Evening With Ricky Ross
March 2000

Philharmonic 2nd
0151 709 3789
London Shepherds Bush Empire 3rd
0181 740 7474
Bar Cuba 4th
01625 614314
Coventry Warwick Arts Centre 5th
01203 524524


Liverpool Philharmonic 2nd March 2000
The first half of the night was the support act by name of Carina Round who played guitar and sang. Afraid she did nothing for me whatsoever:-( Things seemed flat whilst she was on stage and strained to the point of embarassment. All that changed when Ricky and the guys came on. He was his usual chatty self. The atmosphere soon warmed up and everyone seemed to be having a really good time. He began the set with a new song followed by The Undeveloped Heart. (This is where my memory starts to let me down!!) All in all he sang four new songs I think, including one called London Comes Alive dedicated to his Mum. After the first hearing they all sound very promising and I'm looking forward to the new album which he says will be out later in the year.

The bulk of the other material was from the two solo albums: Blue Horse, Icarus, Rosie Gordon, When Sinners Fall, The Further North You Go, Ash Wednesday, Cold Easter, What You Are (Mick Slavin was brilliant during that one!) and Good Evening Philadelphia. The only Deacon Blue material was Wages Day, Dignity, Bethlehem's Gate with Love and Regret as one of the encores. As usual though they got the most enthusiastic reception of the evening. One guy, who had possibly spent a tad too long in the bar beforehand, continued his loud clapping accompaniment to Wages Day until being told to pack it in by security. For his pains though he did get a special mention by Ricky at the end of the song:-) Much as I love the Deacon Blue stuff though, the highlight for me was the wonderful rendition of What You are and hearing When Sinners Fall live for the first time - it's a particular favourite of mine from "What You Are".

I'd expected to have a good night but my companion was neither a Deacon Blue or Ricky Ross fan and only went with me under duress. However, he ended up having a a thoroughly wonderful time and has been well and truly converted which for me says it all!! .Clare Hughes

Support act 'Carina Round' with her deep spiritual sound seemed out of place in the pop/rock atmosphere of a full band Ricky Ross show.Her talent was never in question right from the off with her powerful accapella introduction 'Damn Your Eyes' but her suitability as a RR support act maybe needed a re-think.

For the main event Ricky chose to uncharacteristically begin at the piano with a slow new song "Threatening Rain' and a good new song it is too along with song 3 the upbeat and deeply melodic 'Away'.For tonights show 'New' seemed to be the theme, if it wasn't a new song it was a new arrangement like 'Blue Horse' backed by drums and bass or 'Bethlehems Gate' with Ricky playing solo at the piano until the band kicked in at the second verse.New songs, new arrangements and new faces too, drummer Jim Gash played well and added great vocal harmonies along with the slightly more familiar face of Ewen Vernal, who now it seems adds keyboards to his repertoire!, although Jim Prime has nothing to worry about, trust me!!

Highlights for me were finally getting to hear some of the long lost songs from "What You Are" which never really got toured with a full band.'When Sinners Fall' and 'Rosie Gordon Lies So Still' sounded great and were well received along with the ever-popular and ever-rockin' "What You Are", Mick Slaven bounded round the stage thrashing the living daylights out of his Fender Jaguar, during some Deacon Blue shows Lorraine often stole the show, tonight I think it may have been Mick!

Ricky ended the set the way he began with a cracking new song 'This Is The Life' , a song which he described as 'realising that where you are now, is as good as it gets' does this mean that Ricky is content with his solo life, I think so.

If I was honest I'd say this was not my favourite Ricky Ross show, but nevertheless it was something 'New' and fresh and with the promising new material ,it looks like a fine new album is coming our way, personally,.......I can't wait! Neil Parry

Thanks to Ricky for another top night. It was nice to hear some new songs especially "Away" and completely look forward to the next solo album. Whatever Mick Slaven is on ....I want some!!! The guy had so much energy it was great to see.

Ricky's support act was very brave I thought, and I think the crowd appreciated her trying her best.Anyway, here's to the next gig. Hope to see you all there.Chris

London Shepherds Bush Empire 3rd March 2000
I've  just got back from Sheperds Bush and Wow what can I say....This was my first Ricky Ross show as I had been in Australia for the last tour...I have to admit when Rickys first Album came out I wasn't that impressed,I guess I still hankered for the old Deacon Blue sound and it wormed its way to the bottom of my CD collection..I can tell you its gonna nestle very snugly at the top of that pile now.

I felt the whole band were very tight and Mick Slaven can't half play that guitar and Ewan Vernal on the keyboards!! As Ricky said The Ross Geller of the Keyboard world!...The setlist was very similar to Liverpool and to be honest I didn't pay too much attention I was just lost in the moment...(and the fact that you could drink beer in the theatre probably dulled my memory a tad) but Highlights for me were 'What you are 'and 'Bethelehems Gate'.....After the gig we got chatting to Carina Round....I have to disagree with the other comments on the site..I thought she played really well and certainly after speaking to her seems to have very similar influences to Ricky.....Springsteen et all...And she's only 20!!!!

Carina took us round to the bands dressing room so apologies now Ricky for the two half drunk gushing English men who crashed the after show...but Ricky said that he is pulling out all the stops to get an album out this year so I look forward to that joining What you are and New Recording at the top of that CD Collection.....Anybody going to the rest of the tour have a fantastic time...and take along a friend..This new stuff needs to be heard!!!Enjoy! .Adam Rowse

We had a great night at Shepherds Bush.I thought the mixture of songs was good – some new ones, some from the 2 solo albums, including my favourite The Further North You Go and a few Deacon Blue songs. Dignity, of course, and James Joyce Souls was a pleasant surprise.

