Ricky Warwick and the Fighting Hearts hit the road for their first ever full UK headline tour.

Tonight Warwick and company make a welcome return to the North East of England just a mere eight months after their first show in the area at the O2 Academy Newcastle as support to the legendary Stiff Little Fingers.

Ricky Warwick is joined onstage by his band The Fighting Hearts which features new bass player Richard Vernon (The Mission), guitarist Mark Gemini Thwaite (The Mission, Peter Murphy), and drummer Gary Sullivan.

Tonight’s show centres largely around Warwick’s two solo albums, When Patsy Cline Was Crazy (And Guy Mitchell Sang The Blues) and Hearts on Trees, which were released back in February. There is a real anthemic quality to Warwick’s solo material included in the show tonight. With the likes of “Celebrating Sinking”, “The Road To Damascus Street” and “When Patsy Cline Was Crazy …” you can’t help yourself from singing along. In that respect, it’s quite similar to his work with both Black Star Riders and The Almighty. Ricky Warwick and the Fighting Hearts deliver real good old fashioned rock and roll at its best.

There’s plenty of room in the show for a few tracks from The Almighty back catalogue. These include the likes of set opener “Do You Understand” and the hard rocking “Wrench” from the 1994 album, Crank, which Warwick declares as being a golden oldie.

In between his work with The Fighting Hearts, Ricky Warwick has been in the studio writing and recording the forthcoming Black Star Riders record Heavy Fire, which is planned for release 3rd February next year. The first single from the album, “When The Night Comes In”, was released earlier this week, although it’s not featured this evening. Instead, Warwick launches into a euphoric rendition of “Finest Hour” dedicated to his Black Star Riders bandmate, Damon Johnson, wh co-wrote the song.

As the band approach the end of the show, they deliver their take on “Tommy Gun” by The Clash, before breaking into the unmistakable “Free ‘n’ Easy”, which still sounds as good now as it did back in the early 90s. The latter is dedicated to ex-Almighty bass player Gav Gray who is in the audience tonight.

Having fronted Thin Lizzy from 2010 onwards, including throughout the band’s recent 40th-anniversary celebration shows, the set would not be complete without a song from the Lizzy song book, and tonight that is “Jailbreak”. With the band’s no messing approach they choose to play straight through rather than breaking the set with an encore, and as such, they bring the night to a close with a frantic rendition of The Almighty’s “Jonestown Mind”.

Tonight the Geordie rock fraternity witnessed a superb career-spanning show from Ricky Warwick and the Fighting Hearts, with no stone left unturned. We look forward to more of what is to come from Warwick as he starts 2017 with a new album and forthcoming tour with the Black Star Riders.

Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts
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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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