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Richard Starkey, a.k.a Ringo “not even the best drummer in the Beatles” Starr, has always been something of an anomaly. The other three went on to release really good music – All Things Must Pass and the majority of Lennon’s solo albums are indisputably great, unmissable, even McCartney’s done a few good tunes, whereas Ringo … well, when he was in the band he wasn’t much more than an amazing pop drummer, although he wrote a few tunes, sung on Yellow Submarine et cetera. His songs, solo or not, have never been very interesting, and Live at Soundstage, a de facto “best of” in the form of a live concert recording, seems to prove it. The set-list is mostly solo material and a scattering of Beatles songs, but the Beatles’ tracks (Octopus’s Garden, I Wanna Be Your Man and others) feel flat and risk-less. Never Without You, Ringo’s tribute to George Harrison, and minor solo success Photograph stand out as the best tracks of the night, but such highlights are buried in an avalanche of boring 70’s rock-pop cliches. I’m not sure we should have expected any different. Live At Soundstage is the work of a drummer of the highest renown, not playing the drums, performing high-budget back-catalogue karaoke; and it’s not a back-catalogue strong enough to withstand a repeat listen.

*1/2