Ricky Ross, Gig Review. Capstone Theatre, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Ricky Ross at the Capstone Theatre, Liverpool. November 2017. Photograph used with kind permission by David Munn Photography.

It seems a strange departure when you first see the piano on the stage at the Capstone Theatre, the audience knows full well it is not going to be a performance in which the roof of the Echo Arena would shake and feel the storming pull of wave after wave of pop hits and the shake of expectation of Deacon Blue favourites that have become a staple on the Liverpool calendar since the venue opened. However, when it comes to Ricky Ross, almost anything is possible and the Capstone Theatre roof must have been concerned for the future of its position.

It seemed like a dream to many in the audience, one of Scotland’s most treasured songwriters of the last fifty years performing inside the intimate and lush space of the Capstone Theatre, an evening of piano led acoustic music and with only the voice of Deacon Blue to be heard. Dreams are not normally this vibrant, they don’t find themselves in amongst the sense of beautiful calm and serenity on offer and it is was one that the songs that have had many fall in love, shone with absolute power.

A tour before the main event, a night in the company of an audience ready to be spiritually comforted and taken on a journey through a man’s life, the small anecdotes of a how a song came into being, the explanation, the conversation, the smiles and the up close and personal; it is what makes these unexpected events fill the crowd’s mind with possibilities and a sense of the stripped back purity in which many songs originate.

The piano and the lingering guitar at the front of the stage gave the audience that sense of beguilement and love that the mind craves for in such circumstances, the cold November air battling with the fire in the belly, one in which the warmth of music encroaching into the stalls was inevitably going to be the winner.

In a captivating performance by Ricky Ross, songs such as Raintown, The Soldier’s Song, James Joyce Soles, the beautiful A Gordon For Me, London Comes Alive, Wages Day, Only Gods and Dogs and I’ll Never Fall In Love Again fulfilled the heart’s desire, it was a moment to treasure with absolute ferocity.

Ricky Ross returns to the Capstone Theatre on December 1st, if this performance was anything to go by, then the Echo Arena’s roof might be feeling a tad jealous of the appreciation shown towards to the Deacon Blue vocalist.

Ian D. Hall