Calder's Gilded Balloon Theatre

Edinburgh11th August 1998

So, last night's Ricky Ross gig! Well, I don't know if you have ever been to the Edinburgh Festival. As a local I share the view of most of my fellow Edinburghers when I say it can really annoy me. And the thing that annoys me most are the people.

It's the people who run the shows, sell tickets for the shows, think they know everything and its those people that go to the shows. The problem last night was that the audience and the venue were crap.

It was a 120 sell out in a blistering hot room and we were administered a hand held fan to keep us cool. Ricky had to walk through the crowd to get to the stage and you could tell by the look on his face as he sat down at the piano that there was a weird atmosphere. I am all for intimate gigs where you are really close to the performer, but the key to these gigs being a success is the crowd.

I was was fortunate enough to see Mr Ross at last years festival. It was at The Palladium, a fine, big venue where Ricky really caught the imagination of the audience and made you feel part of his songs and thus gave a performance to remember.

Last night I enjoyed the performance very much from the starting song "I'm Sure Buddy would Know" and "I've Been Making Such a Fool of Me" on the piano and the compulsory "Dignity".( I just wish people would allow Ricky to move on) Most of the audience looked bored throughout the gig as Ricky entertained us with "non-Deacon Blue" songs. I thought his piano version of "Closing Time" was excellent and was delighted to hear for the first time an acoustic version of "What You Are".

The very fine "Earth A Little Lighter" was followed by a tale of Baden Baden being what the name suggests to introduce "Good Evening Philadelphia". The gig ended with "Ash Wednesday", the last song on his last album, as the crowd was informed. Perhaps the majority of the crowd should pop down to their local record shop and add "New Recording" to their record collection!?

All in all it was a great performance, but only one hour for a tenner is not good value. But, and this goes back to my earlier point, the problem is the venue and the people who work for the venue. Ricky has to perform again, twice at this venue. I wish him luck. And if you read this Ricky, thank you for playing the songs that you did and best of luck at the next two gigs.Keith Easton