Rick Redbeard - Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Tue 12 Mar 2013 (4 stars)

Honest and traditional material from versatile Phantom Band singer

Rick Redbeard - Electric Circus, Edinburgh, Tue 12 Mar 2013

PHOTO: David Scott, www.davidpscott.co.uk

’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.

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