was possible, appropriate, and would maintain the levels of quality which the show has been renowned for.

As many of you have speculated it will be a Virtual Vibe. However, it won’t be on Zoom, Youtube, or Facebook, but a customised streaming system (right here on this page) devised by our own Brian "Judgie" Judge, which should pass muster with the most discerning of "teckies" out there.

The really cool news is that it’s absolutely FREE! That’s right! It won't cost you a euro, pound, dollar, drachma, shekel, or bitcoin. All you need is an internet connection and a screen device to connect it to. If you don't, then go visit someone who does, as it promises to be a hell of a show.

So, for those of you who've dreamed/threatened/wished/hoped or just quite simply couldn't get it together to get to Dublin on the 4th January in the past for the Vibe for Philo, sit back and relax, its finally coming to you, right into your own home, and as we said it's all for FREE.

For the rest of you, hit the offie, get the takeaways in, absorb the love, and spread the word around, The Vibe is definitely back in Town in 2021.

2020 vibe

For Those Who Love to Love

Henry Rollins was pumping it up at the side of the 03 Arena stage as Scott Gorham called out his name. A riff kicked in and Henry exploded into our lives. Are you Ready? F**k Yeah! Henry sure was.

In 1991 at the Olympia Theatre, Robbo joined Brian and Eric for what would be a unique take on the twin guitars. It would also be the first time we used a live feed of the show on giant screens as a backdrop. Some said we were being innovative. The truth was that the set of a play that was running at the theatre was still on stage and we were anxious to cover it up. This was also Philomena’s Vibe-stage debut and the first of those much loved “Queen’s Speeches”. It was also the first time we used the title "A Vibe for Philo".

"The Rocker" at Fibber Magee's in 1994 was a highlight for many reasons not least of which was the fact that being an Hotel it provided a backstage area which seemed larger than the venue - all linked by close circuit TV. But the real milestone of that show was that we finally broke the resistance of Ireland's Radio Stations, convincing them that Lizzy and Philo were still relevant. The sun shone, despite the time of year, and it seemed that every shop, hairdressers, bar, and jukebox was "blastin' out our favourite songs" onto the streets. Dublin wasn’t so much "Alive, Alive, O!" as "Alive, Alive, Philo!!!"

1990, "Remembering" at The New Inn, Whipping Boy were about to take the stage as their A & R man arrived. They had just signed a major deal and had something special for the 4th Vibe. I told the A & R man that he was in for a treat. He looked dubious and non-committed. They kicked into "When we were Young" their absorbing take on "Shades of a Blue Orphanage". The A & R man smiled at me. It became their next single.

Could you imagine that a classical guitarist would bring the house down as Pat Coldrick did with "Sarah" in 2014? What about John Cummins incisive rap-poetry which resonated Bill Graham's prediction that Philo was one of the few rockers who was positioned to crossover into the future musical genres of the 21st Century before his sad demise. Remember the soaring sax of John "Irish" Earl with Thin az Lizzy – even the version with featured guest Midge Ure? What about Glen Hansard forgetting the lyrics to Jailbreak and brilliantly improvising at Vibe 25? The adrenaline charged Punkish/Folk "Do anything you Wanna Do" from Damien Dempsey in 1995 which inspired his ultimate tribute to Philo with "Dublin Town" five years later? All those bands you missed first time around, like The Soul Band, The Three Musketeers , Grandslam, and even Orphanage , being dusted down and presented one more time. Almost anything by the Low Riders rates highly but we will be eternally grateful for them resurrecting "New Day" and turning it into the anthem it always threatened to be. Then there was an awesome six year old giving it socks with "Killer on the Loose" at the Mean Fiddler in 1999 which would inspire the future Young Rockers Matinees. Thirteen years later having succumbed to Cystic Fibrosis he passed on but is forever immortalised by his performance that night.

33 years obviously recalls highlights that are too numerous to mention. But as we head into Vibe 34 we are mindful of all those we have lost on the journey. John Earl’s sax will sing no more. Frank Murray , Liam Quigley , and so many of Philo’s old gang from his schooldays have passed on to legend. More recently the losses have increased, most notably Denis Keeley< , and now Philomena some weeks ago. But as they say, the show goes on.

