When you’ve co founded one of the most successful bands in Irish history, written one of the best loved guitar riffs of all time and had the British Prime Minister claim he listens to your songs when he needs a lift which, let’s face it, must be quite often, it would be easy to put your feet up, sit back and bask in the glory of a successful career in music.
Or you could just keep on working like legendary blues guitarist and Thin Lizzy founder member, Eric Bell, who has just finished recording his first studio album in more than six years.
Exile, the first collection of new material since 2009’s Lonely Nights in London, was recorded at Edge Recording Studios, a converted barn in Cheshire. Basic, homely and unpretentious, what the studio lacks in corporate frills, it more than makes up for in pedigree. Owned by renowned sound engineer John Delf, who works with some of the globe’s biggest bands, including Five Seconds of Summer Plan B and The Script, and run by Mark Winterburn, one of the UK’s top studio engineers, it offered the backtobasics, artistled approach that Eric needed to tempt him back into the studio.
Over the years, Eric had become disillusioned with the recording process, and world weary sound engineers in particular, and had often felt like the finished product bore little relation to what he had originally played.
It was this promise of creative freedom, the freedom to experiment and even to fail, coupled with the openminded, flexible attitude of the staff, that drew Eric to Edge Studios.
Although Eric didn’t start out as a songwriter, working alongside Phil Lynott in Thin Lizzy, Van Morrison in Them and Dave Clark in the Noel Redding Band allowed him to see the songwriting process up close and gave him the confidence to find his own writing style.
Today, Eric remains resolutely analogue in his approach to songwriting. He admits to having carrier bags full of cassettes at home, filled on both sides with 10 second snippets of ideas for songs. Every now and then he goes through them, searching for the one gem that might be the starting point for a new song.
Eric’s final days with Thin Lizzy are well documented, as are his struggles with drink and drugs, particularly during the making of Vagabonds of the Western World, the band’s third, and arguably best, record. He does, however, have fond memories of the band’s first recording session.
In the intervening years, Eric has built up loyal fanbase right across Europe, who have followed his career closely and are eagerly awaiting his next project. So, what can they expect from the latest Eric Bell offering?
1. Deep In Your Heart
2. Don’t Love Me No More
3. Gotta Say Bye Bye
4. Vote For Me
6. Little Boy Running
7. Rip It Up
8. Concrete Jungle
9. Thank God
10. Song For Gary