Verdict: Expectations exceeded
If one man personified what the guitar is all
about tonight, then it was Robin Trower. The ex-Procol Harum strummer, who continued the Blues-based power trio concept of Hendrix and Cream into the 70s, stamped his personality on the occasion in just seconds,
magically exuding power and passion with effortless style.
And the number of contorted expressions the guitarist pulled during a three-song assault – that included ‘Little Bit Of Sympathy’ from
1974’s ‘Bridge Of Sighs’ – was worth the admission alone!
RTL Webmaster’s Note:
This concert was subsequently edited and
packaged as two videos although only two of the three tracks Robin played that night found their way onto the tapes, shame! I remember it was all over too soon.
The house band featured Livingston Brown,
Clive Mayuyu and session musician Lyndon Connah on keyboards. Robin opened his short set with ‘Day of the Eagle’ with Lyndon adding the vocals.
The awesome blues solo at the end of this track was one of
those great Trower moments - the timing, the pauses, the sheer depth of the sound and Robin’s pulsating vibrato - fantastic.
But it was the second track, which reduced us diehard Trower fans to tears.
We’d have to wait another three years to get our hands on ‘Secret Place’ (as part of the ‘Twentieth Century Blues’ album) but with this poignant guitar watercolour, Trower created some stunning harmonic
hues with this perfect six-string picture that night back in ’91.
It was just the piece for this celebration of great guitar playing with plenty of light and shade. With ‘Sympathy’ rounding off
Trower’s solo set and his subsequent return on stage to jam and joust with fellow guitar knights at the end of the evening, you were left with the feeling you’d witnessed something really special albeit it just
hadn’t lasted long enough.