ROBIN TROWER The Brook, Southampton
28 May 2008
Sentimentality, or nostalgia, does not bring me back to
listen to Robin Trower’s music or to witness his ‘live’ performances - it
is his art, humility and, above all, it is one of the joys in life.
My brother, John, and I flew in from Belfast on the day of the
concert. The Brook is a great venue to see and hear a band - tonight it was
evident the sound system and stage monitors were operating at optimum level -
the vocals and individual instruments were well balanced (Laurie Brace at the
sound desk deserves praise).
The venue was filled to capacity and tonight there were a
wealth of smiles, shaking heads and clapping hands - and that was before the
music started - must be the water in Portswood!
Robin's playing and soloing, the band - Pete, Glenn and Davey -
the fans, the venue, and staff all contributed to one of the best concerts I've
attended. After the Paris gig I thought the dizzy heights the band reached that
night would not be attained again on this tour - I was, thankfully, mistaken.
The RTB were given a great, warm welcome when they arrived on
stage, and from the sound of ‘’Twice Removed From Yesterday” you knew it was
going to be an exceptional night.
The whole band seemed to be in great spirits; each number in
the set was played with enthusiasm and zest. Robin played like only a virtuoso
can, accompanied by an excellent band that generated warmth and intensity.
I believe when Huddie William Leadbetter “Leadbelly” said “No
white man ever had the blues” he was mistaken. Robin is a blues guitarist of the
highest calibre, capable of creating music that touches your soul - most fans
tonight, I’m sure, felt totally connected to the music.
Performances this magical never leave the memory. Pete and Glenn provided
a superb rhythm section for Robin to fly above with his solos. Tonight
Davey’s vocals could be heard clearly and were great on “Shame the Devil,”
“Day of the Eagle,”“No Time” and For Earth Below.”
Robin seems to be playing with greater zeal during the solos on
this tour - how he achieves it at 63 is beyond me? - long may it continue. The
vibe and soloing during “The Fool And Me,” “No Time” and “Rise Up Like The Sun”
was exceptional. A welcoming cheer and clapping always accompanies the trill at
the beginning of “Bridge of Sighs” - tonight it is a roar.
The band and the crowd are as one. Robin’s playing is so
spontaneous; he just feels the vibe and goes with it. During the solo he
indicated to the band to take it up a notch and he began to make his guitar wail
for a few minutes gradually falling to a whisper - enthralling.
While it’s great to listen to the studio version, or one of the
numerous recorded live versions, nothing beats hearing this song played live
when you are there. I believe it only truly exists each time Robin plays it -
when the sound is hitting you from the stage, and Robin is completely lost in
To me great music and guitar playing - as evidenced tonight -
provides release from conscious thought, engenders tranquillity, and has a
wonderful therapeutic value.
Thanks to Robin, Pete, Davey and Glenn for a truly riveting
concert. Also, thanks for enhancing the evening after the performance by your
friendliness. It was the icing on the cake.
Thanks also to Dylan Clarke, Manager at The Brook, whose
kindness and co-operation helped to make the concert special for my brother and
I. It’s a great venue with great staff and facilities.
Setlist: Twice Removed From Yesterday, Shame The Devil, For
Earth Below, No Time, The Fool And Me, Roads To Freedom, Islands, Day Of The
Eagle, Bridge Of Sighs Rise Up Like The Sun, Victims Of The Fury, Gonna Be More
Suspicious, Hannah, Little Bit Of Sympathy, Too Rolling Stoned, Go My Way,
Another Time Another Place
Review by Ronnie Kerrigan
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