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149. RICKY LEE at ‘THE KING HAROLD’, Harold Wood, Essex. Saturday, 18th February, 2017.

Ricky with Les at the Harold (Photo: PTMQ)

Ricky with Les at the Harold (Photo: PTMQ)

To be honest I wasn’t even planning to go to a gig on this particular night, but at short notice, my boy James recommended solo covers guitarist Ricky Lee, a local 25 year old, who was booked for my local pub The King Harold; so off we went. I don’t get myself down there much these days because I don’t normally have the time to review covers bands (excellent though some of them are), but its a good pub which I think hosts covers artists/bands every Saturday night; and was packed out as usual. I was glad I went on this particular night, and here’s why…

Strapping on his Les Paul and switching on his backing track, our man began his set with ‘How Long?’, following up with a great variety of well-chosen crowd-pleasing covers from the last six decades, such as ‘Lovely Day’; ‘Wonderful Tonight’; ‘Teenage Dirtbag’; ‘Johnny B Goode’; ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’; ‘You Really Got Me’; ‘Rebel Yell’; ‘Here I Go Again’; Rocking In The Free World’; and ‘Knocking On Heaven’s Door’ (unfortunately without a Slash-esque solo – but good all the same!)

Most popular with the ladies on the dance floor were ‘Valerie’; ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’; and ‘Summer Of 69’; but I was personally most impressed by his axe-work ‘Still Got The Blues’ and ‘Foxy Lady’ – leading me to think that the Blues-Rock genre is where he feels most at home. He looks and sounds too good to be doing just covers and I’d be interested to hear his own material. We had a chat at half-time, and he told me he was (not surprisingly) into Moore, Slash and Bonamassa, among others.

It was clear from the first number that Ricky knew his way round the fret-board of his Les Paul, which he handled with confidence and competence; changing from rhythm to lead with consumate ease – his right foot was more than a bit useful on the Cry Baby for the iconic solo of ‘Don’t Believe A Word’ too! Every song was easily recognisable – but not a slavish copy, leaving room for a little personal interpretation. There were no discernable mistakes and vocals were very good. A great performance and a fine set. Someone to look out for; and good luck to him. Thanks to all staff and punters at the King Harold… and to James for suggesting the gig in the first place! PTMQ

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