This may be the first time you hear of the name of Stephen Ridley, but it won’t be the last. He is a very charming Brit from a small town of about 40 people, that just debuted here in Canada, and what a way of introducing yourself. I just walked in to the CNE Bandshell and saw this young guy finishing off a song on a piano and then stand on his stool to tell a story. Hmmm, that is a unique way to get our attention. What Mr. Ridley had to say was pretty cool. Each story he told was very detailed oriented and had a lot of flavor to it. I won’t go into each story because I only have so many words I can write, but, his stories included touching moments about his best friend who he helped by playing a 24 hour concert for. He spoke about the love he has for his dying mother, which left people in tears. He talked about meeting the world’s greatest Russian pianist and playing with him. My favourite, was how people tell him how he looks just like Hugh Grant and then having a chance meeting with him.
If the stories are not enough to get you excited maybe his music will. Stephan is a very young and athletic guy with a passion for playing. This guy hammers away at his songs and stomps his feet and will jump around to get his music out any way he knows how. He is very energetic and fun to watch and was really warming up our sometimes cold northern audience. He really geared us up to do one last final song when the Bandshell pulled the plug. He went over his allotted time and they pulled him off. They gave him the big hook. I began to boo loudly, but to no avail, Mr. Ridley left the stage. It was a sad ending to a great debut. I hope this does not leave a bad taste in his mouth, because I can’t wait until he returns to Toronto and gets a full set in, no matter how long he takes.
Here are a few images of Stephen Ridley: