Ricky were an English indie rock band, led by the harmonising singer-songwriter trio of Jim Lines, Guy Gyngell and Darren Richardson. The other constant member of the band was their guitarist, Gary Rex.
Years active 20002006
Past members Jim Lines Guy Gyngell Gary Rex Darren Richardson Gordon Mills
Ricky formed in Portsmouth, England in the autumn of 2000. The band's first release was a self-funded mini-album, released in January 2002, titled You Set The Scene, named after the last track on Forever Changes, an album by Love. The record gained strong reviews, leading to Ricky being made one of the 'Tips for 2002'.
The critical success of You Set The Scene led to Ricky signing to Superior Quality Recordings, a London based independent record label. Ricky spent much of 2002's summer touring with The Bluetones.
Ricky returned in March 2004 with another critically acclaimed, self-funded record, their debut album The Summer Sun Still Echoes. The album received even greater praise than You Set The Scene. In September 2004, the band issued a self-released single, "That Extra Mile", which reached #50 in the UK Singles Chart.
The success of "That Extra Mile" led to Ricky signing to the London indie label, Beat Crazy Records. Their first release for them was a split double a-side single with label mates Amsterdam. Ricky's side of the single was titled "Stop Knocking The Walls Down" and the track was mastered at the Abbey Road Studios. The single debuted at #32 in the UK Singles Chart.
Ricky went on to record 'High Speed Silence', an album which featured guest musicians including Pete Baker from Mohair, and was produced by the namesake son of Gordon Mills.
In June 2006, Ricky released a novelty 2006 FIFA World Cup single titled "We Are England". The single generated a great deal of media interest, including a daily campaign of support from The Daily Mirror.
In the weeks building up to the single's release, the media regularly reported that "We Are England" was outselling the rival World Cup singles on HMV's pre-order chart. However, Beat Crazy Records failed to synchronise the release of the single's four formats (CD, 7" vinyl, DVD and digital download) and after initial promise - the single featured at #17 in the first midweek chart update - "We Are England" finished the week at #54 in the UK Singles Chart. The track peaked at #3 in the UK Indie Chart.
Ricky decided to disband, announcing the news to their fan-base on June 25, 2006.
Ricky were occasionally joined on-stage by Craig Leworthy, son of former Tottenham Hotspur F.C. footballer, David Leworthy.
You Set the Scene (January 2002)
2. Maybe Together
3. Summer Almanac
4. Morning Sunshine
5. How Does It Feel?
6. The Kick Inside
The Summer Sun Still Echoes (March 2004), re-released (October 2004)
1. Someone Like You
2. Sunset View
3. Chichen Itza
4. Your Beautiful Smile
5. Better When You're Gone
6. Time Will Come
7. Borrowed Time
8. Gather Around
9. Hope from the Lonely Sea
10. Fall to Pieces
'High Speed Silence' (recorded but unreleased - although promotional CD's do exist)
1 Easy On Me
3 That Extra Mile
6 Sonny Barger
8 Stop Knocking The Walls Down
9 The Kick Inside
10 Windblown Alley
11 I Can Lead You To War
Bass, Vocals - Darren Richardson
Cello - Tony Woollard
Drums, Percussion, Harmonica, Producer, Mixed By, Engineer - Gordon Mills
Engineer [Assistant, Pro-Tools] - Ryan Maunder
Lead Guitar, Vocals - Guy Gyngell
Lyrics By - Guy Gyngell (Tracks: A3, A4, B4)
Mastered By - Kevin Metcalfe
Music By - Guy Gyngell (Tracks: A3, A5, B5, B6)
Music By, Lyrics By - Darren Richardson (Tracks: 1 to 3, B1, B2, B6), James Lines (Tracks: A5, B5, B6)
Organ [Hammond], Piano, Harpsichord, Arranged By [Strings] - Andrew Holdsworth
Rhythm Guitar - Gary Rex
Trumpet, Flugelhorn - Pete Baker
Violin - Clare Raybould
Vocals - James Lines
Never actually released, but around 100 were pressed up for release by the record company and ended up sitting in a warehouse owned by Pinnacle for nearly ten years. 60 copies were later found in various branches of the independent UK record shop chain "Head" who bought unmarked pallettes from the distributor when they were declared bankrupt.
Comes in a slipcase with minimal artwork and no photography. Inner wallet features band thank-you's on one side and credits on the other.
"Sunset View" (March 2003)
"That Extra Mile" / "Beat Out the Best In Me" (September 2004) - #50 UK; #10 UK Indie
"Stop Knocking The Walls Down" (January 2005) - #32 UK; #8 UK Indie
"We Are England" (June 2006) - #54 UK; #3 UK Indie
on You Tube
- That Extra Mile -
- We Are Engerland, by the Three Brians -
Ricky were a critically-acclaimed Top 40 English indie band, led by the harmonising singer/songwriter trio of Jim Lines, Guy Gyngell and Darren Richardson. The other constant member of the band was guitarist, Gary Rex.
Ricky formed in Portsmouth, UK in the autumn of 2000. The band's first release was a self-funded mini-album titled You Set The Scene, named after the last track on Forever Changes, the seminal album by Love, was released in January 2002. The record gained superlative reviews, leading to Ricky being made one of the 'Tips for 2002' (alongside the likes of The Coral), by many prominent UK publications including the Evening Standard, Channel 4's Planet Sound and The Times. Other publications to heap praise on the record included OK! magazine, FRONT, The Independent and the key tastemaking website Drowned in Sound.
