Chris Shiflett // Willy Cobb // The Lost At Sea Tour // Live Review // The Limelight // Belfast

Following the roaring success of C2C in Belfast, Northern Ireland, we didn’t have to wait too long for the Country Music gravy train to roll on with more high-class artists, tonight no less we have the one, the only  Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters playing Belfast’s Limelight, to a sold-out crowd.

Now I was fortunate to catch Chris playing Whelans in Dublin last year, so I am looking forward to having him here In my home city, local turf, packed with like-minded Country music-loving fans all ready to welcome their brother home. In tow Chris has brought the upcoming Southern Rocker Willy Cobb, Willy is a raw visceral artist who gets stuck right in as soon as the lights go down, with a hefty guitar-driven set there’s a sizeable rock vibe from his catalogue that demands your attention live. The energy is palpable and can barely be contained on the tiny stage as he throws himself around like a rag doll, but that Southern drawl in his accent reminds he’s come a long way to bring us his eclectic collection of tracks that have an almost Steve Earle/Nirvana-esque dark rock vibe at times, gnarly songwriting that you can sink your teeth into. Willy standing there in his finest dungarees, belting out rock-laden anthems, you can see why he was the artist of choice to support both Chris Shiflett and The Cadillac Three previously, and from gauging the temperature in the room this evening is definitely on the way up, 2024 could be a big year for this young man. When you’re working with Brent Cobb and Jaren Johnston you’ll be sure to go far!



So as we wait for the 8:30 kick off the man himself Chris Shiflett makes his way through the packed crowd to stage right by his faithful roadie and guitar tech, standing chatting away with punters some whom he has recognised from last night’s Dublin show, chatting with the togs eagerly awaiting their opportunity to capture him doing his thang! Now be warned the LL2 Limelight is a compact and bijou venue which holds around 400, so it’s a great venue to catch one of your favourite bands In for sure, the only downside is the layout, it’s a bit of a bottleneck as it leads up to the stage there isn’t any pit per say, so trying to capture images is always a challenge but when the music this good, who gives a shit right?

Chris is on fire from the off, the energy in the room is off the charts and as Chris says “If it’s as good as this why did I wait 52 years to play here?!” Chris now has 5 or solo solo albums, the latest of which is “Lost At Sea” released last year so he has plenty of material to entertain the Belfast crowd. Of course, he uses this to great effect creating a honky Tonk rollercoaster ride of country chaos to have the Belfast crowd creaming every chance they can, now when he says he got a DM to play an SLF song (Stiff Little Fingers) the place erupts, he, of course, obliges with a few bars which is enough to keep the yokes off the stage and committing murder! There are birthday tributes tossed out to members of the crowd and of course, among all this some serious musicianship, the trio on stage are right in the pocket watching each other as they slay their way across a hefty and busy setlist. Also, we are treated to stellar guitar work by Chris, blistering solo after solo which is out of the norm in the like of the Foo’s and even more so as they are County orientated and packed with bends and runs that are so far removed from rock you’d need a map to find them, but quality for sure. After every song Chris takes the time to engage with the sheeple down below which further adds to his charm, recanting the story of the Irish Stew that nearly burnt the tongue off his face earlier, welcome to Belfast Chris.

On stage with him Fox Fagan on Bass and Robert Jolly on drums, the three together work so beautifully, creating a sonic tapestry in which to lose yourself for 90 odd minutes, what more could you ask for in a school night! The perfect pre-weekend warm-up! And as they guys exit the stage and stand waiting for the usual “One More Song” chant from the Belfast crowd they return to hit us with their latest single “Cowboy Song” a cover of Chris’ and my fav Lizzy song, the original and best off the Live And Dangerous album is truly a thing of beauty! Belfast goes wild for it, anyone tackling a Lizzy Song will always win over the hearts of the Irish for sure, the song made its debut live last night in Dublin and tonight sees its second live outing to rapturous applause! The penultimate track of the night is a cover of a Rolling Stones song and Chris invites Belfast locals and last year’s Irish support Dea Matrona up on stage with him warbling along whilst the Belfast crowd below lives their best lives out in full voice also, Chris wraps it all up with ‘West Coast Town’ and before you know it Chris Shiflett’s debut Belfast solo gig has come to an end, the noise level is through the roof and I am confident this will not be the last time we see Chris back on a Belfast stage doing his thing.

Pure quality from start to finish, from the enigmatic Willy Cobb, to a fighter in the Foo’s, Thursday night in Belfast can be eventful for sure. This is the way.

Till next time, I’ve been Mark, You’ve been lovely.


Photography: Mark McGrogan

@flashartmark #flashartmark 



Tickets available here



Weds 20th – Academy, Dublin
Thurs 21st – The Limelight 2, Belfast
Sat 23rd – Queen Margaret Union, Glasgow
Sun 24th – Academy 2, Manchester
Mon 25th – O2 Academy 2, Birmingham
Weds 27th – Electric Ballroom, London