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The Robin 2, Bilston 27 April 2006

Reviewed by Pete Allen
with pictures by Alan Howard

I don't know about the 'Another Day Blues' tour, this should be called the 'London Bus Tour'.  You know … wait for ages then three come along together.  ‘Trowerheads’ hadn't seen their man in the UK for nigh on 25 years and then, wow, we get three tours in 12 months.

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And the similarities didn't end there.  I met that man Howard again, nice chap, but similar to an open top London tour bus … you know, not all there upstairs!! (Only jesting, Alan). I have great respect for this man but when we had arranged months ago to meet in Bilston and he texts me to say "see you at the Academy", ie. Manchester … well I'm thinking  … oh, oh, one sandwich short of a picnic here.  No seriously, he's a great guy, even more so because of the unconditional work he does promoting Robin on his site.  Also Steve Shail was there too and it was great to see him over from Canada.

Well, enough jollies, onto the main agenda … Mr Trower and Band. I don't profess to being in the Alan Howard league but by the end of this tour I will have seen Robin eight times over the three tours, so I think I can claim to be a big fan.  The set list was more or less as other reviews, but obviously ‘Sweet Little Angel’ has been dropped, so I won't give a track by track blow. 

Being a Trowerhead of over 30 years it's still the older stuff that strikes a chord more with me … but that's not to say that the newer material doesn't.  Maybe it's nostalgia I guess but I just happen to think that ‘Bridge Of Sighs’ is the greatest piece of music ever written …. hell, I've even got it as the ringtone on my mobile and Robin hitting the ‘BOS’ chord as the wallpaper image on the screen.  Sad or what!

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You know, I've not ever seen a duff gig by Robin, he's a consummate professional.  The man's on fire, the band are on fire.  There's not a low point.  It's great to hear ‘Roads To Freedom’ live again, it's a great song.

‘Too Much Joy’ is being aired too and this for me is better than the studio version .. more energy to it, excellent stuff.  I've always thought ‘Islands’ to be a standout instrumental number and tonight doesn't change that view.  But as I said, it's the older stuff where the knees go weak. 

‘Day Of The Eagle’ is as hard hitting as ever. ‘BOS’ is ‘BOS’ the greatest piece of blues rock desolation ever, ‘Too Rolling Stoned’ the party tune and ‘Daydream’?  I've got a mate who plays in a local band on Merseyside and technically he's up there with Van Halen, Satriani etc, you know two handed stuff, the lot.  I introduced him to Robin last year, he'd not heard him before.  He's absolutely blown away by him, particularly ‘Daydream’, so much so that he'll be seeing him for the third time at Crewe with me.  ‘Daydream’ closed proceedings after two old ‘faithfuls’ ‘Lady Love’ and, of course, ‘Little Bit Of Sympathy’, the standard set closer pre-encore.

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Tonight Robin's supported again by the most solid rhythm section around in Dave and Pete; Pete's a powerhouse on drums driving the whole thing along and Dave, eyes closed for some of the time, fills in the holes for Robin and is clearly really relishing his role.

And in Davey he continues to have a vocalist, the only vocalist in my opinion, who can comfortably fill the boots of the departed Jimmy Dewar RIP.  Yeah, there are other great vocalists on this planet … Hughes, Rodgers etc … but Davey's the only guy who could have taken over from Jimmy and retained all the feel, timing and presence of the original. 

So, another great night, I just hope that this tour isn't Robin's last in the UK.  Once he goes to the States in the summer who knows how long it will be before he's back. I hope next year, but if not, we'll always have the memories of seeing a truly great guitarist, the greatest guitarist, at his best.

My only grump, there's a certain song I really wish he would play but it's getting to the point where I Can Wait Much Longer.

 

 

 

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