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The Brook, Southampton, 22 April 2005

 

All good things must come to an end or so they say.

So here we are driving south, once again, this time towards the finishing line. Two shows which mark the end of this most outstanding chapter in the musical career of our hero, Mr Robin Trower.

Yet the story has only just begun. Don’t you just know, there there is a huge following for this music in the UK and Europe, after all.

Portswood is a vibrant suburb of the great city of Southampton with a high street, The Broadway, which boasts many good things including a Morrisons, a music-only Oxfam shop and the most marvellous eatery, Sara’s Thai Cuisine restaurant.

No, we are definitely not talking ‘clone’ town here. We’re staying at a place called Highfield House, a fifteen-minute walk away from tonight’s venue.

The taxi driver shakes his head as we pull out of the hotel car park, he simply can’t believe his passengers have hired a cab for such a short journey. So we’re on tour!

The Brook is one of the foremost live music venues along the entire length of the south English coast with a reputation akin to that of many a capital music hall. People travel for miles to see shows here.

Time to gather
every thread

It is also testament to that great British institution, now sadly disappearing from so many neighbourhoods, the ‘corner-of-the-street’ pub. Inside, the walls are decorated with framed photographs of some of the illustrious artists who have appeared at The Brook over the years.

The venue has a split-level layout. There’s a ‘standing room-only’ area on the ground floor in front of the stage, a balcony with tables and chairs on the first floor and bars on both levels making this the perfect, intimate venue for tonight’s show.

The highlights of Robin’s set are, for me, the songs from the latest ‘Living Out Of Time’ album, not forgetting the brand new numbers that the band have yet to record.

The Brook audience, like their counterparts at the shows we have seen in Southsea, Manchester, Bilston, Sheffield, Nottingham, Gloucester and London, applaud every number with massive and loving appreciation.

‘Another Time, Another Place’ with its prophetic message is probably the song of the night (and the tour), delivered here with great panache.

This particular line-up, comprising Robin, Pete, Dave and Davey, has proved beyond doubt that it can rock. It is arguably the best Trower band line-up of all-time.

Having had the opportunity to renew their partnership, these fine musicians have clearly revelled in giving so many outstanding performances to so many people in recent weeks.

Everyone is spellbound by Robin’s guitar playing. Catford’s very own Martin Hughes tells me afterwards he can’t believe how truly awesome our hero sounds tonight.

It’s marvellous to meet up with long lost friend John Hammond too. We haven’t been in contact with each other for the best part of 15 years!

 

John was the cameraman behind a fabulous photograph of a very young Dave Bronze performing with Robin at the Marquee (as seen elsewhere on www.robintrowerlive.co.uk).

I surprised said bass player with this shot at the Life Café some weeks back. I understand Mrs B was in stitches of laughter for sometime on seeing this picture of hubby albeit now some 20 years on from the day it was taken! Thanks John!

Like me, Martin, John and mates simply can’t believe their luck in getting the chance to see this band live in England. Their passion for this music is as emphatic as ever. It’s always been that way, that’s all.
 

This review was originally published on Steve Shail’s excellent Trower website ’Steve’s Place’. Cheers Steve!
To visit the site click on the link below.

More 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