2019 vibe

With Love

Everyone seems to be on a Journey these days. Ours began back in 1987 and if we’re honest we might not have started it if we’d known we would still be on it today.

It’s difficult to describe the dim, dark, 1980s in Ireland. Appearances by Philo and Lizzy on Top of the Pops were like national rallying cries showing us that anything was possible and achievable, if we just had the sense of self-worth. All it took was belief!

For those of us who were there, Philo’s death left deep wounds and frustration, as that faint light of future possibilities was snuffed out.

U2 had still to achieve greatness and the Boomtown Rats were already in decline. In an age before Greatest Hits Radio it really seemed that in an Irish context the music had died.

Keeping the music alive has always been the central motivation of The Vibe and back then it was no easy task. However; there have been many highs along the way.

When the first Commercial Radio Station in Ireland opened for business with Old Town there was a real sense of achievement; even more so when it soon became Dublin’s unofficial anthem.

In an age before Tribute Acts we had to find a mechanism of presenting the music. Along the way the back-catalogue has been mined, reinvented, and reinvigorated in almost every musical form imaginable. Poets have always been prominent, (even when it wasn’t fashionable), and interpretive Dance has featured with varying degrees of success. There were no templates or guidelines back in 1987 so everything was worth trying. Philo had always refused to be boxed in so why should we?

Almost every former member or associate of Thin Lizzy has graced the Vibe stage, while Tribute Acts from three continents have been sought out and presented. New ground has been broken through exploring genres we could hardly have imagined, particularly in recent times as we set out to keep the music both Live and Alive.

However recent shows have also contained sadness; as each year former friends and associates have passed on. With this in mind we have decided that we are now on a countdown to Vibe 36. That will be the celebration of 36 years since Philo died at 36 years of age.

As our numbers dwindle it seems a good time to take stock and decide whether there is a need to go further. Meanwhile the 33rd Annual Vibe for Philo takes place as ever, on the 4th January 2019. With all those who have passed in mind and in honor of some terrific memories, this year’s event is titled "With Love."

2018 vibe

Here I Go Again

Philo once said "the next one is always the best one," and the 32nd Vibe certainly lived up to that. Once more returning to our roots, the show took place in Whelan’s and the intimate atmosphere of the smaller venue brought out the best in the various performers.

John Conlon and Thin Az Lizzy rolled back the years with a vintage collection of The Greatest Hits, while The Low Riders, taking time out of their day-job, provided a magical survey of lesser known gems which included a guest appearance from former Lir Frontman Dave McGuinness.

Conor McGouran, who first trod the Vibe State at the age of twelve, made a more than welcome return while The Brother’s Orr played a scorcher of a set with Jamey and Sean being joined by their newest recruit, 12 year old brother Luke on drums.

Of particular satisfaction was the performance of Stone Trigger, whose admirable set not only showed that old school Rock ‘n’ Roll is alive and in a healthy state in Ireland but that such acts still feel honored to pay tribute to the master.

Poetry has always held a special place at the Vibe and at the 2018 show we had some of the best yet. Daniel Breslin previewed his "Ode to Phil" video project with various artists performing lines from his poem and then he returned live with a moving rendition of a piece specially written for the night. John Cummins, something of a poet in residence at the Vibe in recent years gave us something old, something new, and brought the house down as he traded words to a musical backdrop provided by The Low Riders.

All in all it was a hugely successful 2018, particularly so as many of us will be retiring from direct involvement with future Vibes. 2019 will see many changes but you can be certain that those coming aboard will bring much needed energy and enthusiasm and maintain the high standards of performance and quality control which supporters have come to expect from the 4th January Celebrations

Here I Go Again - the 32nd Vibe for Philo took place at Whelan's, Wexford Street Dublin thursday 4th January 2018.

2017 vibe

Saga of the Ageing Orphan

When you reach those heady heights that were the 30th Vibe you end up with a dilemma.  Even before the final chords rang out many felt the end of an era was near. In the days and weeks following the show we were inclined to agree. Just how could you reach that same high again? But in the back of our minds was a promise that we would do something for those who continue coming to Dublin on the 4th January and as the messages, e-mails, and requests poured in they all had one question in common. "What’s happening in January 2017?"

