The thing that intrigued me most en route to what turned out to be a marvellous gig was how Good Luck Mountain (Mike Ferrio) would be able to treat the sumptuous songs from his current brilliant, haunting and hypnotic release ‘Too’ in stripped down format in this type of setting, a function room in a sporting club with tennis players on court in the rain writes Mike Ritchie.
With guitar, harmonica and a length of plastic tubing (thrown into his suitcase at the last moment before his New York departure 24 hours earlier), ex-Tandy man, Mike more than succeeded. He put in an enthralling performance with final track of the evening, Seawall proving to be a towering communal effort, tubing included courtesy of a giggly female from the crowd, and clapping plus Queen-style We Will Rock You foot stomping, choreographed by Mike. I wonder if he managed to repeat that feat on his tour.
Where Too is full of glorious hints of wide open spaces, wind swept hills and towering seas with splashes of The Waterboys, shards of edgy Zeppelin and The Who, this show was calm and but no less beautiful – Van Morrison conversational-style vocals were pleasantly and quietly in evidence as they are on the album.
Gentle guitar playing caressed thoughtful lyrics to entrance us throughout. He is a memorable singer/songwriter while his guitar playing was measured and carefully constructed to be moody, delicate: just perfect for the heartfelt intimacy of his songs.
White Calico Flower and Maps of the Moon, minus Ana Egge’s ice clear vocals, from Too were better than gorgeous, with the rest of his set list merely sublime. We got the artiste in superb close up and we were seduced.
The big venues I passed on my way to the gig couldn’t ever match the warmth of this atmosphere: many of the acts appearing in them would struggle to compare as well with the spellbinding music you can find on the golden trail leading to and from Good Luck Mountain.
Mike Ritchie on Sunday 2.00-4.00pm
Celtic Music Radio 95FM