Once again, the West Midlandsí premier rock venue provides an early tour highlight as Robin, Glenn, Pete and
Davey serve up an absolutely full-on show. One of the best RTB shows ever!
Laurie and Guy are on stage making the final adjustments. The bass tunes down one whole step from EADG to DGCF. Confessin Midnight is a challenging number to start with, on any night. Yet Glenn and Pete are able to unleash its energy with drive and tenacity, right from the off.
The 400-strong crowd are loving it too as an excellent rendition of Lady Love thunders to a crushing conclusion. Rapturous applause follows. ďLet me hear you say YEAH!Ē The more the crowd reacts, the greater the commitment, delight and passion which flows back from band to audience. Itís infectious stuff, all right.
Thereís a subtle swap in the set list. Maybe I Could Be Your Friend is replaced by Extermination Blues. Yet the
highlight of the night is, without doubt, The Turning. Although in two distinct parts, itís confirmed later that this is a single number (recorded in one take) which ends
with an introspective instrumental section after an uptempo shuffle (in terms of structure think A Tale Untold) .
The Turning has the sweetest blues riff at its core. You canít help but tap your feet or clap your hands to it. It literally bubbles along on the crest of a wave. Robinís contortions are confined to his left hand during the chorus. Itís another dazzling, if not slightly uncomfortable looking, combination of classic Trower chords. ďThank you very much, thank you!Ē
At what seems like the end, Robin plays on after the closing cadence by introducing the most intoxicating rising arpeggios (something like Bb-G-D to C-A-E and resolving to D minor). After setting the tone,
Robin launches into a beautiful lead break, very lyrical in its early part. Meanwhile, Glenn takes on the harmonic mantle, picking up on the chords where Robin left off. Itís just the most incredible sound.
You know youíre watching an exceptional Trower performance when the whole band takes the mainstays of the set up onto another level. Thatís exactly what happened tonight in Bilston. The key indicator was Bridge of Sighs. Robinís smooth legato solo playing which took in some startling destinations coupled with 65 storeys of light and shade (and indeed subtle silences, in part) combined
to make this one of the best Bridge of Sighs I have ever heard played live. As the crowd roared, the band soared.
Lots of good folks in the house tonight including
Mike and David, Karen and John with many thanks to my hosts Steve and Steph. Hey Dunc, sorry you couldnít make it!