Review: The Rich Robinson Band + Federal Charm – The Live Rooms, Chester: 20th November

Posted on: Saturday, Nov 29, 2014

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The Rich Robinson Band + Federal Charm

The Live Rooms, Chester: 20th November

A few years after appearing at The Live Rooms ‘sister’ venue in Wrexham – Central Station – it was superb to see The Black Crowes founder member and guitarist bring his own band to Chester. The Rich Robinson Band is a far different beast to The Black Crowes for sure . . . and they delivered a most enjoyable set that highlighted where Rich Robinson’s solo career is at . . . rambling, almost psychedelic West Coast-influenced rock tunes, together with some country and blues flavours . . . all making for a most appealing mix.

The set included material from the new “The Ceaseless Flight” release, and also its predecessor, “Through A Crooked Sun”. The set list on the UK tour seems to have featured several interesting covers – which changed from each show, and the Chester crowd were treated to some of those. The crack band, apart from Rich Robinson on guitar and vocals, comprised of the super-tight rhythm section of Ted Pecchio (bass) and Joe Magistro (drums), with  Matt Slocum (keyboards), who all are mighty fine players.

Highlights of the original songs, included “I Know You” and “The Giving Key” and also the great “It’s Not Easy”, all propelled by Robinson’s tremendous guitar playing and fine voice, with the necessary embellishment from the band behind him. Talking of the covers, Joe Magistro took a vocal turn on a medley that ‘doffed the cap’ to Cream, and saw a sparkling “Sitting On Top Of The World”; a lesser-known later period tune from Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac in the bluesy “Station Man”, and perhaps best of all, a lovely romp through Neil Young’s “Everyone Knows This Is Nowhere” . . . great stuff indeed!

Opening up this fine evening were the Stockport lads, Federal Charm, and they delivered a most engaging short set, drawn mainly from last year’s debut self-titled album on Mystic Records. The band comprise: Nick Bowden (vocals and guitar), Paul Bowe (guitar), L D Morawski (bass) and Danny Rigg (drums). The band rock hard, but have the necessary good songs and playing to stand out. Highlights included “I’m Not Gonna Beg” and “No Money Down”, which featured the bands two-guitar ‘crunch’ and Nick Bowden’s fine voice . . . definitely an outfit to keep an eye on.

Another great gig for the venue, which is now just over 12 months old, with lots more roots music to come I’m sure over the coming months. A healthy turn-out for a Thursday night was a most positive sign for live music in Chester.


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