Cal Ruddy, Gig Review. Paradise Street Stage, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10

Cal Ruddy in Liverpool. April 2017. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

If there is a gentleman to admire in this world, a young man of stature and beaming smile at all life has to throw at him, then a photo fit arrangement of the face would surely have the very likeness of Cal Ruddy attached to it. The same facsimile would also urge anyone close by enough to hear him take on the acoustics of an indoor or outdoor arena to revel in the artist’s work, to realise that to be at the very start of a flourish is only to regret not being there before the guitar was ever picked up and see the first signs of intrigue that blossomed in its early infancy.

Liverpool One, the rest of the country yet to have a shot on target, the honour of living in a city that makes so much of the music around them is never lost and whilst a pop up stage in the middle of the city’s newest shopping centre may be the last place you would expect music to be played, it still has a force which requires the musician to be extraordinary, to delve into the minds of those with pockets teeming with air and consumerist expectations, to give them something other than buying clothes a consideration.

It is a moment to savour when you can see a musician take advantage of this, to have ears being drawn to them, to see them being interested, pulled in and made to appreciate art when all they may been considering was just how much of a reduction they may get in the shop they were headed to, this may not have been the point of the day but it was one that Cal Ruddy and all who followed during the course of hours that followed took their words and songs onwards into battle with.

Cal Ruddy took the start of the proceedings on with vigour, a sense of cool that made a mockery of the cold wind that threatened the April ambiance and sunshine daring to poke through the last remains of winter. It was with that and with knowledge he was also performing later on in the evening that made his set so exhilarating, the guitar an attitude of selflessness and of the aware, this was Cal Ruddy as enjoyable as he always is and nothing can ever displace that feeling when you watch him.

With the songs Buying Time, Love and Cigarettes, the new song Talk Is Cheap and a wonderful version of the Beatles’ classic Love Me Do all making an appearance, Cal Ruddy put on a performance in which he beguiled as much as he does when playing a full electric set with a venue full of self confessed fans.

A musician who gives everything and arguably at the expense of his own brilliant life, Cal Ruddy is a man to catch playing wherever the call takes him.

Ian D. Hall