Kev's Far From Idol
Ricky's Preaching To The Converted
Sunday Mail 21st April 2002

RICKY ROSS Cottier Theatre, Glasgow, April 16

THIS was not so much a concert, more of a religious experience.

Soulful, intimate and reverential, the spiritual feelings were cemented by the fact we were worshipping in a converted church.

The holy influence was constant throughout the gig - Ross even preaching from the pulpit about American foreign policy.

This was a million miles away from the Deacon Blue corporate hell of big stadiums, hit singles and worldwide tours.

If that was hell, then the church of Ricky Ross was heavenly. Currently touring to promote his new solo album, This Is The Life, the Deacon Blue frontman seems like a man happy with his lot.

The album, by his own admission, is the finest thing he's written and the gig and album's opener, Northern Soul, is one of the best songs Ross has written.

Brilliantly backed by Davie Scott (from the Pearlfishers) and Mick Slaven, this seems like a cathartic experience for Ross.

A track for his mother, one for his father, one written by his wife and a song title by his daughter, it's obvious where his influences lie. My Girl Goes To Town from the new album, elicited a lukewarm response from his daughter when she first heard it. She was expecting Britney Spears, all she got was Bruce Springsteen.

Halfway through the gig the backing band troop off and Ricky is left with his piano and a hushed congregation.

Deacon Blue favourite Raintown sounded fantastic in its rawest, stripped down form but the highlight of the night was the mesmeric, The Germans Are Out Today.

This obscure track was first aired in 1985 and ended with a choir singing the chorus.

The service almost over, but not before Ash Wednesday and the last hurrah When Will You Make My Telephone Ring with Boo Hewerdine - support for the gig - on backing vocals and Davie Scott strumming a bum note. But nobody cared because, even in the church of Ricky Ross, no one is perfect.
Brian Mcsweeney