Fab Four Farewell. Photo by Alan Howard

 

Friday 30 May 2008, Pacific Road Arts Centre, Birkenhead CH41 1LJ

 

You have to say the members of this band must have the most incredible reserves of stamina. The fact that they are still giving it their all, having been ‘on the road’ for five months, virtually non-stop, is truly amazing.

 

What’s more, this tantalising tour by our very own ‘Fab Four’ has got better and better with every show. But where do they find the energy to come out and turn in such sensational performances, night after night?

The last time Robin Trower and his band played in the wonderful Wirral was the night after a show in Aberdeen. On that occasion, back in November 2005, they delivered one of their best performances of the entire tour. This was in spite of the fact they had had to endure a 360-mile plus journey from Scotland, earlier that day.

 

The Merseyside masses marvel. Photo by Alan Howard

 

Tour manager ‘supremo’, Alan Robinson has organised a somewhat less stretching journey, this time round. The trip, 135 miles northwest from Shakespeare country, brings them to Birkenhead, just across the water from the City of Liverpool’s European Capital of Culture Year 2008 celebrations. Indeed, Evertonian Sir Paul McCartney is due to play Anfield, the magnificent home of Liverpool FC, in two days time as part of that party.

The Pacific Road Arts Centre is one of the largest concert halls on Merseyside and home to the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra among others. It holds 600 standing and is just the sort of venue the Robin Trower Band should playing, not least now after four successful ‘home’ tours in as many years.

 

Robin Trower. Photo by Alan Howard

 

Tonight, I am with Pete ‘Glenn Hughes’ Allen and his mate Pete. To get the optimum sound, we stand in the middle of the hall. The room is big, somewhat cavernous, and, although packed out with punters, the very high ceiling means the P.A. will, once again, be working overtime.

 

Glenn Letsch. Photo by Alan Howard

 

The stage is big too. Pete Thompson is further back than we’re used to. But you can’t fault the venue. The sound and lighting are both absolutely spot-on with Laurie at the very back of the hall, orchestrating manoeuvres with exquisite precision, as ever.

The audience absolutely love the show, clapping and signalling their approval from the outset. Robin, Glenn, Davey and Pete are in great spirits. Davey returns to the stage after Robin’s outro solos on ‘For Earth Below’ and ‘Islands’ pointing the finger at our hero and with a huge “that’s what I’m talking ‘bout, ain’t he, the man!” expression on his face.

Glenn is smiling too. As a student of the bass, I really admire his playing. He is the first bassist I have seen in a while who bends the strings, step aside Stanley Clarke!

 

Trower

Pattison

Thompson and Letsch

 

I have marvelled at the sheer diversity of Glenn’s playing on this tour. On both ‘No Time’ and ‘Bridge of Sighs’, he steps up the accompaniment to Robin’s soloing by playing two-tone chords at the top of the fretboard on his beautiful sky blue ‘Glenn Letsch Pipemaster’ signature bass guitar.

In between numbers someone in the crowd shouts out “Now then, now then, Robin. Errr, is that Rod Stewart on bass?” Chuckles all round, all you need is love.

There is definitely something special going on in the Trower rhythm-section. The dynamic duo [of Pete and Glenn] has found a new groove, playing with boundless energy and newfound space and time, a looser, freer vibe.

 

Davey. Photo by Alan Howard

 

Pete Allen tells me later that tonight’s ‘Bridge of Sighs’ is the best rendition he’s ever heard. He should know. This is a guy who used to drive around Merseyside listening to this Robin signature tune non-stop. He leaves me pleading “get ‘em to play ‘I can’t wait much longer’ next time, Alan!”

Robin, Glenn, Davey and Pete emerge to sign a few autographs at the end of the night. Thank you, Gentlemen!

 

Robin Trower and Pete Thompson. Photo by Alan Howard

 

Having travelled here, there and everywhere since Fort Pierce, Robin and the band have just one more, hard day’s night to complete. Heading north from the City of Liverpool, I too, have just one more ticket to ride

This is Alan Howard reporting for ‘Steve’s Place’ from the Pacific Road Arts Centre,Birkenhead, and the warm and sunny climes of the Wirral but heading towards the conclusion of Robin Trower Live UK 2008. 30 May 2008.

 

Pete Thompson and Glenn Letsch

 


Return to homepage for more fan photos and reviews or click below for more robintrowerlive.co.uk reviews

Brighton No Time for farewells      Exeter Totally sold      Bilston Blistering Bilston
Glasgow Dedicated to Jimmy      London Let me hear you say YEAH!      Manchester Pride comes before a fall
Sheffield Balls of steel      Southampton From Portswood to poignancy
Stratford-Upon-Avon The play’s the thing      Birkenhead Fab Four in Birkenhead
Fleetwood Fulfillingness’ Fleetwood Finale      For more reviews visit Steve Shail’s site here!
 

 

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