The critical success of You Set The Scene led to Ricky signing to Superior Quality Recordings - a London indie label funded by the world's biggest record company: Universal Music. Superior Quality Recordings was known for its success with the likes of The Bluetones - whose debut album, Expecting To Fly, was the label's first Number 1 UK album.
Ricky spent much of 2002's summer touring with The Bluetones (a band whose posters had adorned Ricky's members' walls as school kids). However, later that summer Universal Music severed their relationship with Superior Quality Recordings, leaving Ricky effectively label-less.
Ricky returned in March 2004 with another critically-acclaimed, self-funded record: their debut full-length album, The Summer Sun Still Echoes. The album received even greater praise than You Set The Scene. Its most notable review was a prestigious 4-star rating in the UK's biggest music publication, Q magazine.
In September 2004, the band issued a self-released single, titled "That Extra Mile", which reached Number 50 in the UK Singles Chart; thus becoming one of the highest charting singles ever to be released by an unsigned band.
The success of "That Extra Mile" led to Ricky signing to the London indie label, Beat Crazy Records. Their first release for Beat Crazy Records was a split double a-side single with labelmates Amsterdam. Ricky's side of the single was titled "Stop Knocking The Walls Down" and led to the band achieving a childhood ambition when the track was mastered at the world-famous Abbey Road Studios. The single debuted at Number 32 in the UK Singles Chart with Ricky becoming only the second band from the City of Portsmouth to make the Top 40 of the UK Singles Chart in a quarter of a century.
Ricky went on to record a lavishly-produced album for Beat Crazy Records, titled High Speed Silence. The album featured guest musicians including Pete Baker from Mohair and was produced by the namesake son of Gordon Mills - the legendary pop songwriter and manager.
In June 2006 Ricky released an NSPCC-fundraising 2006 FIFA World Cup single titled "We Are England". The track featured the vocals of 54,000 English school children after the band embarked upon a 180-school tour of the nation, recording hundreds of pupils' vocal contributions at each school. "We Are England" generated a great deal of media interest, including a daily campaign of support from the The Daily Mirror; a live interview on BBC Radio 1's Jo Whiley show; two interviews on BBC Radio 5 Live; and a huge show of support from British regional media, who were keen to promote the involvement of schools from their respective regions.
In the weeks building up to the single's release, the media regularly reported that "We Are England" was far outselling the rival World Cup singles on HMV's pre-order chart. However, tragedy struck when Beat Crazy Records failed to synchronise the release of the single's four formats (CD, 7" vinyl, DVD and digital download) and after initial promise - the single featured at Number 17 in the first midweek chart update - "We Are England" finished the week at Number 54 in the UK Singles Chart. The only consolation was that the track landed at Number 3 in the UK Indie Singles Chart.
With Beat Crazy Records having lost several members of staff and with the label's finances in dire straits, Ricky decided to disband, announcing the news to their fan-base on June 25th 2006. Jump to 2009 and Ć¢??Jim & GaryĆ¢?? played a short acoustic set with Mark Morriss of the Bluetones in December. Jim & Gary have decided to play as Ricky on last time before Gary emigrates to Oz. The Cellars is honoured to host them.......
Ricky: High Speed Silence
Ricky is one of the more high-profile Brit acts we've seen in a while. Last years self-released The Summer Sun Still Echoes received four stars in Q, and promotion for this new record is hyperactive and seemingly omnipresent among the underground review sites. Putting thin vocals (think the passivity and reediness of Transatlanticism and its progeny, a quickly-acquired taste) over anthemic, power-chord guitar, the band seems more than anything like Oasis's younger and more O.C.-ready brother. Beginning with the stadium-esque and impressive Easy on You, with its well-integrated Hammond and distinctive, whiny vocal, the taste of which is soon acquired, the album runs through some cherished references while remaining original and fun: from the Graceland riffs and clever guitar of Running" (this reviewer's favorite track) to the irritating honky-tonk of "Sonny Barger," it's a world-spanning experiment in cultures and sounds that never fails to carry the band's distinctive voice.
For a band with such proud, strong guitar riffs, the least interesting tracks are those which fall on the Beautiful South side of the line: "The Kick Inside, Windblown Alleyway," and most of I Can Lead You to War are less than stellar, soft-pedaling attempts at challenging a more sensitive side of the rock that Ricky wants to be. "War" ends up being one of the best songs on the album, although it's almost too soft and slow after the uninteresting, trimmable fat of the album's second half. That Extra Mile was described best by an acquaintance: "What this song didn't need was the brass section. It just needed to be better." A conventional structure and predictable chorus don't carry through on the promise of the other tracks. Pretend puts the vocals front and center, Belle & Sebastian style, but lacks the melodic structure that saves so many of the latter band's excesses from collapsing on themselves. Once the full band kicks in, it's easier to take, but there's nothing here you haven't seen before. Likewise, the big single Stop Knocking the Walls Down (which opened at #32 on the UK singles chart), rocks a wall of guitars and rhythmically seems like nothing less than a percussionist's doctoral thesis. A catchy, Top 40 song that shows off the better qualities of this band in the least threatening way imaginable, it's inferior to some of the less obvious songs on the record but is a good choice.
That being said, most of the album is catchy, listenable and fun. Speculation carries more than a little Oasis glitter, tambourine- and guitar-wise, but it's a brilliant indie move, and one of the most effective tracks on the album with its sublime chorus. In terms of range and technical intelligence, Mise-En-Scene uses its harpsichord, brass and "bop-bop-bop" very well, constructing a fantasy land in which Brian Wilson and Neil Young replaced the Beatles as the go-to musical reference source. It's brilliant, perhaps the best on the album. Recommended for fans of Material Issue, Stellastarr* and current and mid-'90s Top 40.