Ricky Ross at Capstone Theatre (1 December ’17)

Probably my last gig of the year saw a brand-new venue for me in the Capstone Theatre, where I went with My Beloved Wife to see Deacon Blue’s Ricky Ross perform a solo show.

While I’m far from their biggest fan, I’ve seen Deacon Blue four times at the Echo Arena, most recently in December 2014 (as reviewed here).

Ticket

We left the Boy Wonder in the capable babysitting hands of his biggest cousin, who successfully put him to bed for the first time, before we headed to the venue via the always reliable Delta Taxis.

I joined the massive bar queue, returning with the best I could lay my hands on, in two bottles each of Fuller’s London Pride and GuinnessHop House.

We were too late to see Anthony D’Amato who was supporting, but I saw him at the merch stand while queuing for the beers, and we got a glimpse of him at the end of Ricky Ross’s set. I’d quite like to have seen him as he’s worked with the likes of Conor Oberst, and covered Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down.

(Terrible photo of) Ricky Ross at the joanna

Ricky kicked off with I Thought I Saw You, one of many tunes he picked from his Short Stories Vol. 1 from earlier this year, an album of mostly new tracks, but with re-recordings of a couple of Deacon Blue’s biggest songs also.

There were actually quite a few Deacon Blue songs in the set, although most of these weren’t ones I was familiar with, only discovering they weren’t solo originals after the event.

(Another terrible photo of) Ricky Ross, on guitar

He performed on his own at the piano for the vast majority of the set, only moving to guitar for a couple of numbers. He told some entertaining, rambling stories to set up some of the songs, as he tends to do at Deacon Blue gigs.

He even got the crowd to join in with a mass singalong, training the 250 or so in the audience to sing the chorus of The Germans Are Out Today, which was followed by the touching Only God And Dogs.

He headed off stage briefly after Holy Night, the closing track from 2013’s Trouble Came Looking. He came back on with Anthony D’Amato, with both playing guitar and singing the title track of 2005’s Pale Rider.

Ricky Ross & Anthony D’Amato

Ross then went back to the piano to do a version of Bob Dylan’s Make You Feel My Love. Forget Billy Joel or Adele, the original is of course the real deal.

Ricky’s fancy boots

The show ended with Deacon Blue’s Loaded, a song I have always thought was called I’ve Found An Answer, and then Looking For My Own Lone Ranger from 2002’s This Is The Life.

He was an engaging presence, and put on an entertaining, if low key show. My Beloved Wife then queued up to meet him at the merch stand, while I sat nearby listening as he signed CDs and tickets and posed for pictures.

While earwigging (and checking out his boots!), I’m pretty sure I saw a couple hand over a copy of Ella Guru’s The First Album (a record I own) for him to play on his BBC Radio Scotland show.

Ricky Ross & My Beloved Wife

The night was still young enough for us to track down a taxi and head for a satisfying Chinese from Yuet Ben, before calling up Delta again to get home by midnight.

Tonight’s t-shirt

Not an easy choice for this one, but I wore my green Bob Dylan t-shirt, which proved quite prescient when he played one of his songs. As expected, this wasn’t a gig with many band tees on show – though I spotted a couple of Deacon Blue ones and Dr Feelgood.

 

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Playlist

Here is much of the music from the night on Spotify:

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