Back in the Spring as we began to chew it over we felt most of the original objectives had been achieved. The big question for us was 'where to go from here?'. As we talked to people who had either been there or played at them the idea of how much fun the early Vibes were began to emerge and the thought struck us that maybe the way forward was to get back to basics and put together a show that would be fun; no frills, no fuss, getting straight to the heart of the matter - the music presented in intimate, sweaty, rock’n’roll surroundings It sounded like a plan and that’s what we have been at these past few months.

The Workman’s Club, a tailor made Venue for 300 people with a bit of everything on the side. Food/Drink/Terraced Bar come Smoking Area/Chill Out Areas etc. etc., just like the venues for Vibes 3-9.

A lot of bands and musicians have trod the Vibe boards over the past 30 years and as we tried to put together a line up we found ourselves constantly coming back to individual musicians who had consistently delivered whether solo or part of a band. The type of musicians who can turn it on a sixpence and deliver the goods. The more we thought about this the more it made sense to prioritise the music - the very essence of what the Vibe is about by bringing together a bunch of our favourite players and open Philo’s Songbook to whatever direction they wanted to take us with friends and guests as the occasion arises.

The type of musicians we're talking about can dig right in deep to the catalogue, and have been re-investigating those ones that got away along with the greatest hits. So they have three days to investigate, restore, and reinvigorate, the classic, the complex, and the lesser known gems that are well worth hearing again.

Nick Sharp & Phil Osborne have kindly stepped forward to spin us a few choice cuts from their Treasures@The Decks, and I might even play a few favourites myself if there’s time on our hands.

It’s a small venue folks, so there is no way that we can all fit in there on Wed 4th Jan. To alleviate the situation we are doing 3 nights - 3rd/4th & 5th Jan, same Show each evening more or less (give or take your normal fine tuning moments).

Watch this space for more...

2016 vibe

The Sun Goes Down

Writing at the time of Lynott’s death Bill Graham noted that he was the only Irish musician strategically placed to successfully explore the new genre of rap both musically and linguistically. Unfortunately we will never know the results, only the possibilities laid down on a handful of tracks as Lynott pre-empted the style drawing on techniques developed during improvisations on the Abbey Theatre Stage and experimental jazz clubs in Dublin in the early 1970s. From Folk to Folklore, country, blues, jazz, trad, to pure pop, Lynott constantly strove to avoid being pigeon-holed within heavy rock and it was with this broad brushed canvas in mind, that the Vibe set out and continues to explore the Lynott Songbook in it’s entirety.

In a nod to the past, Thin Lizzy founder and the man who named the band, Eric Bell and his Trio minus 1 will be taking the 30th Vibe on a stroll through the Power Trio years.

Making a special guest appearances will be drummer, Brian Downey, a long-term collaborator with Lynott from their schooldays, through the heydays of Thin Lizzy to Philo’s various solo projects.

The dynamic opening act will be The Hoodoos featuring Johnny “The Fox” Conlon, rated as the only singer to effectively inhabit Philo’s vocal space. A long time Vibe favourite their return should provide an explosive opening to proceedings.

Exploring the more sensitive side of the songbook will be Mongoose, a Dublin Jolk (Jazz/Folk) four-piece who have Lynott in the sights of their eclectic melting pot.

Singer/songwriter Fiach Moriarty, something of a musician’s musicians, will explore similar territory with his jazz/pop take on things.

The Solo years will be the remit of The Soul Brothers featuring Jerome Rimson and Gus Isadore, both formerly of the Phil Lynott Soul Band and with CVs to make most of us absolutely drool.

Anchoring the show will be The Low Riders, a band for which most Lizzy supporters have run out of superlatives. They only come out on the 4th January so they are not to be missed.

Making a very welcome return to send everyone home sweatin’ will be Dutch favourites Parris not seen since the early days of The Vibe at Vicar Street. Live you can expect them to be very dangerous as they unroll their instinctive understanding of the “Lizzy Groove.”

