Bar : Cuba  Macclesfield 11th May 1999

Ricky Ross looks relaxed as he steps on stage for his final show of his 16 date tour ,so much so he's wearing sandals,Rock 'n' Roll!!

His relaxed footwear is suitable indeed for his opening number as he gently leads with "Rosie Gordon Lies So Still" joined on stage for this with the now familiar face of Mick Slaven on guitar.Rosie is met with appreciation from the faithful but the less familiar were happy to continue their conversations and drink themselves to merriment.

This was addressed by Ricky before the second number when he asked his soundman "Steph .....have you got a mic for her?.......'cos I wanna her lamp her over the head with it!!...........forget that have you got a mic stand?" the young lady he was refering to was becoming a prevelant pain the the ass and midway through the gig she and her friends were kindly reminded where the door was!

With the added accompaniment of Mick Slaven Ricky's solo shows are becoming more diverse and varied and this tour saw the welcome return of some old favourites such as song three "Your Swaying Arms" which was beautifully augmented by the Temptations classic "Just My Imagination".Another track getting a rare airing was "Last Night I Dreamed Of Henry Thomas" which sounded very different minus its usual bass and drums.

Is a Ricky Ross show complete without a Randy Newman cover? hmmm....... I don't know, but I do know one thing "Jolly Coppers On Parade" the obligatory cover sounded remarkably like "Dignity" and fans disappointed that it wasn't didn't have long to wait before they were rewarded by the genuine article.And Ricky once again stayed true to his promise and dedicated this to the landless people of Brazil that he visited last year with Christian Aid.

This tour has been the first real showcase of Ricky's new material ,and proving very popular is "Frank (The Graveyard Man)" with a more radio friendly feel than some of Ricky's past solo songs it bodes well for a promising new album along with "Plastic Shoes" and "I Sing About You"

This is the third Ricky Ross show I've seen and every time "What You Are" gets better and better, with Mick Slaven really rocking with a distortion pedal through his acoustic guitar, the execution was perfect and really captured the attention of everyone present.Young lovers were rewarded with a rarely performed Deacon Blue song "Still In The Mood" with Ricky on piano and Mick favouring electric guitar for the only time this evening, and in the mood we were.After a storming rendition of "Town To Be Blamed" the set was rounded of with the ever popular "Your Town" including some stunning rhythm work by Mr Slaven.

With the clock striking twelve an encore looked more like a possibility than a certainty but Ricky and Mick obliged albeit only one song "Radio On" which was curtailed at the bridge to let Ricky and Mick finish with a few verses of the Rolling Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want".Huddled together around one mic Ricky and Mick played,sang and laughed their way through and really seemed to enjoy themselves.

I spoke briefly with Ricky after the gig and I was sure he would be a little disappointed with the gig as he made at least three remarks about the noise coming from certain areas of the club.But he enthused "Its just the 'vibey' club atmosphere" "I've really enjoyed myself", sadly though I forgot to ask just what was going on with those sandals!! Neil Parry



Rosie Gordon Lies So Very Still
Cold Easter
Your Swaying Arms / Just My Imagination*
Last Night I Dreamed Of Henry Thomas
Love And Regret
Cresswell Street
Jolly Coppers On Parade*
The Germans Are Out Today
Frank (The Graveyard Man)
Blue Horse
What You Are
I Sing About You
Still In The Mood
Bethlehems Gate
Town To Be Blamed
Wake Up And Dream
Your Town
Radio On / You Can't Always Get What You Want*

* The Temptations
Randy Newman
The Rolling Stones