Ricky Howlett - Live at The Boat Race 1997
An archive sound desk recording that has remained unreleased until now, this is a timely reminder of the greatness of Ricky Howlett, the elusive singer-songwriter who is now the sometime frontman of Alien Lovechild. It gives off warm, fuzzy vibes to those who remember the charms of the legendary Boat Race venue (dont look for it, its not there any more) but it also sets the bar for new generations of acoustic performers.
Its hard not to like Rickys starry-eyed view of the world in songs like Apple Tree (an ode to scrumping) and Skinny Dipping (no explanation necessary) which detail lifes simpler pleasures with lyrics that engage rather than cloy, as the irritatingly chirpy Jack Johnsons would.
Ricky does bare his fangs occasionally on tracks like 'Gobbledygook', essentially a tirade against verbal diarrhoea, but for the most part its a very upbeat affair. And on Caution To The Wind, he displays proper pop smarts, something that is too often missing in this genre.
Rickys voice is also quite special, calling to mind various singers all at once from Michael Stipe when in a higher register and Bert Jansch when he rasps a low note. Sound desk recordings give you the instruments without the gloss of reverb and EQ and its a testament to the quality of Rickys guitar playing and singing that they sound unaffected by the circumstance.
This release also holds true to the performers golden rule of leaving the audience wanting more. Across the 14 tracks here, Ricky convinces now as he ever did of his potential will more stuff surface in the coming years?
This recording can be acquired by messaging Rickey on FB and he'll send one out for free!! A kind and courteous service!!