* The 30th Vibe for Philo took place on the 4th January 2016 at vicar Street Dublin and you can see the gallery and read more about the artists below. *

2015 vibe

Get Out of Here

As Vibe regulars know it all starts with the Artwork! With the post-mortems for Vibe 28 out of the way and the forensic examinations roundly discussed and digested we found ourselves asking just how to follow the stunning original Jim Fitzpatrick portrait which defined the 2014 Show. Difficult? You might even say impossible - that is until we stumbled across the phenomenal Tom Noll. Tom’s a USA based artist who specializes in portraits of Rock Guitarists against Jackson Pollock-like, expressionistic, backgrounds which give his work a unique energetic feel. We came to Tom through his stunning portraits of Gary Moore, Jeff Beck, and Rory Gallagher. Imagine our surprise and excitement when we discovered Philo was included among his “Art that Rocks” series of paintings. Titled “King of Dublin” it was apparently painted after some serious lobbying by global Lizzyites and is definitely a picture we feel deserves a much wider audience. Tom has kindly agreed to let us use 'The King of Dublin' for the 29th Vibe and the image is already setting the standards for where we believe the 2015 show will be heading.

2014 vibe

Fight or Fall

1976. A thumping great riff kicks in as the needle hits the groove, and 9 classic tracks later you know those twin-guitars have irreversible change the aural-landscape forever. Jailbreak really was something special - all dressed up in a sleeve which saw Jim Fitzpatrick in the form of his life. This was rock music as you’d only dreamed about, then track two, side two, came the curve ball - a country/soul tour-d-force called Fight or Fall. It’s a bit like the Vibe really. We love those curve balls! When someone takes a different direction and after the journey's over your left wondering just how they navigated there in the first place.

You probably don’t watch the news anymore, but apparently, the recession is officially over. So it’s time to come out of those dark days into the light again. Like everyone we have been cutting back in recent times but we fell now is the time, as we head towards the 30th anniversary, to take up the challenge and go for the big one. It’s a time to take risks - to 'Fight or Fall' if you like. In the company of Aiken Promotions we're heading back to Vicar Street - scene of some of the most memorable vibes of the past decade - and were already looking for that Curve Ball that will send you all home sated, satisfied, and sweatin’ after a spectacular 5 hour extravaganza.

Brian Grace is back in the Musical Directors chair – who apart from performing with The Low Riders will provide musical accompaniment to our Special Guests.

Jim FitzpatrickJim Fitzpatrick. For some it was Che Guevara. For others it was those extraordinary Celtic Women. However, for many of us it was a fusion of the Celtic with Marvel Comic Strips, into an extraordinary series of artworks for Whiskey in the Jar and Randolph’s Tango which started a partnership which would change our Rock ‘n Roll landscape forever. By the time of the Vagabonds album, Jim Fitzpatrick’s artwork was like an extra member of Thin Lizzy as it visually defined what Philip Lynott was writing musically.

Since Philo’s sad passing Jim has been an important supporter of The Vibe - not only supplying rare artworks on numerous occasions for us to use but performing Philip’s poetry at a number of Vibes. Jim has graciously supplied us with stunning artwork for the 2014 Vibe which has already got the inspirational juices flowing, and is guaranteed to become yet another classic collectors item.

Do yourself a favour - drop by Jim's website and check out the incredible artwork on offer. The Thin Lizzy section will be of particular interest to vibers, but there's a wealth of jaw-dropping artwork available to own today!

2013 vibe

Dublin

http://www.vibeforphilo.com/vibe_for_philo_2013.php

MAIN EVENT:

4th Jan. 2013 - The Button Factory

PRE VIBE:

3rd Jan. 2013 - The Grand Social

YOUNG ROCKERS MATINEE: ALL AGES GIG

5th Jan. 2013 - The Button Factory

AFTERVIBEPARTY:

5th Jan. 2013 - The Button Factory

2012 vibe

Are You Ready?

Are you Ready to Dance?
Are you Ready to hit the Floor?
It's official...

We're in Recession. So – in a nostalgic nod to the last one, and heady nights in McGonagles, The New Inn, Morans Hotel, and the Garden-shed in Collins Avenue, the Smile-meister has dusted down the twin-decks, and will rock the 26th Vibe with another of those legendary sets lovingly preserved on the b-side of The boomtown Rats "Looking after Number One".

