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On the road - UK 2006 Day One: Nottingham

Review and pictures by Alan Howard 
 

The Pre-Show Preamble

Pete Allen’s text message tells me I am definitely losing it! He will be coming to Bilston just to see me. Funny and I thought we were both going there in search of that ‘broken nosed guitarist from Southend’ bloke who habitually ‘turns northern knees to jelly’? [Legendary ‘Sounds’ headline refers here!]

It’s early, pre-show in Anila’s splendid Indian restaurant right next door to the Rescue Rooms in the heart of Nottingham’s University district. Dunc and I are browsing through the baltis on the menu as Ray Martin, acclaimed author of ‘letters to the editor’ [‘Classic Rock’ magazine] and one of Northern Ireland’s finest sons, joins in.
 

Adventures in Trowerland


It’s been a while since our last adventure in Trowerland up in the North East of England back in November. Only right and proper then that we should be reconvening to officially mark the start of this next, aptly-titled ‘Another Days Blues’, tour.

There’s no doubt about it! This last year has been the proverbial dream come true for Trower fans in the UK: two tours, a live DVD, two studio CDs, one live CD and now this third tour and the promise of a new studio CD at some stage soonish. Three cheers! Thank you very much indeed, thank you. We really do appreciate it, yeah we do!
 

Just swim clear of the swordfish!


But steady with those celebratory Cobras! It’s been a bit of a dodgy couple of days in the East Midlands for Ray as he reveals a meal ‘gone wrong’ involving a Swordfish has laid him low for best part of 24 hours.

Hang on, another incoming text, John Waters is concerned I may frighten Canadian ‘cousin’ Steve Shail next week with my driving. Ray reaches for his coat pocket and pulls out a massive stack of CD covers he’s planning on getting signed tonight. Time to sign the bill. Time to seek re-entry to the Rescue Rooms.

Will I actually manage to get in with tickets for Robyn Hitchcock and the Minus 5’s show back in January? The moral of the story? Don’t leave it ‘til the night of the show to check the venue has sent you the correct tickets. To their credit, this is one problem the Rescue people resolve with style and speed!

The Rooms have literally been rescued in the intervening 12 months since the last RTB show here. The decoration and lighting around the stage area actually look finished and the place, generally, looks more ‘on song’. Ooo, two drum kits!
 

The Support Band


Michael Parker’s guitar rack is crammed full with Gibson and Fender guitars. The Stone Sole River band’s frontman looks like he’s arriving for an audition with a Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute act. Then without warning, devastation caused by the opening bars of the support band’s third number, pre-empted by the aforementioned Mr Parker reaching for a battered Sunburst Strat encrusted with a thick layer of fuzz chorus. Can it be true? Where is Pete Allen when you actually need him?

Get this! Third song in, Stone Sole River, the rock trio supporting the RTB tonight, break into Allen’s fave rave ‘I Can’t Wait Much Longer’. How wonderful is that? For a nano-second, I’m thinking how wonderful it would be if Robin could collaborate with support acts generally to enable them to cover some of the RTB material he won’t be playing in his set. Trowerfest or what?

Allegedly, the boys from Manchester have been known to cover the odd Trowertastic tune in their set lists. We are credited for being the only audience in living memory the band have played to who actually know what the song is. No, we will have to ‘wait much longer’ for the River band to play this song in its entirety. Tonight’s extract is but a bit of fun! Nevertheless, it secures our 100% attention for their next Robin-inspired number ‘The Shape I’m in’.

Stone Sole River have an important date supporting Mountain at the Academy in Manchester in late May. In the meantime, their website is well worth a visit!
 

The Robin Trower Band


Tonight’s show positively sizzles! By the time Robin and the band walk onstage, the joint is full, temperature and expectation rising. Leading from the front, Davey Pattison is the picture of perfect health.  Dressed in black and with a glowing Californian suntan, he’s singing the songs! 

There are three very pleasant surprises tonight! The best is ’20th Century Blues’ delivered heavyweight-style with Pete Thompson and Dave Bronze’s solid back-up matching Robin’s thunderous riff line-by-line. Davey’s vocal on this is a special, not to be forgotten moment, priceless.

Mr Bronze is sporting a brand new, bright red Fender Precision Bass. It’s red with a redwood neck and black machine heads, the definitive business! The Ashdown gear is long gone. He’s plugged into some rather knock-out sounding Mark Bass amplification. In a departure from Durham and leg two, ‘Fine day’ makes way for two more surprises ‘Too Much Joy’ and ‘Sweet Little Angel’.

Robin digs deep tonight on ’Bridge of Sighs’ without doubt the hero of the show. Don’t get me wrong, the closing section of ‘Too rolling stoned’ and ‘Daydream’ come close but ‘Sighs’ has an atmospheric out there in outer space, all on its own.

Set List: Twice removed from Yesterday; Hannah; Roads to Freedom; Too much joy; Sweet little angel; Islands; Day of the Eagle; Bridge of Sighs; 20th Century Blues; Victims of the Fury; Too rolling stoned; Go my way; Another time, another place; Little bit of sympathy. Encores: Lady Love; Daydream
 

 

 

 

 

 

The Post-Show Bits

7,000 DVDs sold in the States in the first few weeks alone! Dave Bronze featured in the latest edition of Bass Guitar magazine.  The new album is coming along nicely but will not be ready in time for the US tour. Relish at the challenge of the Americas tour.

A surprise meet with Ronnie Kerrigan and his brother John before security get a little over zealous! David Smith has made it from Scotland and will move onto Gloucester and Cardiff, courtesy of our wonderful national rail network.

Early soundings suggest to me this is it in the UK for 2006. So come on UK fans, you know what you have to do. Get yersell booked into the shows on this present tour.

Do send and share your thoughts and images here for posting onto this site afterwards. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Reviews from Trower’s 2005 UK Tours

Southsea   Manchester   Bilston   Sheffield   Nottingham  
London    Gloucester   Southampton   Deal
Brighton   Cambridge   Glasgow   Aberdeen   Birkenhead
Dartford   Durham

robintrowerlive.co.uk homepage   News archive   Meet the band
Fans photo gallery Spring 2006 UK Tour   Autumn 2005 UK Tour
   Spring 2005 UK Tour   Albums   Songs   Press / Interview archive
What the fans say Useful links   Steve Shail’s Trower Site
 

This site is a howardtowers.com production realised in the UK, March 2005.
Published by Alan Howard. Contributions and comments welcome by email