Ricky Warwick, Acoustic TV & Mark Curran

Tonight at the Underworld was to be an all-acoustic gig, with Thin Lizzy/Black Star Riders frontman Ricky Warwick headlining.

First up was American singer Mark Curran.  I caught his band doing a full electric set a few weeks ago supporting Vega at the Barfly and enjoyed their set, so was looking forward to his set tonight.  For the first part of the set it was just him playing guitar and singing, wich is how he’s performed on the whole tour, but tonight after a few songs he was joined by two members of his band (Curran), one on bass and one on the Cajon (an acoustic drum that’s shaped like a wooden box and which the player sits on).  He ended the set with an excellent cover of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Blood on blood’.
Mark Curran got a great reception from the crowd which is an impressive achievement when you look at the bill – Acoustic TV were playing popular Terrorvision songs, Ricky Warwick was playing songs from The Almighty, Black Star Riders and Thin Lizzy, while Mark Curran was a relatively unknown artist mainly playing his own material that hasnt been released yet so is unfamiliar to the audiences.  Overcoming that lack of famililiarity with the songs to get a good reaction from the crowd is a sign that once he releases an album he’s likely to go down better and better.

Acoustic TV came next.  If you’re not familiar with the name, well its Tony Wright and Milly Evans from Terrorvision playing acoustic sets comprised almost entirely of Terrorvision songs.  As a result they benefit from the popularity of Terrorvision and the fact that the fans know the songs (ok there are also plenty of people who only know ‘Tequila’).  Tonight we get a set comprised almost exclusively of Terrorvision songs, with a David Bowie cover thrown in, and one song from another of Tony Wright’s bands – Laika Dog.  Their set had a rockier feel than I’d expected, and was predictably very enjoyable with them getting a great reception from the crowd.

Acoustic TV setlist:

Dog Chewed the Handle
What Makes You Tick
III Wishes
Day After Day
Piano Song
Little Things
Alice What’s The Matter
Moonage Daydream
Friends And Family
My House

Finally was the headliner, Ricky Warwick.  With a huge range of material from Thin Lizzy, Black Star Riders, The Almighty, and his solo abums to pick from, he chose to kick off with something different – ‘Summertime’ (an Eddie Cochran song), and quickly followed this with the first Thin Lizzy song of the night – Jailbreak.  In fact he only played two Thin Lizzy songs, with the other being ‘The boys are back in town’, and after playing that he told the crowd his boss Scott Gorham was there and said he hoped he hadn’t messed it up too much.  The set tonight was a really good mix of material, mainly Black Star Riders/Thin Lizzy/Solo material, but with some covers thrown in for good measure.  He introduced one song as “The second greatest rock and roll song of all time” – which turned out to be the Britney Spears song ‘Oops I did it again’.  One thing that was clear was that the songs from his time with The Almighty got some of the biggest cheers of the night, which suggests the re-issues that Spinefarm are releasing in September with bonus content are going to be a big hit with fans.
With Ricky Warwick, the music is only part of the show though – between songs he tells entertaining stories, and it really helps lift the show to another level.
For one of The Almighty songs (Jonestown Mind), he brings on Andy Cairns (Therapy?), but aside from that it’s just him and his guitar plus his drummer on the Cajon putting in a thoroughly entertaining performance.  He ended the night with Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born to run’.  With songs from Eddie Cochran, Bruce Springsteen, Motorhead, Britney Spears, The Almighty, Black Star riders, and Thin Lizzy as well as his own songs, this was a set with something for everyone.

At a first glance tonight’s gig hadn’t appealed to me – acoustic shows do often have a tendency to be quite dull and repetitive, but tonight was an example of how good they can be when done right.  All threee acts held my attention and went down well with the crowd.  The three acts all had different sounds, and all were good at working with the crowd.  This really was a great evening and all three acts are well worth checking out if you get the chance.

Ricky Warwick setlist:

Summertime Blues
The Whiskey Song
Wild & Wonderful
Bound for Glory
Can’t Wait for Tomorrow
Running Free
Jesus Loves You.. But I Don’t
Can’t Live With Maybe
Belfast Confetti
Ace of Spades
Oops!… I Did It Again
Jonestown Mind(with Andy Cairns)
Hey Judas
Free ‘n’ Easy
The Boys Are Back in Town
The Arms of Belfast Town
Born to Run

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.