For those who think the idea of a Thin Lizzy without Phil Lynott is ludicrous… we hear you.

With that out of the way, the Thin Lizzy that toured earlier this year is damn impressive, as evidenced by “Live in London 2011,” the complete show from the Hammersmith Apollo on January 22.

This was originally recorded for a “buy it on the way out” concert souvenir but is obviously strong enough to merit release in the United States.

Who is Thin Lizzy in 2011? Original members Brian Downey (drums) and Scott Gorham (guitars) for starters. Later member Darren Wharton (who was just 17 joined in time for 1980’s “Chinatown“) plays keyboards. Guitarist Vivian Campbell (Dio, Def Leppard) and bassist Marco Mendoza (Whitesnake) bring only reverence and enthusiasm to the Thin Lizzy songbook.

Whether this version of the band succeeds or fails falls largely on the shoulders of The Almighty singer Ricky Warwick. He does an awesome job of channeling the immortal spirit and soul of Lynott (1949-1986), one of hard rock’s most unmistakable — not to mention literate — voices. He deftly handles Lynott’s singing style without trying too hard. Warwick knows how to balance the muscular with the fragile. In other words, you know you’re hearing a singer other than Phil Lynott even if the difference is ever so slight.

Not surprisingly, the set list is fantastic. There’s a lot of winners among the 18 tunes. “Waiting For an Alibi,” “Wild One,” “Cowboy Song” and “Dancing in the Moonlight” are but four I find myself listening to repeatedly. Things slow down in the middle but its easy to live with the nine-and-a-half minute “Still in Love With You” being a respite from the high intensity of the rest of the show. Special note also needs to be taken of the Gorham/Campbell guitar team. They navigate the intricate harmonies (like “The Boys Are Back in Town”) like they’ve been playing together since the beginning.

It’s tempting to say that the current Thin Lizzy is its own living, breathing band. But what it really serves is as the ultimate testimony to Phil Lynott’s legacy. May it continue to grow.