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The Leadmill, Sheffield, 20 March 2005

 

The Leadmill, cast in a marvellous, former industrial building in the heart of the city just opposite the main railway station, has just as many lights in its ‘standing room only’ audience area in front of the stage as it does on the stage itself.

On that stage tonight, the intensity of the light coming from behind Jon Amor is blinding yet the expression on his face is barely visible, such is the darkness at the front of the stage. He opens with the cryptic ‘Ease The Pain’.

Jon’s performance tonight is spot on although he appears to be making a late entry into ‘the most dazzling array of effect pedals on the stage’ competition. But I think we all know who’s gonna win that competition. Suggest you leave your Budda at home next time, Jon. His closing shot takes in the now perfected, top gear ‘Jessica’ quotation which raises another cheer!

Looking on his impressive website jonamor.com, he’s locked into this tour right up until the Falmouth show. Trust me, these songs grow on you and would certainly make a compelling live CD set.

I’ve noticed the crew have settled into a regular pre-show routine. Once Jon’s clear, it includes setting down two bottles of chilled mineral water for each band member. Dave generally comes on to switch on his gear, tune up and bash out a few notes on the bass, sometimes playing along to whatever’s playing over the PA.

(By the way, the best pre-show presentation was The Robin 2 with the in-house MC and a great selection of tracks from the likes of John Mayer etc.)

Then Davey’s set lyrics aide memoir, a lever arch file, is placed on the floor behind his mike stand illuminated by a stage / desk lamp.

Both Robin’s Marshall switches get the ‘on’ and there’s a nice routine with a wet finger and a jack lead to check the signal is coming through. This always results in a loud ‘live’ crackling noise. Then the train is ready to leave the platform!

T
onight’s first surprise is lurking towards the end of ‘Too Rolling Stoned’. Our man is gently closing down his solo right at the close only to introduce, from major to minor, the most humungous fortissimo, minor nine chord and suddenly we’re into a few twilight, glissando snatches from 1986’s ‘Passion’ killer instrumental ‘Night’. Wow!

You’re the reason
why I’m falling

Davey’s warming up the crowd. ‘Are you having a good time tonight?’ he asks. The lady standing next to me shouts back ‘Yes. Are you?’ Davey replies, straight away, ‘Always!’

The next surprise is no ‘Breathless’ tonight and what’s more our man doesn’t even notice ‘til much later on. There’s a joking whisper with Davey and Pete, once the penny drops, between songs, ‘I totally forgot ‘Breathless’’ mouths our hero. Davey passes on the message to Dave! Smiles all around again.

The band adores the brand new material. Come recording time in a studio situation, these newly hatched tunes are going to sound even more amazing. ‘Close every door’ starts off with this sort of galloping; rising semitones riff before breaking into a gentle funk blues jog.

‘I want you to love me’ is a latter day ‘Rock Me baby’ albeit without the audience participation. I’ve been thinking the set sort of winds down a little too much at the end. ‘Another time, another place’ is prophetic, reflective and thoughtful as ever tonight. For me, it just seems to be in the wrong place.

The sheer audacity of the first encore choice, an unrecorded track, is testament to the new ring of confidence in the Trower camp, at this moment in time.

Our hero starts up this compelling number like he’s pushing a train down the tracks single-handedly. The groove rolls into this gorgeous funk chorus before reverting to his hypnotic trackside trance. We’re getting there!

Robin has perfected this most marvellous first finger in the air technique saying ‘one more’ to the band before breaking into ‘Secret Place’, without doubt, the song of the night.

The interplay between Robin, Pete and Dave is remarkable with Dave now throwing back the first three notes of the main theme during our man’s extended solo in this most beautifully crafted composition.

It’s the end of part one of the tour. What a mad week it’s been! From the Pier at Southsea to the heart of Manchester, from Bilston to Wilbarston, to Sheffield, City of Steel. This is already a tour to remember. Thankfully, there’s so much more to come farther on up the road! Thank you, so much fellas. What a joy!

Set List: Too Rolling Stoned; Sweet Angel; What's Your Name; Rise Up Like The Sun; Daydream; Living Out Of Time; Day Of The Eagle; Bridge of Sighs; Close Every Door; I Want You To Love Me; Please Tell Me; Another Time, Another Place; Little Bit Of Sympathy. Encores: Come To Me; Secret Place

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