It's a hot Wednesday in
London when I get to the Underworld to see Ricky Warwick and Eddie Spaghetti.
What can you expect when you put together Almighty and Supersuckers? Definitely
something special. The venue is dark, the big bar is shut, Eddie Spaghetti is
near the merchandise stand with his family smiling and talking to people. The
low lights and the fans all quietly hanging around the pit set a pleasant, relaxing
atmosphere for what feels more like an intimate unplugged jamming session between
old friends than a rock gig.
Eddie Spaghetti takes stage, playing plenty of his solo work from "The Sauce" and "Old no 2", feel-good country flavoured tunes that soon get the crowd dancing and singing along. The end of each track is marked with a "cha-cha-cha", a sign, Eddie explains, that the song is over and we can start cheering. I quite enjoy "Without love" while the guy next to me (probably Eddie no 1 fan) keeps asking for "Breaking the law"; soon enough his wish is granted. "Killer weed" follows, with everyone singing the chorus, and the same guy thanks Eddie leaving a "mysterious" tiny packet right next to the microphone stand... It all ends in the sign of the mighty Supersuckers, with "Pretty fucked up" (usual tear from my eye) and the much requested encore "Born with a tail".
Time for Ricky Warwick. To my surprise, Mr Almighty is not only a brilliant musician but quite a good entertainer. Between a "Wild and wonderful" and a "Belfast Confetti", takes the time to tell us the story of the young Irish riding tractors, rock'n'roll as a necessity (to get laid) rather than a choice and more tales of Irish countryside and atypical teenage scenarios. Well, atypical for a Londoner I guess... He also finds the time to remember Northern Ireland's victory on England in 2005 introducing "The arms of Belfast Town", and get out of the Underworld alive. Other catchy tracks include "Throwin' Dirt" from the latest "Belfast Confetti", "Three sides to every story" and one of my personal favourites, "Jesus loves you but I don't". Ricky pays tribute to Motorhead with "Ace of Spades", in his own words "the greatest love song ever written".
The gig reaches its climax when Eddie Spaghetti joins Ricky Warwick on stage for a brilliant rendition of Johnny Cash' "Ring of fire". Eddie's young son watches daddy from sidestage with a proud smile. And finally, it's Ricky on his own again to say goodbye with "I fought the law", leaving us all with big smiles on our faces.
Do yourself a favour: next time you're in the record store, pick up your copy of "Old No 2" and "Belfast Confetti", go home and stick it next to your Johnny Cash Greatest Hits in the "feel-good" section. Play with low lights and killer weed for maximum enjoyment.
by Cristina Massei
Visit the Ricky Warwick Website