This is what happens when you fail to see the signs. Just off the High Street in Otford, Kent is the
Village Hall. Another mystery! Fixed to an outside wall is a banner with the word ‘Soundhouse’ emblazoned across it.
Inside the hall, an embroidery class is coming to a close. It would appear the
promoter has been stitched up as to access time for his booking at the hall. It’s evident the hall is the centre of the village’s known universe, judging by the many event posters adorning the hallway.
Laurie and the promoter are ready to bring in everything needed for tonight’s show, even the bar. Just along the road, Martin H steps off his transporter beam into The Woodman. Tony C’s spacesuit walks passed
the pub’s bay window. It is Tony. We’re in here! Suitably revitalised, we head back to the Soundhouse where Alec is doing a roaring trade on the merch table.
Within hours, the tiny but nevertheless
intimate venue is ready for action. The village hall proves to be something of a veritable Tardis. Who enters there? Jon Amor, no stranger to homely venues such as the Soundhouse, is in his element as he takes to
the friendly crowd, right in front of his face, like a fish to water.
Is this for real? What is the probability factor of the Robin Trower Band ever playing live on a such postage-stamp-sized stage again in
the future? The stage riser from the floor is barely a foot high. It’s a small step for man but an incredibly large leap of faith by the promoters. Yet, the place is absolutely rammed and, despite everything,
something tells me Laurie and the boys are revelling in the challenge.
Yes folks, Robin Trower, one of the world’s leading exponents of the Fender Stratocaster guitar has brought his merry men to rural
Kent. Glenn Letsch on bass, Pete Thompson on drums and Davey Pattison on vocals, are probably wondering how their tour craft happened to land in such an isolated spot.
Countdown to Confessin’ Midnight. We have lift off as the band blast into the opening bars of the For Earth Below highlight, back on the UK set
list after a 35-year spell in suspended animation. Robin takes it down nicely after his solo. Cue Davey for the final verse.
Set the controls for Somebody Calling. Gone is the flanged spaceship opening, replaced by Robin’s elegant wah wah pedal and a vapour trail of interstellar funk laid down by Pete and Glenn. Sounds from
another time dimension on Find Me as Glenn and Pete recall the great late James Brown.
Briefly the space time continuum is
broken by the sound of conversation emanating from the ranks of the audience during the quietest moments of a solo! What’s the point of shelling out valuable space credits to watch one of the seven wonders of the
Solar System, only to talk all the way through it? Off putting for the crew, to say the least. Alien to the rest of us in the audience.
Mission accomplished. Pete and
Davey greet the villagers. Cymbals of peace exchanged. The cultural visit to Otford is at an end. Time to bring this close encounter to a conclusion. 5-4-3-2-1 the RTB is go!
Set List: Confessin’ Midnight; Lady Love; Somebody Calling; Find Me; Twice Removed From Yesterday; Daydream; Day of the Eagle; Bridge of Sighs; Shame the Devil; The Turning; Too Rolling
Stoned; Little Bit of Sympathy. Encores: Rise Up Like the Sun; Not Inside - Outside.
For details of Otford’s very own scaled Solar System model visit this site here!