robintrowerlive.co.uk home page
Forthcoming UK shows   UK concert reviews   Meet the band
Fans photo gallery   What the fans say   Press / interview archive
Albums and Songs   Steve Shail’s Trower Site    Other useful links
 

 

 

 

The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 19 April 2006:
Review from Ronnie Kerrigan, Northern Ireland
with pictures by John Kerrrigan


Robin and his ‘merry’ men, Dave, Davey and Pete (it is Robin Hood territory after all), took to the stage at 9.00 pm and adorned their armaments ready for battle. The venue, while compact, proved an excellent setting to see Robin and the band up close and personal.

To paraphrase the late Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy,‘the band were red hot, I mean they were steaming’ right from the opening chords of ‘Twice Removed from Yesterday’. As the set progressed it was evident the stifling heat in the venue was a burden the band would have to endure, which to their credit they did, combining superlative musicianship with the delivery of music of the utmost quality during the entire set. The heat took its toll and the group looked visibly exhausted and drained at the end of the gig.

Click on images above to enlarge
Pictures by John Kerrigan

While the overall sound was extremely loud, Dave’s powerful and melodic bass lines, and Pete’s drumming finesse were clearly audible in the mix; no mean achievement. It was evident the band were in excellent form, wholly in sync, and intensely immersed in the music.  At times, however, it was an uphill struggle to hear Davey’s emotional delivered vocals, especially during some of the up tempo songs.

I prefer the band opening with ‘Too Rolling Stoned’ or ‘Day of the Eagle’ and believe an element of flexibility with the set list would enhance the experience for the group and fans.  It is evident Robin and the current line up are all musical perfectionists’, and musicians of such high calibre do not require to work within set boundaries for each show. Some songs work on various nights, successfully communicating with the audience, and some songs don’t. I was disappointed at the exclusion of the recent classic ‘Living out of Time’ from the set list to the inclusion of ‘Roads to Freedom’ . . . only planting seeds, again.

However, proof is in the delivery, and did Robin and the band deliver?

Click on images above to enlarge
Pictures by John Kerrigan

To a great extent, yes - the version of ‘Hannah’ was excellent; strong bass lines clearly audible with Dave looking totally immersed in the music in perfect harmony with Pete’s exceptional drumming; a great rhythm partnership to enable Robin to layer the song with his unique guitar sound and style.

Accompanied by a strong soulful vocal by Davey this song was exceptional on the night. ‘Too Much Joy’ was pure magic. I though Robin might sing it, but the vocal duties were taken by Davey, and it proved one of the finest songs with Robin playing searing bluesy licks over a hypnotic tempo I didn’t want to stop; lead guitar playing at its finest - passionate and soulful.

The version of ‘Day of the Eagle’ tonight was powerful and the best I have heard on the recent UK Tours. It would be great to hear a slightly longer play out by Robin in the slow coda prior to starting ‘Bridge of Sighs’ which I felt was slightly below the normally high standard tonight during the extended lead at the end of the song.

Click on images above to enlarge
Pictures by John Kerrigan

‘20th Century Blues’ would be a brilliant opening number on this tour and is clearly going to be a crowd favourite. The riff, rhythm, and solid bass lines make this an ideal vehicle for Robin to use his range of guitar playing techniques.  The emotion it generated was clearly visible on Robin’s contorted face as he bent his strings in all directions in combination with his formidable vibratos.

The rehabilitation of ‘Victims of the Fury’ is also proving popular with Robin’s fans. Without doubt the harmonies during the chorus from Davey and Dave enhance the song together with Robin’s use of the wah pedal. The solos during the song can’t be described in words - virtuoso guitar playing at its zenith.

Also sounding great and inspired were versions of ‘Go My Way’ (scorching wah soloing by Robin over a pulsating, harmonised rhythm provided by Dave Bronze and Pete Thompson), and ‘Sweet Little Angel’ (blues playing of the highest calibre, a strong rhythm enabling Robin to reach dizzy heights of passion  and soulfulness, and Davey to sing his heart out). Truly memorable.

Click on images above to enlarge
Pictures by John Kerrigan

Other highlights were ‘Too Rolling Stoned’ and ‘Little bit of sympathy’ and ‘Daydream’ is always first-rate. However, the heat and lack of oxygen (sic) on stage must have been unbearable and Robin and his ‘merry’ men definitely earned the applause and adulation tonight. Hope you all slept well before Gloucester and regained sufficient energy to play the gig!

Thanks to Robin, Davey, Dave and Pete, and crew for delivering a great concert on the night and being so friendly. From experience with other artists’ and groups’ you don’t have to be, and it is sincerely appreciated. If you need any help with moving equipment on the North and South American part of the tour just contact me!

Click on images above to enlarge
Pictures by John Kerrigan

After the gig it was great to meet up with other fans, particularly Alan Howard and Ray Martin. Time did not allow as long a conversation as I would have liked, but hope to catch you up the road in the near future, for a proper chat and a drink.  

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.

 

 

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

Welcome to robintrowerlive.co.uk -
my unofficial Trower tribute site all the way from the UK Email
robintrowerlive.co.uk home page
Forthcoming UK shows   UK concert reviews   Meet the band
Fans photo gallery   What the fans say   Press / interview archive
Albums and Songs   Steve Shail’s Trower Site    Other useful links

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