Rick Redbeard - Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Tue 12 Mar 2013
Honest and traditional material from versatile Phantom Band singer
’I don’t know if any of you have been to Glasgow before?’ asks Rick Anthony with tongue in cheek, having a laugh at the expense of his genteel east coast fans. But sometimes, when your other group the The Phantom Band is known for a retro-futurist strain of space-noise and this is your first live show since unleashing a debut solo album which goes entirely in the opposite direction, what you need is a bit of peace and quiet. He was thanking us all for not making too much noise by the end.
As Rick Redbeard (he’s called Rick, he has a beard, it’s … strawberry blonde), Anthony has just brought out No Selfish Heart on Chemikal Underground. Its bittersweet but occasionally very uplifting music just about passed the test of a stand-up venue, although the King Creosote-style shanty of ‘Now We’re Dancing’ or the James Taylor fragility of ‘Any Way I Can’ (played with tambourine on foot) are more coffee shop classics, such is their rich but easy listening delicacy.
Like Leonard Cohen gone folk – standard ‘Kelvin Grove’ was a rustic nod to the hipster epicentre’s past – Anthony is both honest and traditional, a versatile artist whose solo work is a complement rather than an aside to his usual style.