Ricky’s comparison of Ewan on keyboard to Ross Gellar was spot on and very funny. I got the giggles watching him pulling these strange faces while playing.

The new track This Is The Life was simply brilliant. It’s very rare for me to get excited about a song when I hear it live first but I loved this straight away and can’t wait for the new album – promised for this year. If there is any justice this will be the song that puts Ricky back where he should be – in the charts above those bloody boy/girl bands!

A big disappointment though was the sound mixing. It was far too heavy on guitar and we often couldn’t hear Ricky’s voice. This was particularly noticeable with Bethlehem’s Gate which Ricky started on keyboard and sounded perfect, then the band joined in and drowned him out.

I have to echo Neil’s comments about Mick Slaven, he was excellent. What an amazing solo in What You Are.

A real pleasure of seeing Ricky, with or without this band or Deacon Blue, is the variety of songs. Even when I’ve seen him on consecutive nights he changes the set. Other acts I’ve seen I can tell you 80% of the set list before the tour because it never changes (Elton John take note!).

I couldn’t have had a better seat – THE middle seat in the front row, all thanks to seeing the date nice and early on Steve’s Circus Lights site. And I got to shake the great man’s hand again. Ricky’s that is, not Steve’s.

Thanks for another great show Ricky. Keep ‘em coming. David Wright

Macclesfield Bar Cuba 4th March 2000
When I first heard this gig announced I thought, well, its pretty local, maybe I should go.But having been there a 10 months earlier among the rowdy and somewhat bewildered locals I thought better of it.But then Warbeck started giving away tickets and  I thought well, why not its free.Boy do I wish I hadn't bothered.

The band were great although not looking totally comfortable with the limited stage and audience attention span.But they battled on, Ricky almost ignoring the fact that many people weren't listening or even aware who he was.The audience were divided, you had 'The Fans' the people who had travelled and waited patiently for the gig to start at 11pm, and then you had the 'locals' who simply go there every Saturday night.With the vaguely clued up locals yelling for 'Chocolate Girl' 'Dignity' and mimicing that ever popular hook line, you know the one that goes Oooh Oooh Oooh!!, the new material that Ricky came to perform was largely overlooked and it wasn't until the powerful and upbeat 'Cold Easter' and 'What You Are' appeared that the heads started to turn.But by this point it was too late, the beautiful 'Rosie Gordon' and several others had already been lost amongst the sheer noise and ignorance of the crowd.Only once did Ricky try to battle the situation by saying 'Usually the audience doesn't talk when we play' but he may as well have gone home, most of them wouldn't have even noticed.

But what do I care?.....I caught the Liverpool show and got in free at Macclesfield , but I can't help feeling sorry for the people, for whom this was there only chance to see him, maybe they won't bother next time, and that really would be a shame :-( Neil Parry
Coventry Warwick Arts Centre 5th March 2000
Just been to the Coventry gig where Ricky and the band absolutely rocked (pity the audience never did).ive never seen them put on such a drum and guitar based show like this one,anyone watching mick slaven would have thought hed been wired direct to the national grid.a great show which would have been a fantastic show if played in a better venue than warwick arts centre.Rob Nicholl

I went to the gig last night, drove from Milton Keynes got completely lost ,turned up late, at the end of the supporting act luckily. It was the first ever time I've seen any of the band live, being only 21 on the 18th of dec99 when db where on radio 2. I never had the chance to see db live, i suppose last night was the closest I'll ever get to seeing them live. It would have been great to here "That Counrty"

I see that tune as being like the way i feel at the moment at university, putting up with basicly a lot of 5hit. Everyone seems to believe in material stuff these days. You go to church every week etc and people think your a freak. Spending the last 12yrs of my life in the heart of England and coming from Edinburgh. I know that poeple down here sure no how to take the pi$$ out of a scot. The gig last night brought back a lot memories from Scotland for me,£*** knows why. When i was about 9yrs old my sister had bought 'Raintown', that great album that, - "doesn't seem to go away". Ever since then I have listened to dB music. When i was 16 I could afford to by all their albums, so I've got all of them now. I've got the new one Walking Back Home, kind of appropriate, as after clubbing i can never afford a taxi.I'll Like track 14 All i want.

At the gig ricky said- any requests, it was so quite you could here a "pin drop" then someone said 'Circus Lights', 'Chocloate Girl', and people started bbbaaaaing like sheep.I think we then heard 'Wages Day' which sounded excellent.We also heard 'Dignity', I think also Real Gone Kid ,I've got a crap memory but there where a few Klass Tunes in there.

Also one for his mum which sounded impressive. The coordination with the band was spot on he jumped and both ricky and the drum landed with a perfect bang.I had a front row seat but i was late and sat five rows up on the end on the left which would have been rickys right. there was three real big old blokes behind me. I could have sat down the front but there was these big speakers blocking my view even when was five rows up. I have tinnitus (permenate ringing) in my left ear so i had to wear ear plugs as seating right in front of a 8ft speaker hurts.

If ricky can appraoch his solo career with the same effort and tunes as he did with deacon blue then us fans will have something to look forword to.Paul D