Promo poster for the Brothers July show

The Isidore Brothers Band: 5 July 2008, Zoom @ the Moon, Half Moon, Herne Hill, London SE24 9HU

 

Reg Isidore pops above the radar and surfaces at the Half Moon. John Waters headed off to South London to check it out.

 

The ‘Zoom’ tonight hosts a family reunion with brothers Gus and Reg Isidore, billed as playing Hendrix and Robin Trower, and some ‘faves’.

Reg Isidore (Robin Trower, Pete Bardens, Peter Green, Snowy White) of course has a secure place in rock history, having played drums on the first two ‘classic’ Trower albums. He laid down the original percussion and therefore has a key part in the Robin Trower story. His style led the way and although he subsequently left the band after the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ album went massive, he was never forgotten. Younger brother Gus had coaxed Reg out of ‘retirement’, and this is the third gig out of a scheduled five, or maybe six.

 

Gus on guitar, Andrew on bass.

 

Gus is very well known in his own right as a gifted guitarist, songwriter and producer. He has his own playing style (and sound) and collaborations read like a ‘Who’s who’ in the music industry (Marc Bolan, Phil Lynott, Peter Green, Seal, Roachford, Peter Gabriel, Dominic Miller, Suns of Neptune, The Third Man, to name but a few).

To make the union complete Gus and Reg are more than ably supported by Andrew Heart on bass and vocals (Micky Moody, Eric Bell, Brian Connolly’s Sweet).

 

The band took to the stage about 9.45pm and Gus and the boys opened with ‘Day of The Eagle’ a firm favourite within the Trower community. Straight away it is evident the band is driven by the drumming and at the age of 60, Reg has lost none of it. Great!

The expectation is that ‘Day Of The Eagle’ morphs into ‘Bridge of Sighs’ and tonight was no exception - Reg got straight to the groove. Of course, Reg was there at the beginning with Robin and no one can take that from him, and the drumming it would be spot on tonight wouldn’t it?

 

Gus plays a mean axe riff

 

On to ‘Can You Handle It’ penned by Gus and whilst obviously familiar with all the Hendrix/Trower material this was new territory to me. I wasn’t sure what to expect and it took a little while to acclimatise to the feel and style of the song. The style change showed Gus in a different light and I was beginning to like the sound and realised that I had been missing out on something in not taking more notice of Gus as a musician before.

‘Hear My Train a Comin’ was right on track and out of this world. The band nailed this one. Gus’ singing in unison with the guitar was great and seemed to come so naturally.

 

Gus changed his guitar to a Gus G1 (how cool is that), an unconventional axe for an unconventional player, and slipped in to ‘Love and Marriage’. This track just blew me away. The chord sequence and open sound of the guitar is so hypnotic it one of those songs you just can’t shake off. Nice touch Gus produced a ‘fake’ cigarette and parked it in the headstock a la Jimi; those were the days.

Staying with the G1 it was on to an Isidore-esque version of ‘All Along The Watchtower’. This was just surreal.

‘Too Rolling Stoned’ – one of my Trower favourites. I’d been waiting for this one. Grappling with an intermittent fault Gus still managed to pull off a lovely outro solo.

 

Reg resplendent in his hat behind his Premier throne

 

‘Voodoo Chile’ as the finale and what a great ending. Gus looked relieved it was all over and although there were electrical problems Gus’ playing shone brightly at the Half Moon this evening and he really impressed with his style. Irrespective of the guitar he always got a super tone from the lone Fender Combo.

Reg may be a happy go-lucky character who’s glass is obviously always half full but that does not affect his work. Once behind the wheel he plays with as much passion and enthusiasm now as when he recorded the original albums. Reg’s energy level was out of this world; the guy is still amazing...

 

Notwithstanding the amp issues the overall sound worked well in the intimate setting of ‘The Zoom’ and although it seemed loud, somehow it wasn’t (if you know what I mean).

Both Robin Trower and Gus Isidore have been compared to Jimi and that’s OK to a degree. It comes with the territory I suppose. I have mixed feelings though as it isn’t always positive. Gus doesn’t pretend to be Jimi or indeed Robin he doesn’t have to. He oozes ‘presence’ by the shed load and he is Gus.

 

A tribute band this is not and you won’t hear the songs note for note. The guys have the credentials, are very talented individuals and it is their ‘take’ on things. They are playing the music they like.

So if you like good solid honest rock and your solo’s full of tone, laced with Voodoo Vibe, Wah, whammy bar controlled feed back, and sustain, then this definitely for you.

Albeit a shortened set, it was still an hour and a half, this was a great show.

The full set list was:

Day Of The Eagle
Bridge Of Sighs
SpanishCastle Magic
Stone Free,
Hear My Train
Can U Handle It
Love & Marriage
Watchtower
Too Rolling Stoned
Hannah
Johnny and Slick Alice
I Can’t Stand It
Voodoo Chile
Get Down
Wind Cries Mary
Little Wing
Red House

Highlights of the show for me:

Hear My Train
Love & Marriage
Too Rolling Stoned
Voodoo Chile

Go check the Isidore Brothers out. You will not be disappointed.

Catch them while you can.

 

14th August 2008 [7.30pm]  Click here to view a short video from the show.
The Beaverwood Club/Real Music Live, Beaverwood Road,Chislehurst,Kent. BR7 6HF
Venue telephone 0208 300 1985


29th August 2008 [8.30pm]
The New Bull & Butcher/Real Music Club, 1277 High Rd, Whetstone, London N20 9HS
Venue telephone: 0208 445 2165


(There is the possibility of another gig at The BoomBoom Club in Sutton - date TBC)

For more details and maps visit:

Venue website
All bookings on 0208 761 9078

For more info on Gus Guitars visit: here
 

 


Return to homepage for more fan photos and reviews or click below for more robintrowerlive.co.uk reviews

Brighton No Time for farewells      Exeter Totally sold      Bilston Blistering Bilston
Glasgow Dedicated to Jimmy      London Let me hear you say YEAH!      Manchester Pride comes before a fall
Sheffield Balls of steel      Southampton From Portswood to poignancy
Stratford-Upon-Avon The play’s the thing      Birkenhead Fab Four in Birkenhead
Fleetwood Fulfillingness’ Fleetwood Finale      For more reviews visit Steve Shail’s site here!
 

 

If you have any info or comments please get in touch by e-mail.

This site, first realised in March 2005, is a howardtowers production published by Alan Howard in the UK.