Where to start, numerous Ryan shows under my belt already and this is the second London show for me this year, following the Barbican gig in June.  I have seen Ryan play over the years in many different forms, with band, solo, playing with other bands. Focussed, unfocussed, sullen, happy, quiet, chatty, but throughout all of that, there are the songs and their delivery which remains for me spine tingling every time out. 

At the moment we have the cool, focussed, amiable Ryan. Fine new album just released (Ashes and Fire) and a back catalogue to make even more seasoned veterans weep.


Anyway back to the start. A healthy queue outside the venue early on as, a venue official  wanders down the line shouting, no recording no video no pictures,. even on phones etc etc etc. The Union chapel is a jouous church for a concert and being there ‘early doors’, pretty much guarantees a decent pew.


Chris Stills (Stephen’s son) provided a strong set to start and is well worth checking out on record and live. As you would expect (being in the genes) a good guitarist and interesting songs.

Ryan was solo tonight so a swift twenty minutes goes by and the great man is onstage. Much like the Barbican set, seated with acoustic guitars and harmonica and at the piano or standing  at the mic with guitar, the set lasted well over two hours.


A hushed respectful, awe filled prevailed across the audience for the early part of the set (perhaps due to aforementioned venue warning as well) before Ryan himself loosen up and the banter started. along the lines of song request’s generally and people wishing to have his babies. After thirty seven years of regular gigging, I struggled to hear what Ryan was actually saying most of the time but, hopefully that will come from our other reviewer. The music was sublime.


Ryan was actually s not averse to playing requests ‘Dear Chicago’ for example and remained relaxed and un-baitable by the audience heckles throughout


A wonderful evening bookended by songs from ‘Heartbreaker’ . We had a healthy selection from the newly released Ashes and Fire which really is real grower of an album.


We get one totally new song this evening, after a misheard heckle.  I don’t think ‘Cold Sweater For A Reason’ will be heard again but, it did show Ryan’s genius to seize the moment.


So all in all another superb show from the maestro. A full band next time?





1. Sweet Carolina

2. Ashes & Fire

3. If I Am A Stranger

4. Dirty Rain

5. Winding wheel

6. S Plath

7. Firecracker

8. Invisible Riverside

9. Everybody Knows

10.. Lucky Now

11. Please Do Not let Me Go

12. Rocks

13. New York New York

14. Crossed Out Name

15. Two

16. When Will You Come Back Home

17. Why Do They Leave?

18. English Girls

19. Houses on The Hill

20. Avenues

21. Jacksonville Skyline



22. In My Time Of Need

23. Dear Chicago

24. Cold Sweater For A Reason (Improv)

25. Halloween

26. Come Pick Me Up