If Science Fiction teaches us anything, it is that Time is but an illusion, a structure devised to keep order, to make sense of the day to day and the minutes that come and go as easily as lightning captured on a camera. Time though is about what is in between, the second hand giving way to the power of the one that speeds by rapidly, not for some the elongated minute or hour, but instead the infinite; for it does not take a day or an hour to fall in love, but the second, fleeting, invisible and beautiful.
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.
Communication, it can either break down, be misinformed like a game of Chinese Whispers, so much so that it tears minds and friendships apart, or it can restore faith, it can bleed truth, it can be awkward. It can be devastating in its silence and it can be beautiful, something that will make your heart stop and make you sit in the shade of quiet for a while; it is Communication that makes us human and it is the simplicity of it that brings out the finest belief in us all.
The moment will strike unexpectedly and without warning, the musician on stage will look down upon the crowd that has gathered before them, perhaps so large that they can no longer see their eyes glimmering with hope, perhaps so intimate that the windows to the soul are all they can focus on. In the end it doesn’t matter, all that is significant is the true moment in which the musician gives the best of nights and you sit in the corner, breathless and broken, buoyant and a believer; it is the moment in which Cal Ruddy supplied at Studio 2 in which the venue arguably witnessed one of the finest ever performances inside its hallowed frame.
Cal Ruddy in Bootle, July 2016. Photograph By Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Amongst the bright young things of Liverpool’s all encompassing music box is the spirited and genuinely skilful Cal Ruddy, a man to whom a song holds only mystery, the suspense of glory and to whom obscurity is just a word destined for those who will not try, who give in before they have even started. The song is in the D.N.A. of Cal Ruddy, he presents it to the audience as if holding aloft a laurel made of silk and gold, the pleasure of the sensuous mixed with the desire for beauty and it is one to relish being amongst.
It is the sound of an old but vibrant soul, of the appealing echo that resonates around the air of authority that hangs around the personality and playing ability of Cal Ruddy which makes him so incessantly cool; for the young man has a natural tendency to come up with a song that not only captures the attention of the listener from the very first hook, he does it a way which makes you think.
Cal Ruddy, Zanzibar, Liverpool. February 2015. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.
Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
To become a hero, to wallow just for a short while in deserved applause, the aspiring musician need not sell his soul to sit in the reflected glory of a highly profitable television programme, all they need to do is come through the possible agony of a live performance in front of friends and family in which some difficulties, otherwise known as real life, are met head on and beaten by sheer force of will and the demeanour of one born to succeed.
The humble compilation album can take many forms. In now what seems at times the dim and distant past, as distant to the younger generation coming through now as Sir Edmund Hilary’s and Tenzing Norgay’s ascent of Everest to those growing up in the 1970s, the past when to have your say in music meant taking the pick of the songs you may have proudly bought or even embarrassingly hidden away due to the absurdity of the song and placed onto a C90 tape and perhaps even then handed over with much ceremony to the person you perhaps fancied, the compilation stood for something pure.