Ricky Warwick (born 11 July 1966 at Newtownards, County Down, Northern Ireland) is best known as the frontman for the Scottish hard rock band The Almighty. He has also performed with a variety of other bands and as a solo artist. Warwick has recently risen to prominence again with his work as frontman of the Thin Lizzy spin-off band, Black Star Riders.
Warwick spent his formative years in Northern Ireland and got his first guitar at 14 years old. He was soon playing along to songs by various rock and country acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash. Warwick quickly migrated to the music of more harder-edged acts such as Motörhead, MC5, Stiff Little Fingers and The Clash. He later reminisced that "Those artists gave me a voice", adding that "...when no one would listen to a fourteen year old boy, they gave me something important to say." A year after he moved with his family to Strathaven in Scotland. It was at his new school in Scotland that Warwick first met his future bandmates Stump Monroe and Floyd London.
Warwick got his first break in the the late 1980s when he was invited to join New Model Army as a rhythm guitarist on their Ghosts of Cain album world tour. He states that he learnt a great deal about songwriting and stagecraft during his time with the band. Warwick then left New Model Army and formed The Almighty in 1988 with guitarist Andy 'Tantrum' McCafferty and Warwick's former school-friends, drummer Stump Monroe and bass guitarist Floyd London. Warwick was the lead vocalist and played guitar in various formats of the band. Although all four founding members had a strong background in punk rock music, The Almighty took a more heavy metal/hard-rock orientated musical direction.
The early nineties saw The Almighty tour extensively throughout the UK and Europe as support to major rock acts such as Motörhead, Megadeth, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and Metallica. The band also later toured as headliners in their own right. Five studio albums and one live album were released by The Almighty during this time, which were well received by rock fans throughout the UK and in Europe. They were, however, unable to breakthrough in the USA despite touring there in 1993.
In 1996, disillusioned with the direction The Almighty were taking Warwick moved to Dublin where he formed a new band called (sic) with Ciaran McGoldrick (bass) and Gary Sullivan (drums). The band's one record - I Feel So Lonely I Could Die - was only released in Japan, although a four track EP came out in the UK. (sic) broke up in 1999 and then Warwick returned to The Almighty. The Almighty then released two further albums before again disbanding in 2001.
After the second break-up of The Almighty, Warwick admits he felt like quitting performing altogether. Instead, he went on tour in 2002 as a solo artist and, taking on board his fondness for country music and Americana, he played acoustically. The tour reinvigorated Warwick's love of music and he began writing songs for a new album.
Warwick's first solo album, Tattoos & Alibis, was released in October 2003. Almost entirely acoustic, it was a marked departure from the raucous hard rock of The Almighty. A follow-up album was released in January 2006, Love Many Trust Few, which was similar in style to his solo debut although slightly more hard-rock orientated.
In January 2006 The Almighty reformed with their 'classic' line-up of Warwick, Stump, Floyd and Pete for benefit shows. Later in the year, they appeared as headliners at the 2006 Bulldog Bash and then undertook a 5 show tour of the UK in December 2006. During the same year, Warwick also joined the band Circus Diablo, along with Billy Duffy (of The Cult). The band recorded one album and performed at Ozzfest during 2007, but are no longer active.
He has in the past toured Europe supporting Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crowe and Keith Caputo. He has also appeared on The Stiff Little Fingers Live album.
In April 2009, Warwick released his third solo album, Belfast Confetti, continuing in the largely acoustic guitar based approach of his previous two solo albums.
In September 2009, Warwick was invited to join the latest lineup of Thin Lizzy and joined them as lead vocalist, and guitarist. Warwick took part in Thin Lizzy's 2011 European tour commemorating 25 years since the death of original frontman Phil Lynott. In December 2012, he co-founded the Thin Lizzy spin-off band, Black Star Riders. Black Star Riders' first album All Hell Breaks Loose was released in May 2013.
During his time with The Almighty, Warwick met and married MTV presenter Vanessa Young, although the pair are now divorced. He is now married to Christina, and the couple live in Los Angeles with their four children.
Warwick is good friends with singer Joe Elliott, having performed backing vocals on Def Leppard albums, whilst Elliott has returned the favour recording on and producing Warwick's solo albums. Warwick also served as Elliott's Best man at his wedding in 2004.
Warwick is a fan of Northern Ireland football club, Glentoran, and released a 3 track DVD in aid of the Spirit of 41 campaign to save Glentoran from extinction.
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