Shades Of Blue Is Nothing New For Ageing Rocker
Unknown Newspaper Article June 1996

Live Review King Tuts Glasgow 5/6/96

Raintown revisited,it was fresh and different once - even the artist may have seen his style as a temporary thing - but Ricky Ross is churning out the same old stuff in his latest visit to the Scottish stage.

Ricky Ross is back,Why? Why 'back'? Why not 'Ricky Ross is still'? King tuts is too hot and pretty full on the second of a three-night super homecoming residency. Surprisingly, there seems to be something like an air of expectation polluting the place. This, however, is soon to be replaced with the dawning realisation that, no, this really isn't very good at all.

The beat drags. Civil service rock. That's what Ricky specialises in. Something you fall into whether listening to or perfoming telling yourself that this is just an easy stop-gap, and you'll get around to doing something real soon enough. But then it's 10, 20 years later, and you don't remember, can't tell the difference any more. Or in this case, half an hour. A master of' time-manipulation. I could've sworn l'd been in there all my life, but no. Half an hour, Still, the country would grind to a halt without it.can't all be dreamers.

"Good evening Philadelphia/I can't believe what I just said/I got up again like a monkey/And I raged right through the set...." Don't you just love it when them rock stars sing about being rock stars'? but ah, here comes Ricky's twist: "I'm just a small town noise... just the village voice...I realise I need you more than you need me..." Such modesty, such a sensitive uncertainty; like on the sleeve of the new album, the tortured secret way he can't bring himself to look at the camera. Or, hey, maybe the photographer just, like, caught him unawares, like.

But back to the matter in hand. Live, even the guitar of the Leopards' Mick Slaven, the one occasionally enlivening facet of the track, seem somehow neutered, time keeping. Again, the beat drags.

War crimes.Not satisfied with taking the hallowed phrase 'radio on' prisoner, holding it captive and underfed, and forcing it against its will to become a song title, tonight Ricky frog-marches the pale and shaky body of Johnathan Richman's 'Roadrunner' onstage, and hurls it before us into the unmarked trench grave of the rest of the set. The beat drags. Chronically. Damien Love