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
 

 

 

 

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.
 

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 here to view photos from the gig 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 here to view photos from the gig 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 here to view photos from the gig 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 here to view photos from the gig 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.

 

Now try
‘On the road - UK 2006 Day One: Nottingham’
here
 

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