Channeling "the spirits of James Brown and James Joyce", Mick Pyro's Republic of Loose have been admired by everyone from Snow Patrol to Sinead O'Connor and U2. The super radio friendly funksters have won numerous awards and promise something special and poignant for this years show.

Former Bogey Boy and Grandslammer Doish Nagle brought us to tears with an emotional acoustic set a few years ago. Now he's back with a full-on electric show. If your ready, he's ready. Not to be missed.

The low Riders, aka Matt Wilson and Phil Edgar, personify the best of the current Norn' Iron' Indie scene. Together they are known to vibe regulars for their blistering, heart-rendering, loving, interpretations, of Philo's legacy. Matt's driving the agenda this year, so expect something surprising and left of field, which will probably steal the show again.

"Legends" according to John Rodgers, The Thin Lizzy Experience, make grown men weep and pubescent girls react like they did when Philo thread the boards. They have the lights, the pyrotechnics, the shapes, and a Philo lookalike who'll make you feel like you just walked into the Oldtown video.

2011 vibe

Black Rose

Founded from a personal request by Phil Lynott in 1981 to "Do a Vibe for me sometime" through rain, hail, and snow, the Vibe has kept the flag flying for Philo in his home town of Dublin each 4th January - the anniversary of his death.

This years theme is Black Rose - and sees the Vibe renew its association with the artist Jim Fitzpatrick who executed the classic sleeve for the album of that name. Jim has read Philo's poetry at several Vibes as well as regularly providing us with some classic original Lizzy artwork for Vibe visuals. This year he has kindly consented to give us an alternative take on The Black Rose artwork in the form of a previously unpublished poster design for the album.

The venue for the 25th Vibe will see a return to the 1500 capacity Vicar Street. Due to the unprecedented number of enquiries from overseas visitors for tickets we've taken the unusual step of making tickets available online while were still in the process of finalising the details of the show. As we are approaching Philo's birthday it seemed appropriate to tie in with the day and tickets will be available from www.tickets.ie and also through www.ticketmaster.ie from 9.00am

GMT on 20th August. Already the bill is looking really exciting and as we confirm acts we will be making announcements.

2010 vibe

Running Back

2 weeks after the Event. When they say it's all over, It's not all over completely! Far from it in fact, I'm still collecting money from Ticket outlets, trying to calculate whether we win or lose financially, do settlements and view the Videos for editing and inclusion on the web site. Plus we had busted water pipes in the attic of our house, which was and still is - a big bloody mess. Anyway it was a great two nights entertainment, really enjoyed it. Both Pre Vibe and Main Event.

Bitter sweet sadness on the 4th due to Dennis Keeley's sudden demise and funeral ceremony earlier that day, but the acts all rose to the occasion in Dennis's and Phillip's honour and did us proud. Special note to Hoodoos and Metallitia who were both superb.

Robbie has posted some nice pics by Ray Wright & Hugo Mc Guinness for you to view - and I am on my 3rd and final viewing of the Videos before handing them over for archiving on the Vibe web-site. 10 days/ 2 weeks max...

Thank you all for coming out in the worst weather conditions in yonks. It was worth it I reckon, made it all that more special in fact. Went out to visit Phyllis on Saturday for a proposed quick call and ended up spending 3/4 hours chatting and polishing off the best part of a bottle of Irish Mist between us. Had some good Laughs, would like to think we cheered her up in her sadness. She spins a good yarn, most of which she will no doubt relate to you all at next years Vibe, the Big 25th. which I will be doing research on before I finally wind this one up and take a well deserved holiday or two.

Spoke to original Lizzy manager Terry O Neill earlier today (yes the one who sold them on for 150 pounds ) and he reminded me of the fact that Thin Lizzy did their first gig ever on 16th March at a social club close to Dublin Airport 40 years ago this year - 16th March 1970, Don't know if anybody has any plans to do anything special, but if you do, let me know and I will definitely be there. Need the early material however. A Lizzy Disco perhaps. Now there's a good suss, out of nowhere. Free Adm. Why not... To conclude my "off the head" rant, thanks once again for this years Magical Event and the past 24 years in fact...

