Even in the sultry heat of this venue, there are no flies on Ricky Warwick.
The former frontman with Scots rockers The Almighty has just wound up several years of touring as the substitute frontman of Thin Lizzy and will shortly head out again with his Lizzy cohorts as Black Star Riders. But, in the meantime, he has an acoustic guitar to shred and a batch of originals and covers, from Eddie Cochran to Iron Maiden, to dispatch at no-nonsense pace, accompanied by Jack Taylor on cajon.
There wasn’t much to choose stylistically between the material he aired by each of his bands. The Black Star Riders’ songs were very clearly the offspring of Thin Lizzy, whose Jailbreak was an early benchmark. The Almighty numbers confirmed their place as a minor link in the rootsy rock’n’roll chain and the earnest, rabble-rousing Belfast Confetti and The Arms Of Belfast Town spoke to his early days playing with New Model Army.
What his take on Ace Of Spades lacked in firepower, it gained in rhythmic intensity, forming an unlikely tag team with the following Oops! I Did It Again, the one curveball in a safe, consistent set.
Co-headliners Acoustic TV, comprising Tony Wright, the cheery, self-effacing frontman of 90s bubblegum Britrockers Terrorvision, and his bandmate Milly on deft semi-acoustic guitar licks, piano and harmonies, stuck predominantly to their own material though they did turn in a brawny cover of Bowie’s Moonage Dream that was more Oasis than Ziggy.
None of their own songs were close to this calibre but they were at least abundant in catchy melodies. A relatively subtle rendition of their big, dopey hit Tequila was given a proper Latino flourish, but a jabbering Perseverance was more of a race to the singalong chorus.