Friday, August 07, 2009

Ricky Warwick - Belfast Confetti

'I'm gonna put on my boots I'm gonna ditch my plans
I'm gonna fuck it all up in the promised land' - Can't Wait For Tomorrow

'So if your baby leaves you lonely and your heart begins to pine
For those rainy summer nights drunk on Buckfast tonic wine' - The Arms Of Belfast Town

A few years back Mr 'Almighty' Ricky Warwick not so much reinvented as stripped his sound down, kicked the stacks out the window, hot-wired an acoustic and brought out Tattoos & Alibis and Love Many Trust Few. He'd evidently stumbled into 'em or long had a lingering urge to pick up the muscular bluegrass biker country that Steve Earle once gloried in in pre-crack den rampaging past arrest warrants police-battering glory days (before the post crack-den get it...well 'cept for lately, alas, but that's quite another tirade...). Now, after a wee Almighty reformation a year or so back, here's album number three. And absolutely fucking colossal it is too, deposit the verbiage in the backseat for some educational replenishment in the fine art of passionate song dispersement. A surface simple, straightforward treat, the scowl that growled through the storm-summoning boogie of Wild And Wonderful and Full Force Lovin' Machine possesses abundant soul for these subtly complex and lyrical songs of love, liquor, lonesomeness and...fighting...on all levels. The atmospheric Angel Of Guile is a poetic discourse that Tyla used to vouch for but now vacillates and aches over, recalling Springsteen at his most exquisite, and even Mike Scott -see also the raggle-taggle tin-whistle trans-Atlantic paean / lament The Arms Of Belfast Town which is just about song of the year off album of the year. Born Fightin' could sit comfortably at a table with the titles from Earle's Train A Comin' but you'd find it perfectly acceptable, not crudely cheeky at all, for it to decline the invitation any godamn, undarned sock, way it wanted. You can hear the engine still roaring, see the fingers picking, behind joyous bar-toppling, table-throwing fuck it all and fuck it no regrets opener Can't Wait For Tomorrow and arms aloft Nebraska-fied Punchin' Thunder as well as the suggestion of some Radar Love soliciting you on the title track.
Stu Gibson
NB - RW tours with Love / Hate and Therapy? in Autumn, has to be seen.

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