As Philo used to say "The Next One Is Always the Best One", Hopefully it will be - The Best Vibe Ever... so - Till the next time... Going out singing... Baby, Baby, Baby....................!!

 

2009 vibe

Dancing in the Moonlight

When they put a plaque up to Phil Lynott at Merchants Arch they weren’t far from the mark. Inasmuch as we think of Philo living the Rockstar lifestyle his music was firmly rooted in the street/buskin songwriting tradition of the early 70s. While the Lizzies investigated “Live and Dangerous”, Philo’s solo work displayed a softer side, criss- crossing various musical genres, acting, as Rock Journalist Chris Salewick put it in 1979, “like a lightning conductor for both traditional and contemporary culture.”

Philo had that human touch. The video to Dublin’s unofficial anthem “Old town” displays it best – as Philo walks down Grafton Street and Moore Street – with a word for everyone, young and old. The stories of his generosity with his time are legend. From recommending Irish Bands he’s never heard of to foreign promoters to keeping open house out at Howth to all aspirants to “three chords and the truth.” Phil had been there, seen that, and bought the t-shirt twice over, and felt it almost a duty to reach down and give the next generation a hand up.

Phil easily strode between Punk, Metal, and Trad, earning the respect of all, when such genres closed ranks during the 70s and 80s. From his first appearance on Top of the Pops with “Whisky in the Jar” Phil, both solo and with Thin Lizzy, regularly strode across out screens on the most important of all musical TV shows and even contributed the theme song, “Yellow Peril”, for a number of years. In the bleakness of pre-Celtic Tiger Ireland he was one of the few beacons of hope and aspiration – and he’d done it the hard way. He wasn’t just Irish, in an age of anti-Irish prejudice. He was black as well.

The Vibe for Philo, now entering its 23rd year, started as an off-the-cuff remark by the man himself. Since then, it’s fitting that almost every act to raise their heads since his death has contributed to the vibe. His songwriting influence was wide-ranging and this has been reflected in the rage of interpretations seen and heard over the years. Pop, Rock, Metal, Folk, Poetry reading, Jazz, Blues, Trad, Dance, Mime, Hip-hop, the list goes on. Yes, “Live and Dangerous” is ever present, but it’s the b-sides, the early album tracks, and the forgotten, which usually provide the highlight, demonstrating how wide ranging was, and still is, Philo’s influence.

Tokyo’s The Lizzyboys are back with three separate sets for the Vibe, Pre-Vibe, and Matinee. Brian Grace has been lining up his guests for The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils with Matt & Phil (Tizz Lizzy), John Conlon (Thin az Lizzy), Derek Herebert (Les Enfants), Dave McGuinness (Lir), Colm Querney (Q), Mark Adams, Paul Toal, Robbie Bray, and Richie Buckley will be joined by Emerald, Renegade, and American Rocker, Nell Bryden, a long-time fan of Phil's lyrical style. Other, playing their cards close to the chests will also appear, but the real star is the music, which has been bringing people back for the past twenty three years.

2008 vibe

Johnny the Fox meets Jimmy the Weed

Venue: The Button Factory Jan 4th 2008

Celebrating the life and work of The Rocker on the 22nd Anniversary of his passing in the very centre of the Old Town, Johnny The Fox... will follow on from the success of twenty one Vibes which have seen the cream of former Lizzy and Philo afficionados grace the stages. With an entirely new concept for the shows layout, and one we plan to develop and hone on through the next Vibe or two... It all starts here, in Dublin, in January 2008.

 

Earlier Vibes

The Vibe for Philo

The Vibes go way back to the first one in 1986 with The Spirit Slips Away and have been held every year on the 4th January since. They have been held in different locations in and around Dublin with various Acts gracing the stage the main constants was the presence of Philomena and the ogrganisation skills of Smiley Bolger

*** Special Note ***
A Big Thank you goes to the Roisindubh trust and to Smiley Bolger for their great efforts at keeping the Vibe for PhilO going over the years and for providing an excellent record of the dates, venues and Acts that have appeared and without the information being on their Web Sites this Page would not have been possible.


While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, it is provided "as is" for your information only.