In their short lifetime, Black Star Riders have managed what few bands achieve in a career and that is to create a dedicated fan-base who will travel many miles to see them perform their cheerful blend of good-mood hard rock – many of whom made their way to the O2 Academy in Sheffield last week. Listening to Black Star Riders, I sometimes wonder if this is what Springsteen would have sounded like if he was Irish.

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Giving emerging bands a shot, Black Star Riders were supported by the fantastic Dirty Thrills from London, Bristol-based Tax The Heat, and Swedish hard blues hippy rockers Blues Pills (). Having never heard Dirty Thrills before, I was pleasantly surprised by the deep-raw rocking sound that the quartet was able to generate and get the crowd suitably in the mood for the fantastic musical pleasure that was to follow.

Dirty Thrills (Gunnar Mallon)

Dirty Thrills (Gunnar Mallon)

Tax The Heat (Gunnar Mallon)

Tax The Heat (Gunnar Mallon)

Tax The Heat (Gunnar Mallon)

Blues Pills (Gunnar Mallon)

Blues Pills (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

Black Star Riders (Gunnar Mallon)

With their origins as Thin Lizzy, in the past five years Black Star Riders have clearly developed their own unique sound. Being great musicians and showmen through and through who know how to thoroughly entertain, Black Star Riders are a band you should go see whenever you get the chance.

Photography by Gunnar Mallon at O2 Academy Sheffield on 15 November 2017