Ricky Ross Greenbelt ‘89
Sounds 9th September 1989

RICKY ROSS provided the major surprise of the Greenbelt Festival, appearing in a small marquee, unbilled and largely unnoticed by the majority of the festival-goers. “This is not a Bros concert,” the compère shouted as ‘the star presence’ brought a distinctly unchristian surge forward. But Ross wasn’t about to be a Smash Hitsophiles personal Jesus — this was not a one-man Deacon Blue concert.

Alone at the piano or accompanied on guitar, Ross reeled Out songs from his 1983 solo cassette, ‘So Long Ago’, songs that probably last saw the light of day when he played Greenbelt five years ago. The new Ricky drawls like an American and sings like an angel practising to be Bob Dylan. Today, Ross proved his skills extend beyond Brother Beyond, Bros and all those other pre-pubescent pretenders, with some pristine piano performances and a distinctly rootsy roster. The Deacon Blue fans had probably never seen anything like it. The new solo songs, succeeders to DB snapshots like ‘Dignity’ and ‘Chocolate Girl’, sat comfortably alongside more familiar numbers, including a soulful ‘Wages Day’. As the crowd attested, it was a fine payoff. Graham Palmer