Diamond Rock Club, Ballymena, Ireland 15 December 2012
Ricky Warwick does not do many solo gigs these days, so when we heard that he was gigging in Northern Ireland (first one in eighteen months and only one in 2012 ), we, Alison Bear and Sebastian Di Gatto headed out for a well earned holiday, and to get a piece of the action.
Said action was to be found at the Diamond Rock Club in Ahogill, just outside Ballymena, we turned up with high expectations, and were not disappointed. Able support was provided by one Matt Fitzsimons, who offered a short set, comprising some original material and some covers. Matt is a regular and big favourite at the Diamond Rock Club, he is the kind of performer who although you have never seen him before, can sit on a stool, sing, play guitar and totally grab your attention, he was simply great. (Catch him on YouTube).
Then Ricky Warwick quietly took to the stage and everyone waited in anticipation for what turned out to be an amazing set comprising over twenty songs from 'Belfast Confetti', 'Tattoo’s and Alibi’s' and of course some Almighty classics, all of which had the audience smiling and singing their hearts out.
Ricky had squeezed this gig in between performances with Thin Lizzy in Belfast and in Glasgow and again he demonstrated his commitment to his army of fans, he stormed through the first half of the set songs included 'Belfast Confetti', 'Busted', 'Mysterioso', 'Paranoia', 'Devil’s Toy', 'Wild and Wonderful', 'Jesus Loves You', again demonstrating that he can take a guitar and that amazing voice and make those songs sound so good, whether at the front of a band, or as a solo performer. Ricky Warwick is awesome, his song writing skills are truly immense.
The second half saw Ricky being joined on stage by Damon Johnson, a Thin Lizzy guitarist from Sept 2011, but previously with The Alice Cooper Band, Brother Cane, among others. These two guys have clearly established a working rapport and were great together, they delighted the audience with Thin Lizzy classics from 'Jailbreak', 'Southbound', 'Got No Shame', 'Borderline' to 'Whiskey In The Jar', 'Cowboy Song', 'The Boys are Back In Town', in amongst which was 'Free and Easy'. As the night came to a close, came the obligatory 'Ace of Spades' and a fantastic rendition of 'Born To Run', the evening ended with the rousing and inspiring 'Arms of Belfast Town' as performed by Ricky, Damo and the entire audience.
This was a truly amazing evening, to be remembered for a long while.
Our thanks go to the staff and patrons of the Diamond Rock Club, this was our first visit to Northern Ireland and to the club, but it certainly won’t be he last, we were made to feel so welcome and it was truly a great experience.
Review by: Alison Bear