Review: Robin Bibi Band – Switch On The Live

Posted on: Sunday, May 12, 2013

Robin Bibi Band Live CD

Review: Robin Bibi Band – Switch On The Live
No Label BBCD 006

Robin Bibi leads the charge on guitar, vocals and harmonica on this live, double CD compilation. He is backed on most tracks by Tony Marten on bass guitar, double bass and bull fiddle and Dave Innes on drums. In addition, Matt Beable plays bass guitar on three tracks and Dave Raphael harmonica on two tracks.

The eight tracks of the first CD were recorded at three hostelries at Teddington, Kingston and Northampton. Four of the tracks feature original compositions and one is a traditional number arranged by Robin Bibi. The opening track, “Annie Brown” is a heavy-beating rocker with a Hand Jive beat, which is followed by a vibrant rendition of Peter Green’s “Long Grey Mare”, complete with an appropriately excellent guitar solo. The lively rocking is continued with “Fast Life Songs”.

The upbeat arrangement of “Down In The Valley” is contrasted with “Under Your Spell”, a dreamy, reflective love song, embellished with another fine guitar solo. The higher tempo returns with a splendid version of BB King’s “Waiting On You”, followed by an equally brilliant delivery of the SRV hit, “Cold Shot”. The CD ends as it began with a hard-driven original number, “Language Of Your Soul”, to complete a highly enjoyable album.

The second CD is more of a mixed bag. It starts with an energetic and very effective performance of Robert Johnson’s “If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day”. There follows a lengthy and somewhat raucous version of Lennon and McCartney’s ”Don’t Let me Down” and twelve and a half long minutes of a band intro, which includes three three-minute solos on bass guitar, drums and harp. Normality is resumed with the funky “Jelly Out” and a very decent version of the Bruce/Brown classic, “Sunshine Of Your Love”, before an excellent rendition of the slow and bluesy “Switch Off The Light” provides another helping of guitar-based artistry to bring the curtain down.

Lionel Ross

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