Review : Robin Trower – Pacific Road, Birkenhead – 12 Nov 2005

Posted on: Monday, Nov 14, 2005

A review by Grahame Rhodes……
As part of the 17th International Guitar Festival of Great Britain, now established as one of the top annual music festivals, legendary guitarist Robin Trower rolled back the years at Birkenhead’s fine Pacific Road Arts Centre, in a show full of superb playing – mainly with songs from his heyday – with the venue’s acoustics making for great sound.

Backed by the top-notch band of Davey Pattison (vocals), Dave Bronze (bass) and Pete Thompson (drums), a packed house was treated to near 90-minutes of classic Trower – kicking off with “Twice Removed From Yesterday” – the title cut of his first solo album, way back in 1972 – his superb tone and control demonstrating that he has lost none of his chops over thirty years on!

The songs from the acclaimed “Bridge of Sighs” record still sounded as fresh as ever, and we were treated to a brilliant version of the title track – with Trower still feeling every note with passion – with other highlights from that era being the rousing “Day Of The Eagle” and “Too Rolling Stoned”.

The gritty vocals of Davey Pattison shone on the bluesy swagger of “Go My Way” and the fine “Another Time, Another Place”, from the recently remixed “Living Out Of Time” release. Pattison left the stage for the beautifully-delivered instrumental “Islands” – which featured another guitar masterclass from Trower.

The experienced rhythm section of Dave Bronze – often in employment with one Eric Clapton, and fine drummer, Pete Thompson, drove the music along in fine style, with the ‘guv’nor’ soloing on top. At his peak Robin Trower was often labelled a ‘Hendrix-clone’, but to these ears his playing has a lot more to it than that!

A fine show was rounded off with a brace of encores – with a dip back into the early days for the beautiful “Daydream” – showing the more delicate side of Trower’s playing.

Opening the show was the talented Jon Amor – now between bands, but in a 35-minute set the ex-Hoax man showed what a fine writer he is with some new tunes and favourites such as “24 Hours” and “Can’t Stand Up”. Armed just with acoustic guitar and effects he did extremely well, and I look forward to seeing him out with a band again.

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